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Song Stories

“Fire”

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown | 1968

From its opening declaration "I am the god of hellfire," "Fire" was one of the strangest one-shot psychedelic rock hits, Arthur Brown alternating between croons and operatic squeals as he sang his ode to raging blazes amid demented organ swirls. Brown performed the song onstage in a helmet of fire, which led to a life-threatening situation when a crewman poured lighter fluid over the singer at the 1967 Windsor Jazz Festival. "When he lit it, I commenced to incinerate," he reminisced in Rolling Stone. "People from the audience had to pour beer over me to put out the flames."

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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