Shirley Bassey does a better version with her cover of Light My Fire than The Doors, who wrote it….
I have never been a massive fan of The Doors, mainly it has to be said because of my huge antipathy towards their idolised singer Jim Morrison, or The Fat Misoginyst Junkie Alcoholic Who Died In The Bath In Paris as I prefer to think of him. However I do love their song Light My Fire – mainly because of all the cover versions of it which are improvements on the original.
Shirley Bassey’s version of Light My Fire was the 1st one I came across, back in the early 90s whilst working at a record store ( Fopp) in Leamington Spa. It was on a compilation album of songs from the Blue Note jazz record label which had been sampled on hip-hop tracks (if you’re interested, Shirley Bassey’s version of Light My Fire has been sampled by everyone from 50 Cent to Peanut Butter Wolf). The stand-out song was undoubtedly Dame Bassey’s big band cover of the rather insipid Doors track, making it feel more like the greatest James Bond theme ever than a cover of a popular 60s rock song.
Whilst I delight in variety, and get bored if I only listen to one genre of music (whether its’s jazz, hip-hop, whatever) there is something about this song that makes me wish that every piece of modern music sounded like Shirley Bassey covering Light My Fire. It starts off with some great accoustic guitar, a gentle drum beat joins, and then what sounds like John Barry’s personal brass section kicks in. Shirley obviously belts the lyrics out and the whole thing is a delight.
Someone else obviously thought so as my copy of Blue Break Beats vol. 3 was stolen and Shirley’s version of Light My Fire left my life. But then, a couple of years ago I picked up a promo copy of the Best of Sampled (the compilation series which highlights the tracks that others have used as samples), and all is right with the world again. I’ve just checked and iTunes also stock Light My Fire by Shirley Bassey, so there are no excuses. Chuck the crap Jim Morrison version away now!