Shirley Bassey – Light My Fire

Example

Miss Shirley Bassey

Example

Listen/Download – Shirley Bassey – Light My Fire – MP3

Greetings all.
I hope the new week finds you all well.
By the time you read this I ought to be back on my feet after a few unpleasant days in the hospital (thanks to a stubborn infection and the ensuing fever).
The tune I bring you today was planned for the end of last week, but the hospital firewall prevented me from accessing my server, or the WordPress switchboard, so it was not to be.
The last time I was down in DC (with the family) I managed to get in some digging at Som Records. One of the records I pulled out of the bins was one that I had been seeking for a long time, mainly for the version of ‘Spinning Wheel’ (ofen funky in unfunky hands).
Anyway….I walked up to the counter and my man Patrick saw the Shirley Bassey LP and noted “There’s a great version of ‘Light My Fire’ on there.”
OK, I thought. Two good tracks on one LP, I’ll take it.
I had no idea.
The version of ‘Spinning Wheel’ is funky, but since my man DJ Prestige covered it a while back over at Fleamarket Funk, I figured I’d write up ‘Light My Fire’.
When I got home and dropped the needle on the tune in question, my immediate response was:

HOLY CRAP!?!?

I mean, seriously…my fave version of LMF has always been the one by Rhetta Hughes on Tetragrammaton. It’s a little masterpiece of dynamics, sex and grooves.
As soon as I heard Shirley Bassey’s version, Rhetta moved down one spot.
Bassey’s version starts out with a slinky guitar line, then drums and bass, and then, like producer Johnny Harris was trying to know people out of their seats, the whole fucking orchestra drops in at double volume and you’re all like “Wha???”
Shirley comes in with a typical, stylish vocal, and things keep moving along nicely.
Then the band comes back in for an instrumental interlude, with icy washes of strings, pounding drums. Then Shirley comes back in for the big finish (almost) with Harris and his band taking it out BIG.
I’ve heard that the version on the ‘Johnny Harris Movement’ LP (sought after by collectors of beats and such, since it was sampled) is pretty much the same track, without the vocals.
Either way, wait until dark, snuggle up with your significant other and let this one rip.
I am not responsible if your couch gets broken.

Peace

Larry

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for another iconic Woodstock performance.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

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11 Responses to “Shirley Bassey – Light My Fire”

  1. alejandro Says:

    Holy Crap, you’re right…terrific. Thanks-a-million.

  2. halfhearteddude Says:

    That is great. Light My Fire really lends itself to cover versions. Minnie Riperton’s is very sexy indeed (though her flirtation with José Feliciano maybe not so much), but my favourite is the version by Julie London. I don’t know how old Julie was when she recorded it, but, my goodness, her version is dripping with sexual desire.

    Who needs the turgid original by the turgid Doors when there is such a wealth of great covers?

  3. stevoarrivo Says:

    Damn right – not often Cardiff’s finest gets a mention! This version is awesome – have had this album for many years and the whole thing is fantastic…

  4. Tony C Says:

    Totally agree Larry.I collect as many versions of this as I can and this one is way up there.Havn’t heard the Julie London though.If you havn’t heard Stevie Wonder’s you are in for another treat!!!
    Sorry to hear about the infection.Hope all is well now though.

  5. Planet Mondo Says:

    Both Killer Cuts – Tom Jones Venus and Sugar Sugar are good companion pieces – and on my blog somewhere if you fancy grabbing..

  6. David Says:

    …& I thought I was the only person who was collecting LMF covers. Must admit I saw Shirley Bassey had done a version & avoided it but you opened my ears & mind Larry & a big thank you for that. I’m with Tony C on the Stevie Wonders version also much enjoy Erma Franklins & of course Al Greens. For a downright dirty version have you heard Tami Lynns?

  7. Eli Reed Says:

    Hey Larry,

    I’m an avid reader of your blog and love all the stuff you’re posting. I was wondering if you’re aware of the Brooklyn Soul Festival that I’m putting on along with the guys from Dig Deeper. It’s this weekend (Friday and Saturday) and the lineup is unbelievable:

    Friday, August 28th

    Hermon Hitson
    Roscoe Robinson
    Barbara Lynn

    Saturday, August 28th

    Maxine Brown
    Otis Clay

    I hope to see you there!

    -Eli

  8. Jeff Says:

    PM is right on about those Tom Jones covers. I prefer “Venus” to “Sugar Sugar.”

    A couple of other good covers on this Shirley Bassey LP are the Beatles’ “Something” and “Easy To Be Hard” from the musical “Hair” (and Three Dog Night).

  9. frankai Says:

    …struggling between this one ,and the tammi lynn version (bgp rec. 45)
    the ananda shankar version might be the host of the contest.

  10. djmp45 Says:

    young holt unlimited version is not bad either…that shirley bassey id a cheap bin classic here in the uk…been sampled a lot as well
    nice 1

  11. Guy Magic Says:

    A hot selection indeed…

    Now my sofa is ruined thanks to you and Shirley!

    You’re the best Larry.

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