Fire (Arthur Brown song)
|Single by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown|
|from the album The Crazy World of Arthur Brown|
|B-side||"Rest Cure" (2:44)|
|Released||June 1968 (UK)
September 1968 (US)
|Label||Track (UK) 604022
|Writer(s)||Arthur Brown, Vincent Crane, Mike Finesilver, Peter Ker|
|The Crazy World of Arthur Brown singles chronology|
"Fire" is a 1968 song written by Arthur Brown, Vincent Crane, Mike Finesilver and Peter Ker. Performed by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, it was released as a single and on the band's debut album, also called The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. The single reached no.1 in the UK (in August 1968) and in Canada. In October, it reached no.2 in the US Billboard charts and no.19 in Australia. It also got to no.3 in Germany, no.4 in France, no.6 in the Netherlands, no.7 in Austria, no.8 in Ireland and no.18 in Finland. "Fire" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.
The song is an example of the psychedelic rock of the period, though its lack of guitars or bass guitar distinguished it from many of its contemporaries. The lead instrument in this case was Vincent Crane's Hammond electronic organ, augmented by an orchestral section featuring prominent brass. The singer's opening proclamation of himself as "the god of hellfire" became a lasting catchphrase. The song ends with the sound of a wind from hell.
During live performances and in the black and white promotional television clip, Brown performed the song wearing a burning helmet. The helmet was improvised with a leather skull cap onto which was bolted a metal dish that held lighter fluid or petrol. As the cap was not insulated, the heat from the burning fuel quickly conducted through the fixing bolt to the top of Brown's head, causing him considerable pain.
Two studio mixes of "Fire" have been officially released, one in stereo and one in mono. The mono mix features no brass. Both versions are included on the CD reissue of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. The single B-side, "Rest Cure", was another track from the album.
Credit for the composition of "Fire" on the original vinyl single was to Arthur Brown and Vincent Crane only; however, Mike Finesilver and Peter Ker successfully sued for co-credit and royalties based on melodic similarities to their song "Baby, You're a Long Way Behind".
In Ronnie Wood's radioshow of 14 November 2011, both Wood and Alice Cooper claim that the bass is performed by Ron Wood, but Polly Marshall's biography of Arthur Brown states that "According to the-faces.com, Ronnie claims he played on the Track Records studio sessions recording Fire, but he must have confused it with the BBC session [of 8 April 1968]." There is no bass guitar on the recording, only bass pedals.
The song is briefly featured in the films Hot Fuzz (2007) and The Boat That Rocked (2009). It is also referenced in Julie Hearn's debut novel Follow Me Down, used in the episode "Burn Victim" of My Name Is Earl, and sampled by experimental hip hop group Death Grips in their song "Lord of the Game" from their mixtape Exmilitary.
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2013)|
- The Ventures covered the song on their 1969 album Underground Fire.
- Lizzy Mercier Descloux covered "Fire" on her album Press Color (1979), drastically changing the mood and style of the track.
- Pete Townshend, the single's associate producer, covered "Fire" (with The Who) on his 1989 album The Iron Man: A Musical.
- Cirith Ungol covered the song on their 1991 album Paradise Lost.
- The Prodigy sampled the track for "Fire/Jericho", which was otherwise a completely different song, on their 1992 album Experience.
- Emerson, Lake & Palmer covered the song on their 1993 4-disc compilation album The Return of the Manticore. ELP's drummer Carl Palmer briefly played with the Crazy World of Arthur Brown in 1969, replacing Drachen Theaker.
- Marilyn Manson's "Lunchbox" (1995) heavily samples "Fire".
- UK doom metal band Cathedral covered the song on their 1996 EP Hopkins (The Witchfinder General).
- Die Krupps covered the song on their 1997 album Paradise Now.
- Dutch death metal band God Dethroned covered the song on their 1997 album The Grand Grimoire.
- Ozzy Osbourne included a version on his 2005 album Under Cover.
- The song is used in one episode of series 3 of Monkey Dust (2005) as the Paedofinder General burns the wrongly accused paedophiles with this music in the background, with altered lyrics.
- US Hip hop duo Cunninlynguists sampled the song for "Hellfire" on their 2006 album A Piece of Strange.
- Leningrad Cowboys covered the song in a metal style and included it on their 2006 album Zombie's Paradise.
- Death Grips samples the opening vocal line in the track "Lord of the Game" on their 2011 album Ex-Military.
- Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 119. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 236. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- the pounding bass was made with bass pedals played by Vincent Crane
- Polly Marshall, The God Of Hellfire, the Crazy Life and Times of Arthur Brown, ISBN 0-946719-77-2, SAF Publishing, 2005, page 60
- John Kutner & Spencer Leigh (2005). The 1000 UK Number One Hits: p.142
- "Show 81". Ronnie Wood Radio. Retrieved 2014-04-07.
- Polly Marshall, The God Of Hellfire, the Crazy Life and Times of Arthur Brown, ISBN 0-946719-77-2, SAF Publishing, 2005, page 64
"Mony Mony" by Tommy James & the Shondells
|UK number-one single
14 August 1968
"Mony Mony" by Tommy James & the Shondells