Light My Fire

April 1967

Light My Fire is the title of the greatest hits of the American rock band The Doors from 1967, who brought it to the million seller.


The keyboardist Ray Manzarek said in an interview that the Doors decreed in March 1966 on any new original compositions more. Also the project, over the weekend the same finish several new pieces that failed, because only Robby Krieger presented Light My Fire. Mostly written by Robby Krieger, the title later the whole band was attributed. The group played the song live from May 1966 in the Whisky a Go Go, where they had been discovered in 1965 by Elektra Records.

With the music producer Paul A. Rothchild and engineer Bruce Botnick said they took between 24 and 31 August 1966 the recording studios Sunset Sound Recording (Los Angeles ) for her debut album The Doors eleven tracks on, including two each seven -minute takes of Light My Fire. The bass lines were inspired by Fats Domino Blueberry Hill. But initially no bass was used but Manzarek played the bass lines on a Rhodes piano bass. Manzarek played the melody leading organ, a Vox Continental. The studio musician Larry Knechtel of the Wrecking Crew enhanced bass effects through its e- bass, then the striking echo of the echo chamber was generated. The intro is a paraphrase of Bach's Invention 8 ( BWV 779 ). Rothchild had the idea to use this intro as a copy as outro. Light My Fire is an example of psychedelic rock and an early example of jazz -rock.

Characteristic of the Doors were extended guitar and organ solos, making the original version of Light My Fire on the debut album seven minutes and eight seconds ( including reverberation ) lasts. The group met after initial resistance, the request of the record company after a shorter version and took the piece on again. However, this version was worse, so that producer Rothchild shortened the album version of the single on two minutes and 52 seconds by cutting out most of the guitar and organ solos. Rothchild was the only one able to cut the piece in this form.

It is disputed whether the text glorifies drug use. By " light My Fire" may be meant the joint, but " turn on " also the protagonist. "Girl we could not get much higher" is to be understood not only as a significant drug-related information ( "high"), but could also be interpreted as a reaction to the drug use. Anyway, the text says that you should try the best in life and love, leaving inhibitions in the knowledge that after the inevitable death ( "funeral pyre" is the funeral pyre ) can be the worst happen. Evident is a relationship ending ( "try now we can only lose / and our love become a funeral pyre" ). If you wait ( " wallow " ) in the insignificant life stages ( " mire " ), then the love will lead one to the funeral pyre ( "funeral pyre" ). Manzarek himself had clarified before the Ed Sullivan show, that it was not a question about a drug song, but a love song.

Publication and success

First, the debut album The Doors was published on 4 January 1967. The shortened single Light My Fire / The Crystal Ship ( Elektra 45615 ) came in April 1967 on the market. While the album received a gold record for one million U.S. dollars in sales on September 11, 1967, the single sold a million copies. The group presented their first hit live on the Ed Sullivan show on September 17, 1967. He spent three weeks in the United States rank one in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in the UK, he fell with rank 49 by. Only through the re-release on the occasion of the Oliver Stone film The Doors ( U.S. Premiere: February 23, 1991) got the single in the UK in June 1991 and ranked 7th Light My Fire was the first number -one hit for Elektra Records after 18 years of label history. In the concerts, fans were only interested in Light My Fire, which resisted the singer Jim Morrison. The song was voted number 35 of the top 500 songs of all time of Rolling Stone magazine.

Scandal on The Ed Sullivan Show

The appearance of the Doors on the Ed Sullivan Show was the first of several nationwide of the Doors provoked scandals. The producers of the CBS were of the opinion that the word "higher " was inappropriate for a family show. Therefore, should the text line "Girl, we could not get much higher" be changed for the live broadcast program in the more harmless "Girl, we could not get much better ." Earlier, the officers were tried with varying success, to influence the contents of the texts of performing artists. Bob Dylan had responded by he renounced his appearance; The Rolling Stones changed "Let's Spend the Night Together" While in "Let's spend some time together " - but they demonstrated with their gestures, how silly they found this censorship.

Supposedly, the band had agreed to the change, but their charismatic singer Jim Morrison had forgotten out of nervousness when Aufritt to change the text at the last minute. Because Morrison had against the wishes of the producers did sing the original, they let the group know that one instead of the planned six other invitations it 'll leave it at this show. Although the audience applauded, Ed Sullivan was angry and refused to Jim Morrison after the occurrence of the handshake.

Confrontation with Buick

Buick wanted to use the piece for a commercial (Come on, Buick, light my fire ). In addition to Morrison, who was traveling, the other band members had agreed. Morrison called after his return at Buick and threatened that if Buick would use the piece, he would edit a Buick with a sledgehammer at a gig. A similar scene in the film The Doors is based on this story, however, is purely fictional.

Cover versions

There are at least 138 cover versions. A well-known version is by José Feliciano in a produced by Rick Jarrard with the orchestra George Tipton version that was published July 1968. This was ranked 3 in the U.S. and Rank 6 in the UK and won a Grammy Award for best pop song of the year 1969. The song has been covered many times in the following years. So was followed in December 1968 The Lettermen, BJ Thomas released the song on his LP On My Way in December 1968 and Booker T. & the MG's published it in May 1969. Between June 1969 and April 1970 took Julie Driscoll & Brian Auger, Stevie Wonder, Jackie Wilson, the Four Tops and Shirley Bassey on the song. In addition to the style similar to the original version of The Doors cover versions such as Pearl Jam, the song was recorded in various musical styles. So there is a Krautrock version of Birth Control. , A soul version of Al Green. and a hard rock version of Led Zeppelin. A trip-hop comes from Massive Attack, and UB40 took the song with a reggae twist.

Will Young reached his published in May 2002, and related to José Feliciano version of Rank One in the UK and sold 400,000 copies. The original German makers headlines with light my fire. Thanks Feliciano and Young Light My Fire is the tablet- strongest composition of the Doors.