‘Light My Fire’: Is the very best Doors cover, ever, by Shirley Bassey?
01.22.2013
03:10 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
The Doors
Shirley Bassey


 
Well, I think it is.

When my wife and I got together and our record collections were merged, I was pleased to see that I was marrying a fellow Shirley Bassey fan. We were in firm agreement on the Welsh songbird’s cover of The Doors’ “Light My Fire” from her 1970 comeback album, Shirly Bassey is Really Something. Both of us had used it DJing. I don’t know about Tara, but it was something I played all the time. As in every time I DJ’d. Every single time.

Shirly Bassey is Really Something was, and still is, an album that you can find for between 25 cents and a dollar in virtually any used record store. It’s amazing, an A+ album, in my opinion. Considering that nearly all of the songs are cover versions—albeit skillfully selected ones—it’s a pretty cohesive listening experience. Aside from “Light My Fire,” she does the best version of George Harrison’s “Something” this side of Frank Sinatra, as well as incredible takes on “Easy to Be Hard” (from the musical Hair), Blood, Sweat & Tears’ “Spinning Wheel” and what is probably the definite performance of Michel Legrand’s “What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life,” one of the most powerful love songs ever written, and made all the better with that amazing voice of hers. (The only other version that’s anywhere near as good as Bassey’s comes from a similarly powerful “belter,” Scott Walker).

“Easy to Be Hard”:
 

 
Below, Shirley Bassey performs “Light My Fire,” backed by a large orchestra, on her 1973 All About Shirley TV special and just kills it:
 

 
“Something”:
 

 
The remarkable “The Sea and the Sand”:
 

 
“Spinning Wheel,” 1976:
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger

 

 

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