"Light My Fire" is a song by the Doors from their debut album, recorded in August 1966, and released in January 1967. It reached number one on the Billboard pop Singles Chart in 1967, and was then re-released in 1968, peaking at number 87. The song was written by Robby Krieger (music/lyrics), although credits are usually given to "the Doors". Keyboardist Ray Manzarek added the introduction.
The song depicts a couple "getting high", which can be understood as an allusion to sexual passion but is also a street term for people's euphoric feeling when they get high; which prompted television host Ed Sullivan to ask the group to modify the lyrics if they wanted to sing it on their show. Initially the band agreed, but at the time Jim Morrison ignored and sang the original lyrics.
"Light My Fire" has been versioned by countless figures, both on records and in live performances. The versions that stand out are those of Astrud Gilberto, Will Young (whose version reached number one in the United Kingdom), Amii Stewart (number 6 in the United Kingdom in 1979, and number 8 on the remix of 1985), José Feliciano (Grammy in 1969 by the best pop song of the year), Nancy Sinatra, Julie Driscoll & the Brian Auger Trinity, Santana, Shirley Bassey, Cibo Matto, Divided, UB40, Massive Attack, Amorphis, Hide, Minnie Riperton, Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Ananda Shankar and Train (appears in the compiled Stoned Immaculate: The Music of The Doors). Even Old Hollywood divas like Marlene Dietrich and Mae West have sung it.
"Light My Fire" is a good example of psychedelic rock, and marks the basic principles of what will be the jazz rock of the Seventies, but always grounded in blues. A good example of this are the long and, apparently, improvised solos (for this reason the song was shortened from seven to three minutes for its radio version). His harmonic progression and sticky rhythm (particularly Ray Manzarek's introduction) made him sell quickly in pop markets.
Particularly noteworthy is an appearance by the Doors on The Ed Sullivan Show. They were asked to change certain parts of the lyrics, specifically the line "baby, we couldn't have placed ourselves any better" to "girl, we couldn't have done much higher" to"girl, we couldn't get much better", to make it more suitable for a "coast to coast" audience. The band promised to do so, but according to Jim Morrison, he forgot to change the lyrics at the last moment, and sang the original version. He attributes this fact to being very nervous.6 regardless of the applause from the audience, Ed Sulivan was so upset that he refused to shake Morrison's hand as he walked off stage, and the band was barred from appearing on the show again. Morrison commented, " Hey, we just did the Sullivan show."