It's approaching the end of my week at home, and as usual, everything starts to grate on my nerves. My mom never stops talking, my brother just jacked up my iPod so I have nothing to listen to on the plane, and my dad attacked me with his blues music. So bascially a regular visit home.
But I did discover that there are several great versions of "Light My Fire":
First up, the original by the Doors. I grew up to my dad bustin' out the organ part at the beginning every time my mom left the house. It was part of his stock of kind of bluesy stuff he'd play on the piano when there was barely anyone in the house. Too bad this song doesn't end. I like organ (as you well know), but the solo just goes on forever! However, the lyrics about love becoming a "funeral pyre" makes more sense coming out of Jim Morrison's mouth than anyone else.
This second one I discovered last night while my dad blues-attacked me. This is Jose Feliciano's version from the late '60s. A blind guitarist from Puerto Rico, he got #3 Billboard hit and helpd earn him some Grammy noms for his album Feliciano!. And apparently he's also the guy who wrote "Feliz Navidad"*. Recently, some Will Young guy did a cover exactly like this one, so I'm not including it here because it's not as tenderly Latin and way too Euro-pop. So thanks, Jose Feliciano, for an actually beautiful cover of such a haunting song.
I'm leaving my favorite for last: Stevie Wonder's version. This is early Stevie when his songs were so upbeat and Motown-y. I think this version reveals what a good melody the song is without getting bogged down in creepy organ solos or lyrics about funeral pyres. It just replaces those things with strings and harmonica solos! It's so catchy! And proves that blind guys make the best song covers!
*A Spanish class classic everywhere.