The Crazy World of Arthur Brown sets the music charts on “Fire” in 1968

The Psychedelic Rock classic “Fire” peaked to No.1 in the U.K on August 14, 1968

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown sets the music charts on “Fire” in 1968

“Fire” by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown was written by Arthur Brown, Vincent Crane, Mike Finesilver and Peter Ker and released as a single on June 1968 in the U.K (later in the U.S in September). The song, featured on the band’s self titled album “The Crazy World of Arthur Brown”, it’s one of the prime examples of experimental Psychedelic Rock of the late 1960’s, despite its lack of guitars or bass guitar, the song was able to distinguish itself by the lead instruments used on it, in this case Vincent Crane’s Hammond organ, augmented by an orchestral section featuring prominent brass. The song ends with the sound of a wind from Hell along with one of Brown’s trademark banshee screams. When first released, it was viewed more as a novelty song, this was due to Arthur Brown’s shock and theatrical Rock antics, which were in it’s infancy back then. During live performances and in the black and white promotional television clip, Brown performed the song wearing a burning helmet 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, however, it didn’t stopped him to keep using it in future performances, and eventually, caught up the attention of music fans and record executives. In October 1968, “Fire” reached No. 2 in the United States Hot 100 and topped several other charts worldwide, The success and influence of this Psychedelic Rock classic is reflected in songs such as “Fire” by The Prodigy or “Lunchbox” by Marilyn Manson that sampled it.

Watch The Crazy World of Arthur Brown performing “Fire” at Top Of The Pops, 1968

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