Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on May 9, 2011 16:45:45 GMT
LIGHT MY FIRE :
The underground stations were playing the long version, six minutes and we kind of broke the three minute time barrier for a while there, which was real exciting.
Radio stations were kind of forcing each other to play the long version.
Then the record company said 'Come on,this is gonna go through the roof if you cut it for three minutes.'
So Paul (Rothschild) did it. It's not a great edit, but it did the job. And then the AM stations, after it became # 1 for so long, they started playing the long version on AM which we were excited about.
What was cut out of course was the two guitar and the piano solos, the long jazzy, Coltrain-like solos which we loved.
John Densmore Interview Rhythm & News Magazine 1995
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on May 10, 2011 10:08:18 GMT
THE DOORS: Light My Fire-- The Flames Don't Get You Much Higher
LIGHT MY FIRE -- THE MUSIC:
THE DOORS/LIGHT MY FIRE'S SIGNATURE TURNAROUND-BRIDGE:
I first heard my father jamming to Light My Fire over a decade after it original debuted. I liked it the moment I first heard it. It begins with a darkly distinctive organ intro; one which makes apparent the band didn't want to just "vamp" the beginning, but wanted to make a bold opening statement. Their solution: a carnivalesque-sounding, Bacchian circle of fifths. This intro is so distinctive, it became the Doors defining musical signature. Structurally speaking, Light My fire is a musical mixed breed; an aural patchwork quilt. It has so many musical influences it is challenging to define. When I first began listening to LMF, it sounded to me like Bach's "Toccatta & Fugue in D Minor" set to avante garde jazz. As I listened closer, I picked up a Latin groove in the Chorus, then noticed an Eastern "Ravi Shankar" influence in Krieger's power chords. This is all blended together by a hauntingly ethereal, mysterioso pedal or amp reverb that blurs the musical edges of LMF's instrument tracks like the auditory equivalent of those trippy, flashback dream-sequences Kwai-Chang Caine has in reruns of "Kung Fu."
After Ray's majestic Vox charges in, with it's tonic-in-dominant-y, church-organy, introductory G Major turnaround, the next section you hear is the 1st Verse. The melody Krieger had originally conceived of for this, seemed too "Sonny & Cher: 'I Got You, Babe,'" namby-pamby according to Ray, so Densmore used his drums to spice it up with a Latin groove. The melody line begins on an A minor, then shifts to an F# minor and ends on an E, before the 1st verse picks up the 1st chorus. Ray starts an "A minor to B minor" bass line in a "4," that continues throughout the remainder of the tune.
Robby wrote the first verse:
"You know that it would be untrue;
You know that I would be a liar
If I was to say to you
Girl we couldn't get much higher"
VERSE 1 [Translated:]
It would be pretentious for us to attempt to rationalize our settling for anything less than the unimaginable romantic bliss and sexual ecstasy I know our union would enable.
Come on baby light my fire
Come on baby light my fire
Try to set the night on fire...
They needed a second verse. Morrison says: "Give me a minute. I think, with some inspiration, I might be able to come up with something..." After swilling a couple o' pints of Coronas to help him wash down a balanced breakfast of eggs and blotter acid, he returns with the second verse (painted in day-glo acrylics on his jeans:)
"The time to hesitate is through
No time to wallow in the mire
Try now we can only lose
And our love become a funeral pyre..."
VERSE 2 [Translated:]
All we have with any certainty, is this rapidly passing instant of possibility-- Let's seize the time-out-of-mind moment forged by the soul-searing ardour of our mutual desire, lest by our questioning it, it sinks into the unstable quicksand of our own self-doubt and apprehension over what will be-- The inevitability of death renders losing inconsequential, thus, the worst fate we face is also our best fate; that our love consumes us in the fires of our own relentless passion...
Come on baby light my fire
Come on baby light my fire
Try to set the night on fire... (E)
So we've got 1st verse, 1st chorus, 2nd verse, 2nd chorus, now the song goes into the first of two solos...
APPARENTLY, I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO DERIVES BENEFIT FROM "NOTING" "MY FAVORITE THINGS..."
In various interviews, Ray mentioned the influence Jazz Saxophonist, John Coltrane had on him. We see it manifested here. Ray models LMF's jazzy interlude after John Coltrane's cover of "My Favorite Things" (not exactly "The Sound Of Music" your mother knew and loved, but yes, essentially the tune Julie Andrews sang in the movie.) By shifting Coltrane's MFT from "D minor" to "E," and its time signature from a "3" (imagine waltzing: 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3...) to a rock & roll "4," you get Manzarek's LMF solo. The left hand bass line is exactly the same: an A minor to B minor chord progression played in an ostinato pattern.
