Fire – Ohio Players | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1) & R&B (#1 for 2 weeks); 1975

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

The Ohio Players story dates back to 1959 when the band was known as Robert Ward & the Untouchables. Several name and many personnel changes later, the band – now known as the Ohio Players – notched a #1 R&B/#15 Pop hit with Funky Worm in 1973.

Skin Tight, their first album for major label Mercury, just missed the pop Top 10 the next year, and yielded their biggest single to date in the title tune. When time came to record a follow-up LP, the Players took a month off from touring and took up residence in Chicago’s Paragon Studios.

Even before the vocals were recorded, one track stood out: Fire. When Stevie Wonder heard the instrumental track, he pronounced it a winner. Fans agreed.

In early 1975, it topped both the R&B and Hot 100, and Fire (the album) did likewise on its chart. The only downside to all this success? Fans began setting fires in hotel rooms, especially those establishments where the Ohio Players stayed.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Ohio Players

Lyrics Written by:

  • Billy Beck
  • Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner
  • Marshall “Rock” Jones
  • Ralph “Pee Wee” Middlebrooks
  • Marvin “Merv” Pierce
  • Clarence “Satch” Satchell
  • James “Diamond” Williams