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."