Free’s “Allright Now”, Unreleased Version SoloDallas Cover

20 Mar Free’s “Allright Now”, Unreleased Version SoloDallas Cover

 

 

 

Not that our grandchildren may be interested in this write up, but I always owe you at least a brief description.

The acoustic is an older of mine, never showed I think, usually I play it to my children. It’s a 15 years old Larrivee “Presentation”, bought new back then.

It is an extremely light guitar, featherweight. I put 009s on it, as I do with ALL my guitars (yes, even acoustics!). I like the sound of 9s. I think also Pete Townshend played at least a few times acoustics with thinner strings.

I also like the sound of it recorded, and in fact I recorded it with my Neumann U67 (whatever you put through it, will come out nicely).

I compressed (post-compression) the HECK out of it, that’s how I like the sound of acoustics: super compressed. I think “back in the day” many did that, and I still dig that sound.

The plugin I used to compress it though, is a “Fairchild” UAD emulation, a very good one. I used to have a real Fairchild at the studio for a while, a mono version of it. Great compressor.

I also recorded vocals with the U67 and compressed my voice. I sang in all the choruses except the one with the solo (a long one too).

Electric guitar is a particular Les Paul that you saw me (if you did) play in an older video, the “Slow Turn” one. It has a newer, high quality original Gibson neck, but the body is not a Gibson. It is an old growth wood body made by a luthier and it sports boutique pickups of some brand (will remember that if you want me; not a secret but lousy memory). Harness is the RS-Guitarworks one (pots, caps, all).

It’s a great guitar really, though it does sound “new” compared to the other older Les Pauls I have. However, I like to change gear (and play different guitars) often. It’s also a “rotation” of the guitars I do to play them all. I still think that playing the guitars make them sound good in time.

The amp was my Wizard Vintage Classic, you can probably hear its characteristic vibe, although for the rhythm sound I was going with as much as possible a similar sound to Koss’ on that recording.

Which sounds very much like a microphone was shoved somewhere off axis and off center. Which is what I did too, from center of the cab I moved it slightly towards one speaker rotating the mike in the speaker general direction.  Amp’s settings were my usual one basically, with presence 2, bass 2, mids 5, treble 6, volume 7.

You have – some of you at least – seen me play this song for years, in several versions.

So you’d think that I’m confident with this song. Wrong. I am not. I still have to fight it to the edge, every time. I think also Koss had to fight his guitar with this part. It’s just “tough” to nail, because you need to make it roar by striking it quickly and heavily. The “heavily” is just a naturally consequence of the strumming pattern you’re forced to make in order to get the timing right.

The timing here is REALLY fundamental (it always is for me) but here if you don’t pull it right, you will sound like shit no matter what you try.

I don’t think there is another way – physically – to play this. Your right arm HAS to go down and up that way. Would be curious to see how Koss did it, but never found a video where he played exactly this part like this. Live he used to do it mildly, maybe because it would be too demanding this way and he could not hold up the whole concert with this type of effort.

The best one I like – video – is this:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rl51s5Osutg[/youtube]

PLEASE try this yourself and comment away.

The solo was not easy either, also because I had to slightly re-arrange it to make it fit on the part. These vibratos will kill you (but will make you exercise as well). But if you manage to pull it off right… you’re going to go to the moon for the resulting pleasure and satisfaction (not saying that I did though).

 

For the solo I used the beloved SVDS with mild boost, since the Wizard Vintage Classic is really a CLEAN amp. Had to blast the amp’s volume at 10! And it still wouldn’t drive too much. NOT like a Marshall 1959 for sure. A Marshall 1959 has way more drive than this amp. This is a wanted feature of the amp (so much for AC/DC wanting hotter amps?).

I will likely try to change the pre-amp tube in the V1 stage to get it more driven.

The microphone – U67 again – position was different to the rhythm part naturally, and it was closer and more in front of the speaker to try and get as much drive (or a perception of it) as possible. Same settings as for rhythm, with the exception of the amp’s volume in fact blasted to 10.

With the SVDS it became a lot easier to play the solo, since the SVDS does intentionally compress the signal giving you more sustain and more drive, if you clean-boost (which I did).

 

 

 

avatar
Fil "SoloDallas" Olivieri
sd@solodallas.com

I like Geetars!

64 Comments
  • avatar
    Nick
    Posted at 03:50h, 30 May

    Great work as always! Think you could do a cover of Free’s-The Hunter? The solo in that burns and blisters! I’d love to see you tear into it!

  • avatar
    dave realm
    Posted at 15:49h, 19 April

    Hey Fil, love that song one of my all time favourites, you have done an epic job, it sounds like a simple song to play but it’s not. Love the guitar tone and a beautiful solo boosted with SVDS I see. Keep on rocking.

