"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 United Kingdom (in August 1968) and in Canada. In October, it reached no.2 in the United States Billboard charts and no.19 in Australia. It also reached 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 organ, augmented by an orchestral section featuring prominent brass. The singer's opening proclamation "I am 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.
- Arthur Brown – vocals
- Vincent Crane – keyboards, orchestral arrangement
- Drachen Theaker – drums
Crazy World of Arthur Brown - Fire / Rest Cure
UK Track 604022 (1968).
Record produced by Kit Lambert.
The vinyl record attains a strong excellent grading, suggesting few plays.
Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.
Both record centre labels are clean and unmarked.
Both record centre labels are free from stains, tears or stickers.
The record comes with a plain white sleeve.