Miss Shirley Bassey
Listen/Download – Shirley Bassey – Light My Fire – MP3
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:
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.