Friday, February 19, 2010

Light My COVER CLASH #2!

Today is the second installment of EDAS' Favorite series, Cover Clash. Today's contest will be alittle different in that it is a Three-Way, Triangle Death Match... The winner becomes enshrined forever in the Every Day, Another Song: Cover Clash Hall of Fame for the battle over... LIGHT MY FIRE!

In the Red Corner...
The OG's of "The Fire," Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robbie Kreiger and some other dude (least famous member, drummer John Densmore), collectively known as The Doors.

The second single from their 1967 debut album really helped them "Break On Through" since it was the first ever Elektra Single to hit number 1, selling over a million copies. The real story with The Doors' version stems from a performance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1967 where Mr. Sullivan demanded that Morrison and Company omit the lyric "Higher" since at that time you weren't allowed to use such broadly defined English words with any vernacular connotations on TV. In "The End" for whatever reason, Jim Morrison sang the original lyrics and The Doors were subsequently banned from The Ed Sullivan Show forever. Morrison's Response: "Hey man, so what? We just did the Ed Sullivan Show"

In the Blue Corner...
Representing the World Music Team. Puerto Rican born, but Spanish Harlem raised, Jose Feliciano.

This version, released just two years after the original on his album Feliciano, catapulted the Latin Guitarist to worldwide stardom. He even won two Grammy Awards, one for "Best New Artist" and the other for his version of "Light My Fire" which actually took home the trophy for "Best Male Pop Song." In my opinion, Feliciano's success comes from his delicate balance between expressing his own Latin-Blues style, and maintaining the integrity of the original Doors song. His non-American influences really contribute to what separates his recording from the hundreds and maybe thousands of covers that are out there. Regardless of this Cover Clash outcome, Jose's album is amazing and features more covers including selections from The Beatles and The Mamas & The Papas, so don't be surprised if we come across him again.

And finally, the Third Challenger in this Three-Way Battle, in the GREEN Corner...

The Reverend... Al Green
Al Green is definitely one of my favorite singers/stories. Originally a tail chasing Soul Singer, Green turned into a man of God when an affair with an already married woman became a nightmare. Although she was already hitched, she allegedly dowsed him in boiling hot grits when he refused to marry her, giving him third degree burns over much of his body, before killing herself inside his Memphis home in 1974. Al Green took this experience as a message from God that he had to clean up his ways and straighten up. The Irony is that earlier in the year, Al Green had climbed the charts with his hit single, "Let's Get Married." CRAZY! Nevertheless, Green's gospel infusion probably helped the longevity of his career as he is said to have sold more than 20 Million Albums worldwide. His version of "Light My Fire" comes in the years before his metamorphosis, off his 1971 release, Al Green Gets Next To You. The best part of his song, contrary to Feliciano's attempt, is the complete lack of Doors integrity. The song is slowed down to the max and carried exclusively by Green's Memphis style Soul, the uniqueness of which makes this song a valid competitor to its successful predecessors.

Who gets the Gold and the Glory this time? Listen and Vote!

The Doors Original Version (1967)

Jose Feliciano's Version (1969)

Al Green's Version (1971)

Who does it best?

Song #79/ Cover Clash #2: Light My Fire

Cover Clash #2: Light My Fire


  1. I don't think it's fair to to include the original song whilst voting against it's covers. Most of the time the original would win.....It's so good that other artists had to cover it! Next time you should only pit cover songs against each other.