Ohio Players

Fire

Composed by Billy Beck / Clarence "Satch" Satchell / James "Diamond" Williams / Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner / Marshall "Rock" Jones / Ohio Players / Ralph "Pee Wee" Middlebrooks

Song Review by

Because of the success of the number one R&B/number 15 pop hit "Funky Worm," the Ohio Players were able to parlay a recording contract with Mercury Records. Though in the interim, the group's lineup changed, with Walter "Junie" Morrison leaving for a solo career that included label stints at Eastbound, Columbia, and Island. The keyboardist duties were taken over by Billy Beck. The band would try out new grooves while performing to gauge the audience's reaction. That's how "Fire," one of their biggest hits, got started. They recorded the song at Mercury's Chicago-based studio located in the Marina City complex downtown. While performing in California, the band let Stevie Wonder hear the basic track of "Fire," and he thought that it had the makings of a number one hit. Like Wonder's "Living for the City," "Fire" incorporated street sound. "Fire" went to number one R&B for two weeks and number one pop in late 1974. The Fire LP sparked the number one spot on both the R&B (for five weeks) and the pop charts, while yielding the number six R&B/number 44 pop ballad "I Want to Be Free," the radio-aired LP track "It's All Over," and the assaultive "What the Hell."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Fire 1974 Def Jam / Island / Mercury 4:36
No Image 1975
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
Gold 1976 ISLAND MERCURY 4:24
No Image 1991
Various Artists
Priority
Soul Hits of the '70s: Didn't It Blow Your Mind!, Vols. 1-15 Sampler 1991
Various Artists
Rhino 3:12
Sounds of the Seventies: Seventies Top Forty 1992
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:14
Inkwell [Original Soundtrack] 1994
Original Soundtrack
Warner Bros. 3:15
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Life Times & Music 3:16
The Best Funk Album in the World..Ever 1995
Various Artists
Virgin 4:24
No Image 1995 Def Jam / Island / Mercury / Universal Distribution 4:34
Dance Fever: Hits of the 70's 1995
Various Artists
Universal Special Products / PSM 4:31
From Hip to Hop, Vol. 2 1995
Various Artists
Orchard Lane 4:33
MVP Classic Funk, Vol. 1 1996
Various Artists
MVP Records 4:33
Overpowered by Funk 1996
Various Artists
Renaissance Records 4:24
Ol' School 1996 Castle Music Ltd.
And They Danced the Night 1996
Various Artists
Debutante 3:15
Jam 1996
Jam
Universal 11:00
Only Soul 1970-1974 1996
Various Artists
Rhino / Essex 3:15
Old School, Vols. 1-5 1996
Various Artists
Thump Records
Great R&B Funk Bands: The Hits of the 70's 1997
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 4:31
Funk of the 70's 1997
Various Artists
Chronicles / Polygram 4:33
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:17
Bring on Da Funk, Vol. 4 1998
Various Artists
Platinum Entertainment / Intersound 10:39
Old School Mega Mix, Vol. 3 1998
Various Artists
Cold Front Records / K-Tel Distribution 4:24
Sweet Sticky Thing 1998 CEMA Special Markets
Pure Funk 1998
Various Artists
Island/Def Jam / PolyGram 3:30
New York Yankees Greatest Hits, Vol. 2: The Dream Season 1998
Various Artists
Atlantic 3:25
VH1 8-Track Flashback: Classic 70's Soul 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 3:17
Bring on Da Funk, Vol. 5: Da Jams 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Entertainment / Intersound 10:37
Greatest Hits 1999 Universal
That '70s Show Presents That '70s Album: Jammin' 1999
Various Artists
Volcano Records 4:30
20th Century Disco 1999
Various Artists
Insight (3)
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Ohio Players 2000 Mercury 4:32
Legends of Music: Soul of the 70s, Vol. 1 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Legends of Music Collection 3:18
Soul Train: The Dance Years 1975 2000
Various Artists
Rhino 3:17
Jammin' Gold 2000
Various Artists
Q Records / Atlantic 4:31