  • avatar
    SoloBakersfield
    Posted at 04:21h, 28 March

    doesnt Slash use heavier guage strings? he doesnt bend/ vibroto as much as Angus.

    • avatar
      MateoRock
      Posted at 20:19h, 28 March

      Yes he always uses 11s

  • avatar
    Angusrocks101
    Posted at 20:38h, 26 March

    Hey Fil, I was wondering which Metro SLP replica you think is the one for AC/DC?

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 20:56h, 26 March

      Depends on the period you’ll want to replicate.
      Early times to 1977: 1959.
      1978-1979: 2203
      1980 onward: 1959 WITH 2203 exceptions.

      My favorite is the 1959, if it can help. BUT it is a “harder” amp to play. Won’t hide your mistakes as the 2203 does, with the added drive of the preamp tune.
      However, by boosting a 1959 – for example with the SVDS replica – this will come easier to play.

      • avatar
        Angusrocks101
        Posted at 23:35h, 26 March

        I think myy Marshall Class 5 is more on the gain side of a 1959 which is what i want. the back in black sound is what i am after. The marshall class5 is kinda hard to solo on. It is fairly clean. I was going to go with a 1959 but they different series. One has the variac option for Van Halen. i like them ok but thats not the band that comes to mind when i think of a 1959. So whick series you think?

        • avatar
          SoloDallas
          Posted at 08:03h, 27 March

          12k series I think was the original series and still in production.
          I am getting the new (number 4) Friedman, which I believe sports the variac inside. Naturally I don’t care about the variac for EVH (which I never liked) but this amp – the Metro-Friedman – has more drive than a regular 1959, and it is brighter as well. I think it is close to Angus’ first 1959 which is why I bought it. Disregard the variac option and go for the Metro-Friedman?

          • avatar
            Angusrocks101
            Posted at 20:31h, 27 March

            I was looking for them already assembled and i didn’t see anything about a friedman. Would this amp be best for the BIB album as well?

            • avatar
              Angusrocks101
              Posted at 20:38h, 27 March

              And im not looking for the variac sound. I would much rather have the tones of Angus, Kossof, and other classic rock greats.

              • avatar
                Angusrocks101
                Posted at 20:50h, 27 March

                And thanks Fil and JaiminhoPagina

              • avatar
                JaiminhoPagina
                Posted at 03:12h, 28 March

                I think something like a 1969 Super Lead would be what you are looking for then.
                The 10.000 (1967 specs), for example, is really warm and sweet, but maybe it lacks a bit of drive for AC/DC.
                The 69 has a hell lot of drive but still is thick like a milk-shake – generally speaking, of course – old Marshalls are somewhat dodgy and they all sound different. But Metroamps try to create something that would be a sort of “best sounding amps of that year” feel.
                Not sure if this helps, but here is a 69 Marshall, as an example:
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iujt256uzIM

                André :)

              • avatar
                JaiminhoPagina
                Posted at 03:39h, 28 March

                But then again…. Talk to George. He will surely take you into the right direction. :)
                After all, he is the guy who builds these beasts in the first place – hehe 😛

          • avatar
            Angusrocks101
            Posted at 03:36h, 31 March

            I looked at the Metro/Friedman and it sounded good but they played Van Halen stuff. Maybe you could demo it if you have it. I wished people would show it’s versatility instead of going for the variac sound. I think George said it should be able to do almost anything classic Marshall’s can though.

    • avatar
      JaiminhoPagina
      Posted at 17:02h, 27 March

      I’m not sure myself, but I think you can also order other models/years other than the ones listed on the Metroamp site.
      For example, a 1969 specs Super Lead. Or maybe even a 1971 or 1972 specs (not so sure about the differences though). That’d be probably closer to the amps Angus and Malcolm used. lol
      Maybe if you contact George you’ll be able to have more options.. 😛

  • avatar
    JaiminhoPagina
    Posted at 21:45h, 25 March

    This one is a bit closer to the original strumming pattern:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dVka_hLgFk

    Did you see this one yet, Fil? 😛

    • avatar
      Atomic'76
      Posted at 02:55h, 26 March

      I’ve heard at least 3 different versions of this tune and he NEVER plays the same solo! I can tell from 2 of them that he is playing in the same positions or blocks but not the same riffs. They all sound awesome though… :)

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 20:56h, 26 March

      Fantastic bro, will add :)

  • avatar
    Atomic'76
    Posted at 21:06h, 23 March

    Look at the binding on Kossoff’s guitar! It looks like it is raised up above the wood! I wonder if he peeled the maple finish off the top??

