Light My Fire

He must’ve ate the chileh.

Moping because the weekend is over?  Well, I guess you could switch to having a midweek weekend like I have… or assuming your boss is one of those old fashioned people who don’t believe in working on days that start with an S, maybe The Nest can at least make your Monday a little cheerier.  That’s the day we flip through the Rolodex looking for another lost contact buried in that filing cabinet from hell we like to call the Dusty Vinyl Archive!  DJ Scratchy wants you to take it easy today, so there’ll be no need to take dictation for this largely wordless song… while the Sponkies are busy hanging up pictures of their mum in the cubicle.  This should make your coffee break more enjoyable…

When The Beatles broke up in 1970 after a decade of reigning as the most groundbreaking band in rock music, a lot of people were wondering if anyone would be able to fill the large shoes of John, Paul, George and that drummer guy.  It was an almost impossible challenge to rise to, but one group did emerge as a potential heir apparent… who at least continued to push the boundaries of what pop music could be.  That would be Jeff Lynne’s group with the very bizarre name Electric Light Orchestra

I do hope I’ll be getting some of the royalties.

It’s such a stupid band name, that most people just called them ELO.  That’s E-L-O, not “ee-low,” which would sound even more idiotic.  Anyway, they had a whole slew of hits in the 70’s with their unique fusion of rock, pop and Beethoven.  They had a very interesting B-side instrumental that led off their 1975 album Face the Music which was never a hit anywhere, but may very well sound familiar to you because it’s had a second life as commercial background muzak.  Here’s ELO’s “Fire on High”…

“Fire on High” starts off like some kind of creepy track you’d find on a Halloween soundtrack to scare the neighbor kids away from your front door.  The strange sounding “chant” you hear during the first minute is actually a case of backmasking, or intentionally reversing an audio track so it plays backwards.  That’s drummer Bev Bevan telling you that “The music is reversible, but time is not.  Turn back!  Turn back!  Turn back!  Turn back!”  Yeah, whatever dude.  Make sure to keep smoking the same stuff when you write your next album…

And who says time isn’t reversible?

It takes until almost three minutes into the song for the familiar melody to surface that you’ve probably consciously or unconsciously heard a number of times in your life, but it makes up a good chunk of the second half of “Fire on High,” and it’s pretty nifty.  This song’s almost like a patchwork of musical snippets… making it much more deserving of the name Frankenstein than that other more famous instrumental that was a hit a couple years before ELO realized they couldn’t turn back time.

Did I just make you think of a slutty Cher strutting in front of a bunch of horny sailors? Of course I did.

I’ll be back next Monday with another lost song whose lack of popularity is hopefully reversible…

About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
This entry was posted in Dusty Vinyl Archive and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Light My Fire

  1. I did not know this song… but I like it… who knows how much gems are hidden between all that wrecking balls and beaver dams?

    • There’s all kinds of good stuff in between the hits on albums not done by that die-namic duo. I miss the days when a song didn’t need to have words to be a hit…

  2. I always liked this – that is after the first few minutes of “stuff” that really only served to highlight how good the rest of the music was. It’s interesting in many ways including the fact as you said that it’s like a bunch of different types of music and ideas sewn together in a musical patchwork quilt. ELO had a lot of innovative ideas.


    • Their hits really run the gamut of different styles, and of course, this song alone kinda does that as well. Anyone can be good in one genre, but it takes a lot of talent to be successful in many different styles.

  3. Piglove says:

    Lowers head. Nope. Not for me. I kept waiting for something but something never happened. Snorts with piggy laughter. XOXO – Bacon

  4. Alas I am not familiar with this song but enjoyed the orchestration once it got past the opening.

    • It got a little play on the FM stations around here, which is the only reason I know about it. A pretty neat little tune from an era when songs didn’t need to have words to be a hit…

  5. LOVE Fire on High! It is my favorite song by ELO. It is hard to get past the weirdness at the beginning but then the instrumental is awesome! This is not typical earworm as there are no words.. lol! Hope you had a good weekend! 😉

    • I often earworm myself with these songs, and have had that instrumental bit going through my head a lot the last couple days. So I say that even a song without words can get stuck in your head!

      • Yes.. that has happened to me as well. But not this song. It would be ok though since I like it. It’s those songs I can’t stand that will get stuck!! *groan* 🤪

  6. crimsonowl63 says:

    Um, no one has been the “new Beatles”. Not even if some of their chart records are being broken AFTER 50 YEARS! You know perfectly well “the drummer” is Ringo Starr! Just trying to get Mers goat. Which is tied up in the yard.
    Okay the song. What was the A side of this? Just curious. I love Revolution 9 (number 9, number 9), but this? I don’t know. I think it might sound better if I listened more. I love ELO. They have a good sound. But today, I do not like it, Sam I Am.

    • Merbear74 says:

      My goat is in the bathroom bff!!! Help…send help.

    • I only said “the heir apparent,” as there will never be another Beatles. I do know one of the lads (Maybe John before he was murdered) complimented ELO once by saying they are what the Beatles would have sounded like in the 70’s had they not broken up…

      The article on the song I looked up mentioned it was the B-side for two different songs depending on if you had the UK or US single. The former A-side was “Livin’ Thing” and the latter A-side was “Sweet Talkin’ Woman”…

  7. Trisha says:

    Very interesting. It is like a patchwork of snippets of different songs put together. It had been many, many years since I had heard or thought of the Electric Light Orchestra!

    • The station I listen to only plays “Don’t Bring Me Down,” and I miss hearing all their other hits on the old classic rock station. I’m particularly fond of “Turn To Stone”…

  8. Merbear74 says:

    And then Jeff Lynne befriended George and formed The Traveling Wilbury’s.
    Full circle.

  9. Thom says:

    Played this album constantly. Love it.

  10. ody N biskit… food servizz gurl had thiz album…loved it 🙂 thanx for de trip down memoree lane 🙂 ♥♥

  11. On Friday, someone used the word “rolodex” and someone else said “DAD, NO one has a rolodex.” All he did was sigh.

  12. This was fun. My 18 year old and I drove from California to Nebraska last summer (and back.) Yes indeed we had our ELO playing full blast. Good times for folks of every age.

  13. draliman says:

    Amazing song (once again, Alexa to the rescue). I have a double greatest hits album somewhere. Not sure if this song is on it or not.
    How come I’m liking some of your Monday song picks these days? I only used to like the songs you hate…

  14. I too had to go directly to the tube of you to play this.

    Most strange but in a wonderful sort of way!

Jabber Away...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s