Fire (Ohio Players song)

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Single by Ohio Players
from the album Fire
ReleasedNovember 1974
GenreFunk, soul
Length3:12 (Single version)
4:36 (Album version)
Songwriter(s)Billy Beck, Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner, Marshall "Rock" Jones, Ralph "Pee Wee" Middlebrooks, Marvin "Merv" Pierce, Clarence "Satch" Satchell, James "Diamond" Williams
Ohio Players singles chronology
"Skin Tight"
"I Want to Be Free"

"Fire" is a hit song by R&B/funk band Ohio Players. The song was the opening track from the album of the same name and hit #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 (where it was succeeded by Linda Ronstadt's "You're No Good") and the Hot Soul Singles chart in early 1975.[1] It spent five weeks atop the soul chart. "Fire" was the Ohio Players' only entry on the new disco/dance chart, where it peaked at #10.[2] The tune is considered to be the band's signature song along with "Love Rollercoaster."

The song was recorded at Mercury Records' Chicago-based studio. While performing it in California, the band let Stevie Wonder hear the basic track for the song and he predicted that it would become a big hit. The song is noted for its sound of a siren recorded from a fire truck, heard at the beginning, as well as in the instrumental break in the middle. The edited version avoided much of the repetition of the music.

A cover of the song was released by Canadian new wave band Platinum Blonde on their third album Contact in 1987. Another cover, also from 1987, is featured on the album Rhythm Killers by Sly and Robbie, produced by Bill Laswell. For their 2014 album For the Love of Money, industrial hip hop outfit Tackhead covered the song.[3]

It is currently used as the theme song to the FOX reality series Hell's Kitchen. It was also featured in the fifteenth episode of the fourth season of Gotham.

It appears in two 2019 TV commercials: one for the Toyota RAV4, and another for Papa John's Pizza.

The guitar solo break was frequently used as an outro from the Top Ten segment by The CBS Orchestra on Late Show with David Letterman, with the song's ending added during presentation of the Top Ten on Letterman's final show in 2015.[4] It was also sampled for Da Lench Mob's rap "You and Your Heroes" from Guerillas in tha Mist, and was referenced in the song "Sweet Revenge" by the Japanese pop group Dreams Come True.

The composer of Wild Cherry's hit song "Play That Funky Music" has indicated that "Fire" was the inspiration.

Chart positions[edit]

Charts Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Soul Singles 1


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 437.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 193.
  3. ^ "Discography: For the Love of Money". 2004. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  4. ^ "David Letterman signs off from 'Late Show'". Los Angeles Times. May 20, 2015. Retrieved May 21, 2015.

External links[edit]