    • avatar
      JaiminhoPagina
      Posted at 21:44h, 25 March

      hehe.
      Yeah. The finish was sanded off and then a layer of transparent lacquer was applied, I think.
      No, it’s just some kind of dirt in the wood itself.
      If you watch other videos with that guitar you will see that they are just dark spots 😛
      I guess those “defects” were hidden by the red of the original sunburst finish.

      • avatar
        Atomic'76
        Posted at 02:49h, 26 March

        I wonder what made him decide to sand the top off? Maybe to get a better resonance or something? I’ve been getting into Free a lot more lately. Been jamming along with Mr.Big, The Hunter and of course Alright Now. They’re really fun songs to let go and solo along with! :) There’s SO much blues in their music!

      • avatar
        Atomic'76
        Posted at 03:19h, 26 March

        Sorry, make that Fire and Water… haven’t really gotten around to The Hunter yet. 😛

  • avatar
    adam10603
    Posted at 16:04h, 23 March

    Fil, why do you use 9s? With 10s you get much more tone from the wood of the guitar. Maybe 9s are a tad brighter, but heavier strings sound more dynamic and woody in my opinion.
    I always use 10s. I would use 11s, but they are too hard to bend for me. So I usually go with 10s :-)

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 16:19h, 23 March

      Vibrato. There is no way to pull this vibrato – Angus’ and Koss – with 10s. Not for so long, not predictably.
      Koss did it, but only for a while, and it is still debated as exactly what string gauge he had. Whoever tells me that they can with heavier strings, I am ready to watch them.
      But I won’t be nice 😀

      • avatar
        Atomic'76
        Posted at 16:58h, 23 March

        Hahaha “I won’t be nice” lol :)
        I normally use 10’s too just because 9’s feel kinda like rubber bands to me and not as fat sounding. I might give them a try again though. Last time I did it felt kind of weird because I’ve been on 10’s for so long now. I notice it is difficult to get that vibrato with the 10’s but I always thought I had just not assimilated the technique 100% yet.
        Next set will be 9’s…

      • avatar
        Atomic'76
        Posted at 17:08h, 23 March

        By the way Fil, did you check out the video (or link to a video) that I posted to a short 5 part series about Paul Kossoff’s life? It’s narrated by his father and talks about him growing up and his road to becoming an accomplished musician and rock star.
        I found it very interesting especially since I’m more or less just discovering this band. I’d only really heard “Alright Now” before but lately have been exposed to a whole array of awesome “Free” music! 😀

      • avatar
        adam10603
        Posted at 20:42h, 23 March

        Well, Angus does it :-) he uses 10s or sometimes even 11s as I heared. Is that correct?

        • avatar
          banane
          Posted at 20:45h, 23 March

          Angus? No, always 009s as fas as I know.

        • avatar
          Atomic'76
          Posted at 21:01h, 23 March

          I heard that maybe Malcolm uses 11’s to help get that fat sound but he’s not the one blazing the solos.

          • avatar
            banane
            Posted at 21:20h, 23 March

            Yes, true, Malcolm has the fat strings :)

            • avatar
              AngusRudd1019
              Posted at 01:50h, 24 March

              Malcolm uses 12s I think 80% sure

              • avatar
                Ryley
                Posted at 02:13h, 24 March

                yes 12 – 56 without a doubt. have read it in multiple articles

                • avatar
                  AngusRudd1019
                  Posted at 04:05h, 24 March

                  I knew my dad used 12s in our band for a reason lol, I wasn’t sure…I doubted myself lol.

  • avatar
    MateoRock
    Posted at 17:08h, 22 March

    Really awesome Fil! Love the Les Paul:-)

  • avatar
    depuis1899
    Posted at 14:45h, 21 March

    LMAO while you were singing Fil :) and it was a great singing !
    Great one again :)

  • avatar
    Max
    Posted at 13:53h, 21 March

    I really like this les paul in the higher registers.

    how much does it weigh Fil?

  • avatar
    Max
    Posted at 13:45h, 21 March

    Yeah! good one.. keep singin!
    you nailed the vibrato on the lead.

  • avatar
    Angusrocks
    Posted at 11:42h, 21 March

    Listen to this from 0:46

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kIgtV_jC7U

    There is Free in ACDC :-)

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 12:13h, 21 March

      Yep knew that super old tape of theirs :)

    • avatar
      Atomic'76
      Posted at 18:33h, 22 March

      Man, I gotta stop watching and listening to AC/DC when I’m at work. Can’t concentrate! Just wanna go home and play! :)

  • avatar
    Ant
    Posted at 09:55h, 21 March

    Great voice over Fil! you make me want to chew gum when i listen to this 😛

    thoroughly enjoyed!

