Fire On High

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"Fire On High"
Fire On High.jpg
Single by Electric Light Orchestra
from the album Face the Music
A-side
Released29 October 1976 (UK)
February 1978 (US)
Format7"
Recorded1975
GenreArt rock, progressive rock[1]
Length5:31
4:01 (US single version)
LabelJet/United Artists (UK)
United Artists (US)
Songwriter(s)Jeff Lynne
Producer(s)Jeff Lynne
Electric Light Orchestra singles chronology
"Nightrider"
(1976)
"Fire On High"
(1976)
"Rockaria!"
(1977)
Face the Music track listing
8 tracks
Side one
  1. "Fire On High"
  2. "Waterfall"
  3. "Evil Woman"
  4. "Nightrider"
Side two
  1. "Poker"
  2. "Strange Magic"
  3. "Down Home Town"
  4. "One Summer Dream"

"Fire on High" is the opening instrumental track from the 1975 Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) album Face the Music.

The song was the UK B-side to the band's worldwide hit single "Livin' Thing", issued in blue vinyl. It was also later included — in an edited form minus the backwards vocals — as the flip side of the United States hit single "Sweet Talkin' Woman" in 1978.

The album version contains an opening with a backwards message. When the song is played in reverse, the message, in a masked heavy voice (performed by ELO drummer, Bev Bevan), can be heard stating, "The music is reversible but time is not. Turn back. Turn back. Turn back. Turn back." — ostensibly Jeff Lynne's shot at backmasking hysteria, after satanic allegations were made against their song "Eldorado" by Fundamentalist Christianity members.[2] Snippets of Messiah by Handel can be heard during the album opening as well.

"Fire on High" was used as the opening theme for the CBS Sports Spectacular TV show in the mid-1970s. Currently, it is the opening and closing theme to "The Diner with Lou Simon," a weekly music-related talk show on SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

In 2000, The New Jersey Devils used the song, accompanied by visuals, in the opening ceremony for all their home games. Much of the song was also played prior to every Atlanta Thrashers home game.

"Fire on High" is played inside the "Astrosphere" at Funtown Splashtown USA in Saco, ME. The ride is a Scrambler ride inside of a large dome.[3]

Despite being almost entirely instrumental, the song's title can be faintly heard near the end of the track by the chanting chorus.

Personnel[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Louis Clark, Jeff Lynne, Richard Tandy–orchestral and choral arrangements
  • Louis Clark–orchestral conductor

References[edit]

  1. ^ Murphy, Sean (27 March 2017). "The 100 Best Classic Progressive Rock Songs: Part 2, 80-61". PopMatters. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  2. ^ Big Secrets: Chapter 26, pages 200, 203, 204, 205 & 206. 0-688-04830-7
  3. ^ "Astrosphere". Funtown Splashtown USA.