On top of the hypnotically repeated A minor to B minor bass chord structure played by his left hand, Ray uses his jazz improv-soloing right hand to vamp an exploratory, fugue-like series of scalar runs and ornamental embellishments developed from the original e-note tonality, which he stretches via modal alterations, for a dazzling 2 minutes before Krieger comes in and solos over Ray's unchanged bass line with his Eastern-sounding fretwork exploration. This continues for about 2 minutes before Ray comes back in and the two go into a 3/4 duet, with Ray's improvising right hand, doubling the serpentine exploration of Robbie's guitar' in "3," while continuing to maintain the same repeated A minor to B minor bass chord progression played by his left hand in "4." The two criss-crossing improvs crescendo into a dizzying climax and then Ray repeats his "turnaround bridge." Then the song returns to the original 1st verse, 1st chorus, 2nd verse, 2nd chorus sequence and concludes with a third repetiton of the turnaround.
So in sum, it's basically a jazz structure:
Verse, chorus, verse,chorus... state the theme; take a long solo, then come back to stating the theme again... and that, friends, is the structure of Light My Fire.
0:00 Introduction. Ray's "Door's-defining, Bacchian "Circle Of Fifths" opening organ riffs.
0:09 1st Verse. Morrison choral.
0:23 1st Chorus
0:37 2nd Verse
0:52 2nd Chorus
1:07 Solo begins (E Major.) Manzarek plays both melody and bass line; ostinato pattern and an E pedal tone in the bass, which establishes the rhythm section's feel throughout the piece. Bass chord progression remains consistent, while Manzarek improvises modally.
1:57 Manzarek continues exploratory solo, improvising with rising scalar embellishments on original modal pattern.
2:14 Manzarek begins dizzying modal crescendo.
2:42 Manzarek returns with gradual decrescendo and harmonic simplification. Continues improv, heavily emphasized by Densmore's doubling drum accents.
3:10 Manzarek returns.
3:17 2nd melodic interlude; tonic in dominant. Krieger begins rolling, raga-like exploratory guitar solo. Manzararek doubles bass line chord progression with melody line maintaining the original ostinato pattern.
3:32 Krieger plays fast rolling melodies, then shifts into a series of "bottleneck slide" trills and scalar flurries that graduate into an agitated rising crescendo.
3:45 Krieger peaks and then sustains the crescendo with a frenzied series of sliding scalar trills before slipping into a gradual tremoloing scalar descent.
4:20 Krieger abruptly crescendos a second time, then plays another series of crescendoing trills and scalar flurries that rapidly peak and decrescendo.
4:47 Coda. Manzarek begins criss-crossing modal improv with Krieger, in 3/4. They continue keying off each other, with Krieger exploring in raga-mode.
4:55 Krieger abruptly shifts into a "bottleneck slide" improv and challenges Manzarek's modal exploration for dominance.
5:10 Krieger improvises modally while Manzarek answers the challenge with a series of rapid, cascading modal scale patterns.
5:23 Densmore's drum accents come in on Krieger's side, and begin emphatically doubling the notes of Krieger's gradually crescendoing melodic riffs. Manzararek escalates the feud by doubling his bass chord progression with his right hand melody line until it matches the fury of Krieger's percussion-enhanced statement and the crescendo dramatically climaxes.
5:33 Bridge (G major.) Bacchian "Circle of Fifths" Turnaround, by Manzarek.
5:43 1st Verse. Morrison choral.
5:58 1st Chorus
6:11 2nd Verse
6:27 2nd Chorus [Extended]
6:51 Bridge --3rd and final "Circle of Fifths
July 2002 Epinions
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on May 10, 2011 10:16:38 GMT
‘Light My Fire’.......Ray had the idea for the opening part which was a real hook. Jim helped me out with some of the lyrics and the beat was John's idea.'
Robby Krieger 1972
RM: The very first one - the song is basically Robby's song. Robby wrote the first verse and chorus lyrics with chord changes 'A minor' to 'F# minor'. John dropped in the Latin rhythms and drum beats. My contribution was the organ 'intro' and the 'solo' sections and Jim wrote the lyrics for the second verse.
Ray talking to California Song Magazine 2004
“The chords in ‘Light My Fire’ are based on John Coltrane’s version of My Favorite Things. He just solos over A minor and B minor, which is exactly what we did. Coltrane had played with Miles on Kind of Blue and took the idea of modal soloing over one or two chords farther out than anybody. He was a real pioneer - he just kept evolving, going where no one had ever gone. He could always attain this state of ecstasy when he played. Live, there was so much energy, you couldn’t believe it. He would play for hours. It was indescribable.”
The basic melody, lyrics and chord progressions all came from Robbie, but the resulting hit is a perfect example of the Doors' group approach to crafting and arranging their material.
As the group first played the song, Ray was feeling it began too abruptly. Asking Robbie, Jim and John to take a break, he worked on an introduction.
As the other three went for a stroll on the beach Ray perfected the quasi-classical swirl of chords that would become the musical signature of the Doors.
John added to it further by using a modified Latin beat for the verses before breaking into a straight-ahead rock approach for the chorus and the solos. He also came up with a simple but distinctive piece of drumming genius..... the single snare drum crack that heralds Ray's intro.
