Fire On High
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|"Fire On High"|
|Single by Electric Light Orchestra|
|from the album Face the Music|
|Released||29 October 1976 (UK)|
February 1978 (US)
|Genre||Art rock, progressive rock |
4:01 (US single version)
United Artists (UK)|
United Artists (US)
|Electric Light Orchestra singles chronology|
|Face the Music track listing|
The song was the UK B-side to the band's worldwide hit single " Livin' Thing", issued in blue vinyl. It was also later included — in an edited form minus the backwards vocals — as the flip side of the United States hit single " Sweet Talkin' Woman" in 1978.
The album version contains an opening with a backwards message; in reverse, a masked heavy voice (that of ELO drummer Bev Bevan) says, "The music is reversible, but time is not. Turn back! Turn back! Turn back! Turn back!". Ostensibly, this was Jeff Lynne's shot at backmasking hysteria, after satanic allegations were made against their song " Eldorado" by fundamentalist Christianity members.  Snippets of Messiah by Handel can be heard during the album opening as well.
Despite being almost entirely instrumental, the song's title can be faintly heard near the end of the track by the chanting chorus. During the beginning of the song, the instrumental takes inspiration from the Dies irae.
"Fire on High" was used as the opening theme for the CBS Sports Spectacular TV show in the mid-1970s. Currently, it is the opening and closing theme to "The Diner with Lou Simon," a weekly music-related talk show on SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
- Jeff Lynne–guitars
- Bev Bevan–drums, spoken intro (backwards)
- Richard Tandy–piano, moog synthesizer
- Kelly Groucutt–bass
- Mik Kaminski–violin
- Hugh McDowell–cello
- Melvyn Gale–cello
- Louis Clark, Jeff Lynne, Richard Tandy–orchestral and choral arrangements
- Louis Clark–orchestral conductor
- Murphy, Sean (27 March 2017). "The 100 Best Classic Progressive Rock Songs: Part 2, 80-61". PopMatters. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
- Big Secrets: Chapter 26, pages 200, 203, 204, 205 & 206. 0-688-04830-7
- "Astrosphere". Funtown Splashtown USA.