The New York Yankees Collection 2001
Various Artists
Alphabet City 3:25
New England Patriots: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Alphabet City 4:16
DJ Masters: Slammin' Jams 2001
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 4:23
Funk from Da Old School 2001
Various Artists
DM Records 3:18
New Millennium Funk Party 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 3:14
Love Funk, Vol. 2 2002
Various Artists
Hip-O 4:34
Funked!, Vol. 2: 1973-1977 2002
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 4:27
Ultimate Power of Body & Soul 2002
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:18
Essence of Soul 2002 2002
Various Artists
J Records 4:31
Disco Triple Set 2002
Various Artists
Spectrum Music
Original Artist Hit List 2003 Compendia Music Group / Intersound 11:10
No Image 2003
Various Artists
X-Media Records
Soul '70s: Boogie Down 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 4:31
Old School Funk Jams 2003
Various Artists
Thump Records 4:25
No Image 2003
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
On Tour 2003 Mastersong 11:08
No Image 2004
Various Artists
Universal / USM 3:14
Ultimate Funk [Madacy] 2004
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 4:30
Oldies But Goodies: 13 of the Best 70's Funk 2004
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 4:32
Best Of Soul [Madacy Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 4:31
Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous 2005
Original Soundtrack
Warner Home Video 4:31
Funk Comes A-Live 2005
Various Artists
Intersound 8:25
Love Rollercoaster: Anthology 2005 Goldenlane / Cleopatra 4:34
Ultimate 16: Funk Masters 2005
Various Artists
Madacy 4:30
Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous [DVD/CD] [Widescreen] 2005
Original Soundtrack
Warner Bros. 4:31
Funk Classics of Soul 2006
Various Artists
KRB Music 6:01
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Funk, Vol. 2 2006
Various Artists
Universal International 4:28
We Got the Funk [Time Life] 2006
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:13
And They Danced the Night Away: 72 Pure Disco Classics from the 70s & 80s 2006
Various Artists
Polygram 3:15
Essential Playlist: 20 Non-Stop Hits! Funk 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 3:10
The Greatest R&B Hits of All Time 2006
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 4:30
Skin Tight/Fire 2007 Beat Goes On 4:33
Old School Funk Celebration 2007
Various Artists
Thump Records 4:25
Number 1's: '70s Soul 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:31
Live! 2007 KRB 5:46
Best of Funk [Madacy] 2007
Various Artists
Madacy 3:10
Monster Party [KRB] 2007
Various Artists
KRB Music 3:15
True Funk 2007
Various Artists
Universal 3:15
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 4:30
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Brunswick / Universal
The Mercury Years 1974-1978 2007 Universal 4:37
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 4:08
Gold [2008] 2008 Island / Island/Mercury / Mercury 4:35
The 70s Collection 2008
Various Artists
Brunswick 4:33
The Best of 1975: 20th Century Masters 2008
Various Artists
Strategic Marketing 4:35
Super Freak: Halloween Dance Party 2013
Various Artists
Universal 3:30
Icon 2014 Mercury / Universal 4:33
Complete Funk, Vol. 1
Various Artists
DMC
French Riviera Cafe, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Def Jam / Island / Network / Universal 3:14
No Image
Various Artists
Metacom 4:33
Old School Gold Box Set
Various Artists
Thump Records 4:20
Soul Hits of the 70s: Didn't It Blow Your Mind!, Vol. 14
Various Artists
Rhino 3:18
Sweet Soul Music: 23 Scorching Classics From 1974
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 4:33
That's Disco: 60 All-Time Classics
Various Artists
Polygram TV
The Best of Disco & Funk
Various Artists
Universal 4:27
No Image
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:15
No Image
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:15
blue highlight denotes editor's pick