Light My Fire

June 4, 2024

This month I’m focusing on Rock Songs of the 60s.

Today our song is:  Light My Fire

Wikipedia tells us this about the song:

"Light My Fire" originated in early 1966 as a composition by Robby Krieger, who said that he was inspired by the melody of "Hey Joe" and the lyrics of the Rolling Stones' "Play with Fire". On taking his initial composition to the band, John Densmore suggested that it should have more of a Latin rhythm, Jim Morrison wrote the second verse and part of the chorus ("Try to set the night on fire"), while Ray Manzarek added the Bach-influenced introductory organ motif; Densmore also suggested that it should open with a single snare drum hit.

The band started playing the song in performances in April 1966, and extended it with a jazzy improvisation. When the Doors performed the song at live concerts, Manzarek played the song's bass line with his left hand on a Fender Rhodes Piano Bass, while performing the main keyboard lines on a Vox Continental using his right hand. When they came to record the song later in the year, producer Paul A. Rothchild brought in session musician Larry Knechtel to overdub a Fender Precision Bass guitar to double the keyboard bass line. Rothchild also suggested that the recording repeat the introductory motif at the end of the track.

Although the album version was just over seven minutes long, it was widely requested for radio play, notably by Los Angeles DJ Dave Diamond, and Elektra Records owner Jac Holzman asked that a shorter version be released as a single. Despite the band's reluctance,] Rothchild edited a single version, cut down to under three minutes with nearly all the instrumental break removed for airplay on AM radio.



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