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."
Adele included this song, which she wrote with veteran songwriter and producer Ryan Tedder, on her second album, 21. The singer admits that the tune was her own way of responding to people in her inner circle who fell prey to the stories and lies that began to circulate about her all over the media when she became a household name. “People might think it's about blogs and magazines and papers, but it's not,” she said. “It's about my own friends believing stuff that they hear about me, which is pretty mortifying, really.”