On July 29th, it will be 50 years since the Doors hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart with “Light My Fire,” one of the biggest songs from the Summer of Love and the band’s best-selling single of all time. Rhino will commemorate the 50th anniversary a day early with the release of a limited edition reproduction of the 7″ single that was released in Japan in 1967.
Limited to just 7,500 vinyl copies, Light My Fire will be available on July 28th. The sleeve replicates the artwork that was unique to the original Japanese release and contains the original A and B sides: the single edit of “Light My Fire” and the album version of “The Crystal Ship.”
Guitarist Robby Krieger wrote most of Light My Fire, which also happened to be the first song he ever wrote. The track – along with the Doors’ first single “Break On Through” – helped fuel the band’s early success and made stars of Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, and Krieger.
Released in May 1967, Light My Fire was the second single from the Doors’ eponymous debut, a multi-platinum classic that’s considered by many today to be among rock’s finest debut albums. The song entered the Billboard chart on June 3rd, and after a few weeks it had climbed to the top, reaching number one on July 29th. Both Light My Fire and the Doors’ debut album have been inducted in to the Grammy Hall Of Fame.
In September 1967, the song was at the center of controversy when the Doors performed Light My Fire live on The Ed Sullivan Show. Instead of altering the lyric “girl, we couldn’t get much higher” to appease the show’s producer, Morrison sang the original live. The incident ended any possibility of the group returning to the show, but it became part of the band’s legend and a memorable expression of its rebellious spirit. When producers informed The Doors that they had been banned from the show in the future, Morrison reportedly replied, “Hey, man, we just did the Sullivan show.”