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."
Steve Perry's girlfriend Sherrie Swafford was actually in the studio when Perry began writing this song--his lone Top Ten hit as a solo act--with two co-writers. The trio began at midnight one night with just "Oh, Sherrie!" and "hold on, hold on." Three hours later, they had a complete song. Swafford, however, had to wait until the next day to hear it. "Sherrie actually got tired and went to bed," Perry said. She also appeared in the video, but their relationship did not hold on for long.