Robby was short of a verse so Jim added the poetic darkness of 'wallow in the mire' matching it with 'funeral pyre' to complete Robbie's first effort.......Rothchild later mentioned to Morrison that was his least favourite part of the song unaware that it was the only section Jim had contributed to..... and there it was - the song which would catapult The Doors into Legend.
from Moonlight Drive: The Story Behind Every Doors Song by Chuck Crisafulli
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Jul 29, 2011 15:42:18 GMT
LMF hits #1 in the Billboard chart on this day 29th July 1967 in the US.
This is Elektra's first #1 single.**
it may have hit #1 first on the 25th via Cashbox chart***
The song went unnoticed in the UK until 1968 when it was a massive hit for Jose Feliciano
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Nov 18, 2011 10:46:52 GMT
"LMF is the typical Doors song. Somebody would come in with the basic idea and then everyone would go to work on it.
Robby brought in the basic chord structure. Jim put on the second verse, I put the intro in and John put the Latin beat to it and the hard four-on- the- floor for the 'come on baby light my fire' chorus. I also did the A minor to B minor solo section.
We all thought let's just make it like Coltrane. let's just go.
That's how a typical Doors song was created."Ray Manzarek
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Feb 2, 2012 22:18:58 GMT
NO. 25: 'LIGHT MY FIRE' BY THE DOORS
F OR THE MOST PART, THE 1960S belonged to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, but 'Light My Fire' from The Doors' 1967 album helped the US music scene recapture some of its lost glory and propelled the band from musical footnote to cultural icons. "If it weren't for that song," muses guitarist Robby Krieger ,"we probably would have never recorded another album." It was that crucial a composition.
Lyrically, Krieger and singer Jim Morrison hoped that the song would mean different things to different people. 'Light My Fire' could mean light a match, a cigarette or a joint. It could be about a sexual experience. The band enjoyed keeping their lyrics universal and having different levels of meaning.
"Anything else would just be talking imagination away from the listener," explains Krieger now. But the song stood the test of time not for its lyrical content or message, but for its often imitated, but never duplicated guitar riff.
"I wrote the song on guitar," explains Krieger. "The chords were there first, but as we played it with the band my guitar part changed. The solo in the middle is what most serious guitar players learn first. It's amazing to me and I've never heard anybody do it perfectly. I don't even think I do it perfectly. It was a one-time thing. It was improvised and it's not something you play note for note every time."
After the song became a hit for The Doors, it was recorded by Jose Feliciano with a different arrangement and saved his fledgling career from extinction.
"It shows you the power of that song," smiles Robby. "People just went nuts for it. It was just something about the way the chords went together or maybe the words. I wish I knew.
I've been trying to write another one like it ever since. Unfortunately, commercialism has ruined music.
People use music for money instead of art. The thing about The Doors is that we were more of an underground group that people felt they discovered personally.
There's something about Morrison that makes everybody think he's their best friend, and the music does the same thing. That's why I think we've endured."
Classic Rock Magazine April 2001
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Feb 22, 2012 10:09:56 GMT
From Follow The Music #11
Every one of us was positive that ‘Break On Through' was going to be a hit record on some level.
It received polite but modest airplay, but didn't make it onto the Top 100. It “bubbled under” and stalled at Number 106. I did not want to lose even the slightest momentum. I decided to go immediately with a second single, ‘Light My Fire.'
The full album version was seven and a half minutes long, way beyond the tolerance of Top 40 radio, but it was being played—and requested—on FM in a number of widely scattered stations in solid markets like New England, New York and of course, the entire West Coast, which is where FM rock really got started. This was enough airplay to give us a sure sense of spontaneous interest. The issue was—should we leave it at seven minutes plus and go on hoping? Or, if we shortened it, would that make the critical difference? Would that break it on AM?
Of course the Doors would be against cutting it and you couldn't blame them.
They said, “Forget it. It can't be cut.” The era of purity—when it's there, it's done. I defended that position for about ten minutes, and then Jac said, “Paul, you're a great editor. You can find something,” And within half an hour I had a cut. I called the Doors up before I played it for Jac and said, “Listen to this.” And amazingly, when I said, “Should we ship?” they said, “Sure, put it out.”
PAUL WILLIAMS: Crawdaddy Magazine
I was in the Elektra office with Paul, and he showed me the splices in the tape. He had a little glass thing that allowed you to see the magnetic impulses on each of the four tracks on the tape. I had never heard of it anywhere else in my life, but Paul showed me and said, “I cut this right here, cut this out, and with this little device I could see how to link them up.” He was so proud of these razor blade cuts he had made and that it worked so well. And he played it for me. So that's a little moment of history.
For extra punch in the monaural singles version, Paul and Bruce mixed through the Dolby noise reduction system and then elected not to “resolve” the tape, leaving it in its stretched form. It sounded just right on AM radio.
‘Light My Fire' was like nothing ever heard before. And the Doors as a group were strange and dangerous. There were sections of the country that had no idea what to make of them. When they toured, no one knew what or who to expect.