independent

Monday 22 July 2019

Retro Top Ten: This week in 2002

Will Young: ‘Light My Fire’ was one of his four number one hits
Will Young: ‘Light My Fire’ was one of his four number one hits

Jim Hayes

Music afficionados cannot be happy that of all the versions of the 'Light My Fire' - including the original - only Pop Idol series one winner Will Young's take on the classic made it to number one in the UK charts.

Young's slowed-down version of the Doors' signature tune was released as his second single in 2002. It sold almost 180,000 copies in its first week and stayed at No. 1 in the UK for two weeks.

The original, recorded by the Doors in 1966 and included on their debut album in 1967, ran to almost seven minutes. It was deemed too long for radio play but some US radio stations started playing it anyway because of requests from listeners. A heavily edited version was then released as a single and while this did top the charts in the US, it barely registered on the chart in the UK, peaking at 49.

Famously, the Doors caused controversy when they performed 'Light My Fire' on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1967. Sponsors objected to the line 'girl, we couldn't get much higher' and, despite agreeing to sing 'girl, we couldn't get much better' instead, Jim Morrison reverted to the orginal line in the live performance. Ed Sullivan did not shake his hand as he left the stage and the band were later told they would never appear on the show again.

In 1991, 20 years after the untimely death of Jim Morrison, aged just 27, 'Light My Fire' was re-released thanks to a revival of interest generated by Oliver Stone's film biopic 'The Doors'. This time the original finally gained some traction in the UK charts, reaching number 7. In Ireland, the reissue soared to No. 1, staying there for two weeks.

'Light My Fire' is ranked at number 35 in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.

Will Young's 'Light My Fire' was inspired by perhaps the best-known cover version of the song - Puerto Rican singer and guitarist José Feliciano's 1968 recording which reached number 3 in the US and kickstarted his international career.

'Light My Fire' was one of four numbers hits Will Young enjoyed in 2002/2003, but the hits have been few and far between in more recent years.

 

1 Light My Fire Will Young

2 Without Me Eminem

3 Just A Little Liberty X

4 We're On The Ball Ant and Dec

5 If Tomorrow Never Comes Ronan Keating

6 It's OK Atomic Kitten

7 Be Cool Paffendorf

8 Blurry Puddle of Mud

9 Dove (I'll Be Loving You)m Moony

10 Kiss Kiss Holly Valance

Gorey Guardian

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