Light My Fire

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Light My Fire

  1. 1.
  2. 2. “the doors of perception”<br />Formed in Venice L.A. by drop out UCLA Film students.<br />Jim Morrison was a poet interested in opening what William Blake called “the doors of perception”<br />Many Californian students were legally experimenting with LSD which chemically alters the brain’s sensory perception<br />Musicians in the mid-60’s were looking to break the RnB boundaries of Rock<br />The Doors fused Rock, Classical and Jazz influences in this unusually lengthy track. Edited to 3 mins to create a US #1 hit<br />
  3. 3. Intro<br />Ray Manzarech (Farfisa organ & Fender keyboard bass) wrote the keyboard intro.<br />The chord progression echoes the ‘cycle of 5th’ harpsichord of classical composer Bach:<br /> /G D7 /F Bb /Eb Ab /A //<br />
  4. 4. Chord structure<br />Robbie Krieger (guitar) wrote the song structure.<br />An unusual Am7 > F#m7 in the verse<br />The chorus modulates to an uplifting:/G A /D/<br />D sus4 colours the 1st line<br />D > B7 adds drama on the 2nd<br />On “try to set the night on…fire” /G D /E7 // adds a musical climax. The low E7th acting as a pivot chord back to the Am verse/bridge<br />
  5. 5. The vocal<br />Morrison sings the simple (flat 3rd > root) 1st verse with a light touch: breathy /slight vibrato<br />The chorus lowers to his natural baritone range: E on last low “fire”<br />Slight re-phrasing with higher “time to…..” on verse 2<br />Chorus 2 hits a higher E after pause on “fire” to lift dynamics for solo<br />In the last verse Morrison lifts the dynamics singing off a high blue 7th G note<br />In the last chorus he abandons the melody to riff on a sustained D and blue notes<br />The climax: a blue 5th ‘devils note’ on “Fire…..”with a descending glissando<br />
  6. 6. Solo bridge 1.05-5.23<br />Inspired by the ‘modal’ jazz improvisational style of Miles Davis/John Coltrane<br />The harmonic structure is a simple Am7>Bm7 <br />This allows Manzerak to freely improvise on the white notes of the A minor scale<br />The sustain of the organ allows him to lean on notes and plays less percussively.<br />The organ climaxes at 2.45 with triplet parallel thirds <br />Krieger’s guitar (mid-toned Gibson SG) strays into flamenco phrasing. The E/F notes creating a particular exotic effect.<br />He avoids any string bends until the blue note triplets pattern at the climax 5.03<br />
  7. 7. Drums: John Densmore<br />Latin syncopation in the verses: Rim shots on 2 & 3a<br />The ride & snare opens up the chorus<br />A bar of 8ths on snare builds dynamics before drop back to the verse<br />A half bar of 1/16th snare followed by open hi-hats pushes the band into the solo section<br />Samba style breaks at 2.28 adds an extra Latin flavour <br />8 bars of triplets build intensity at the end of each section<br />Cool crash accents at 4.31!<br />No Latin accent in the last verse<br />Mid chorus 1/16 snare roll<br />A cheeky dropped beat in the climax stop time: 1234 123<br />1/32nd roll at fanfare.<br />
  8. 8. Wider Listening<br />Break on Through – The Doors<br /> The End - The Doors<br />Eight Miles High – The Byrds<br />Third Rock From the Sun – Jimi Hendrix<br />East West – Butterfield Blues Band<br />Milestones – Miles Davis<br />Light My Fire – Jose Feliciano <br />Light my Fire -- Shirley Bassey<br />

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