  • avatar
    AngusRudd1019
    Posted at 04:09h, 21 March

    is that the replica or the actual SVDS?

  • avatar
    nitroangus23
    Posted at 03:23h, 21 March

    lol at first, I thought it was you singing Fil!

    I remember way back when, when your band covered this song with you on lead vocal!!

    Wasn’t that bad,and on this clip,I swear the begging sounded like your voice (:

    (Backing vocals, not Paul Rodgers, lol)

    Love this song,and cover!!

    • avatar
      nitroangus23
      Posted at 03:27h, 21 March

      typo…beginning (:

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 07:44h, 21 March

      Cody, it IS me singing for real at the beginning (and in every chorus line there is, except on the solo part). Just one part, but I did sing. You’ll find me all panned to the right 😆

      • avatar
        nitroangus23
        Posted at 21:52h, 21 March

        Ah ha! lol my first assumption was correct then,I knew I recognized it.

        Funny cause I compared this to my copy of this track,and didn’t notice a difference,

        Well done (:

  • avatar
    Johnny
    Posted at 01:00h, 21 March

    Hahahaha, love the spirit fingers in the beginning fil :)

  • avatar
    banane
    Posted at 22:24h, 20 March

    Just love it, Fil :)

  • avatar
    OldSchoolRocker666
    Posted at 21:55h, 20 March

    Do you think you know this Free song good enough to try it out as well Fil? Great cover! 😀

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOvSozzjWOA

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 07:45h, 21 March

      Oh yeah, Mr. Big!

      • avatar
        OldSchoolRocker666
        Posted at 11:38h, 21 March

        Will you use your Burst replica Les Paul for it if you go for it? 😀

        That guitar sounded so awesome in your old clip when playing through the Metro, would be VERY interresting to hear it again and perhaps even with the Vega! 😀

        • avatar
          SoloDallas
          Posted at 12:08h, 21 March

          Which one do you mean replica lp?

          • avatar
            OldSchoolRocker666
            Posted at 12:14h, 21 March

            Yes your Lentz lp that was made by a luthier 😀

            I allways thought it sounded just so amazing, not saying at all any other guitar you have played with is bad not at all!, just that it would be interresting to see a cover of Free with it, afterall Paul Kossoff did use an LP so just a thought :)

            It should sound fantastic with the Vega as well :)

            • avatar
              SoloDallas
              Posted at 12:24h, 21 March

              Oh yes I agree with you :)
              The Lentz is not a replica mate, it is a “conversion”. Basically it was a 1953 LP transformed into a 59 thanks to added PAFs, repaint and reset neck. For the rest, it is a true 1950s LP as much as it gets. I did use it many, many times (Boston cover for recent example) and will reuse it and reuseit forever. This lp featured here is instead a special thing – a replica – made of real gibson neck (new) and a replica body built by luthier to exacting specs if existing 1959 :)

              • avatar
                OldSchoolRocker666
                Posted at 12:28h, 21 March

                Well yeah i got it mixed up a bit there :)

                This Les Paul also sounds really great :)

  • avatar
    adam10603
    Posted at 21:46h, 20 March

    Wow Fil, I didn’t know you’re singing as well 😀 nice! I love it

  • avatar
    JaiminhoPagina
    Posted at 21:45h, 20 March

    What can I say?
    😛
    “Allright now, baby, it’s AAAAAAaaaaallright!”
    Love this one!
    Loved the singing too! haha
    And the solo fits perfectly there!

    “Take one thousand for me” – lol
    I feel you bro. Been there, done that 😛
    It worth it though! 😀

    • avatar
      JaiminhoPagina
      Posted at 21:54h, 20 March

      Ah. One more thing: You are a GENIOUS! 😛

      Abraço! 😛

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 20:02h, 21 March

      Andre,
      Curious: had koss played on this one or not?

      • avatar
        JaiminhoPagina
        Posted at 22:06h, 21 March

        I think he did.
        This recording is from early 1970, so he was pretty healthy at the time.
        From 1968 to 1971 he played in probably every track.
        It was from 1972 onwards that things started to get bad.

        And…. I THINK I hear his voice at the end saying “Yeah” or something. 😛

      • avatar
        JaiminhoPagina
        Posted at 22:11h, 21 March

        Plus…. That groovy and tight playing is unmistakeable, huh? 😛

      • avatar
        JaiminhoPagina
        Posted at 22:27h, 21 March

        Here is a nice interview:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLi3OtJl76Q

        I really like Koss’ approach on making music. It’s really true. At least I believe in what he said. Really worth watching this one.

        Ironically, though, this was the point where the band was just breaking-up. You can get that by the “long rest” they refered to at the end.

Post A Comment