Published on Jun 2, 2012
From '' Ring Of Fire (Remix) ''
Label: Index Records LTD. -- 12.001
Format: Vinyl, 12"
A Ring Of Fire (Remix)
Engineer -- Jim Hill
Producer [Remix] -- Phillip Randal
B The Morricone Themes (Live)
Written-By -- Ennio Morricone
"Ring of Fire" or "The Ring of Fire" is a country music song popularized by Johnny Cash and co-written by June Carter (wife of Johnny Cash) and Merle Kilgore. The single appears on Cash's 1963 compilation album, Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash. The song was originally recorded by June's sister, Anita Carter, on her Mercury Records album Folk Songs Old and New (1963) as "(Love's) Ring of Fire".
When the song failed to become a major hit for Anita, Cash recorded it his own way, adding the mariachi-style horns. This sound was later used in the song "It Ain't Me Babe", which was recorded around the same time. Mother Maybelle and the Carter sisters are prominently featured in the Cash recording singing harmony. Cash tinkered with a few of the original phrases in Anita Carter's version of the song:
Four years after the song was released, Carter and Cash were married, which Cash states helped to stop his alcohol and drug addictions. Cash's daughter Rosanne has stated, "The song is about the transformative power of love and that's what it has always meant to me and that's what it will always mean to the Cash children.
The song was recorded on March 25, 1963, and became the biggest hit of Johnny Cash's career, staying at number one on the charts for seven weeks.
Numerous cover versions of "Ring of Fire" have been produced, the most commercially successful version being by Social Distortion, who released their punk rock version on the album Social Distortion (1990). The single reached #25 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks, 27 years after the song was first recorded by Cash. Pop punk band Bowling for Soup would later cover the song on their live album Bowling for Soup: Live and Very Attractive.
The Eric Burdon & the Animals version, recorded at the end of 1968, it failed to chart in the US. In late 1974, the Eric Burdon Band released a heavier version. In 2006, Burdon performed the song sometimes at his concerts.
A cover of the song was released as a single by Alan Jackson on December 6, 2010. It served as the lead-off single to his 34 Number Ones compilation album. His rendition of the song also features guest vocals from Lee Ann Womack. It peaked at #45, becoming his first single to miss the Top 40 since "Blue Blooded Woman" also peaked at #45 in 1990.
Dwight Yoakam also recorded a version of the song, which appeared on his debut album Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. He continues to include the song in his live performances.
The song was covered by Frank Zappa in the late 1980s, and is offered on the 1995 The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life. release showcasing a short-lived band lineup from a late-1988 tour. Zappa introduces the song by saying he'd met Johnny Cash that afternoon, and that Johnny was going to come to the show and play with Zappa and his band, but "his wife got sick." Zappa and the band proceed to play a seriously gonzo reggae version of the song, with a caricature vocal impersonation of Johnny Cash. A euphemistic take on the song's title (meaning anal/rectal discomfort) permeates the song, and a number of other numbers throughout the Best Band release. In the early 1980's, the experimental/new wave band "Wall of Voodoo" (Mexican Radio) recorded a version of "Ring of Fire" that included extended guitar and synthesizer solos. This version of song can be found on the Wall of Voodoo compilation album "Grandma's House," and can also be heard as background music in the adult film "Night Dreams." This version of the song also includes some slight rearrangement in so much as the repeating background music (layered behind the synth and lead guitar solos at the end of the song,) borrows very heavily from the repeating incidental music in the "Flint" movies, ("In Like Flint", "Our Man Flint,") starring James Coburn.
The song is sung at the Molineux by the fans of Wolverhampton Wanderers
Use in media
"Ring of Fire" ranked #4 on CMT's 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music in 2003 and #87 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The song has also been featured in some video games: the original 1963 song was featured in Tony Hawk's Underground 2, while a live version recorded in 1987 appeared in Guitar Hero 5 (which features a virtual avatar of Cash). The Social Distortion cover is a downloadable track for the Rock Band series (with the original song also confirmed for download in Rock Band 3) and is featured in Shaun White Snowboarding.
Blondie performed the song in the film Roadie (1980). The live recording was featured on the film soundtrack, and on a reissue of the Blondie album Eat to the Beat.
It is heard briefly during a scene of the 2006 film Silent Hill.
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