This Wheel's on Fire (song)

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"This Wheel's on Fire" redirects here. For the Levon Helm book, see This Wheel's on Fire: Levon Helm and the Story of The Band.
"This Wheel's on Fire"
Song by Bob Dylan & The Band from the album The Basement Tapes
Released June 26, 1975
Recorded 1967
Genre Rock
Length 3:49
Label Columbia
Writer Bob Dylan, Rick Danko
Producer Bob Dylan & The Band

"This Wheel's on Fire" is a song written by Bob Dylan and Rick Danko.[1] It was originally recorded by Dylan and The Band during their 1967 sessions, portions of which (including this song) comprised the 1975 album, The Basement Tapes.[2] The Band's own version appeared on their 1968 album, Music From Big Pink.[3]

Covers[edit]

In 1968, a version by Julie Driscoll with Brian Auger and The Trinity became a hit in the United Kingdom, peaking at #5 on the UK Singles Chart (see 1968 in music).[4] With its use of distortion, phasing, the evocative imagery of the song's title and the group's flamboyant dress, this version is closely associated with the psychedelic era in British music. The arrangement featured prominent use of both Hammond organ and mellotron. Driscoll recorded the song again in the early 1990s with Adrian Edmondson as the theme to the BBC comedy series Absolutely Fabulous, whose main characters are throwbacks to that era.

The Byrds released a recording of "This Wheel's on Fire" on their 1969 album, Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde, and live versions of the song are also included on The Byrds' Live at the Fillmore - February 1969 album and the expanded CD reissue of their (Untitled) album.[5][6][7] In 1987, the song was covered by the British rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees for their all-covers album, Through the Looking Glass. Released as the first single from that album, the Banshees' version climbed to #14 on the UK singles chart.[8]

"This Wheel's on Fire"
Single by Siouxsie and the Banshees
from the album Through the Looking Glass
B-side "Shooting Sun", "Sleepwalking (On the High Wire)", "She Cracked"
Released January 12, 1987
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded 1986
Genre Alternative rock
Label Polydor
Writer(s) Bob Dylan, Rick Danko
Producer(s) Siouxsie and the Banshees
Mike Hedges
Siouxsie and the Banshees singles chronology
"Candyman"
(1986)
"This Wheel's on Fire"
(1987)
"The Passenger"
(1987)

Other artists who have released their own versions of the song, include, Hamilton Camp, Phil Lesh, Golden Earring, Elvis Costello, The Hollies, Ian and Sylvia, Les Fradkin, Leslie West, Serena Ryder, Charlie Winston and Guster.[9]

Personnel on The Band version[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Williams, Paul. (1990). Bob Dylan: Performing Artist - Book One 1960 - 1973. Xanadu Publications Ltd. pp. 232–233. ISBN 1-85480-044-2. 
  2. ^ "The Basement Tapes review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  3. ^ "Music From Big Pink review review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  4. ^ Brown, Tony. (2000). The Complete Book of the British Charts. Omnibus Press. p. 261. ISBN 0-7119-7670-8. 
  5. ^ Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited (2nd ed.). Rogan House. pp. 546–547. ISBN 0-9529540-1-X. 
  6. ^ "Live At The Fillmore - February 1969 review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  7. ^ "Untitled/Unissued review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  8. ^ Brown, Tony. (2000). The Complete Book of the British Charts. Omnibus Press. p. 809. ISBN 0-7119-7670-8. 
  9. ^ "This Wheel's on Fire - Cover versions". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-21. [dead link]
  10. ^ Garth Hudson's Diamond Jubilation

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]