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Home > Hits Menu > Hits List > "FIRE AND RAIN" by JAMES TAYLOR > Summary
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Song Author: James Taylor
Year Recorded: 1970
Fire and Rain

Released February 1970 - Producer Peter Asher.

"Fire and Rain" is a folk/rock song written and performed by James Taylor.

As a song on his second album, Sweet Baby James, the song engendered widespread attention for him.

The album was released in February 1970, with the song being released as a single the following February.

"Fire and Rain" quickly rose to number three on the Billboard hot 100 charts.

It was soon covered by Anne Murray, on her album Honey, Wheat and Laughter, also in 1970.

Moody and introspective, "Fire and Rain" became something of a prototype for the singer-songwriter genre that would boom in the few years following its release.

Its apocalyptic imagery proved provocative to would-be interpreters.

The sparse arrangement, centered on Taylor's ringing acoustic guitar figures, came to represent Taylor's signature sound, and was influential among other performers.

"Fire and Rain" is in the 227th position on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Taylor has related different versions of what the song is about.

About the song:

He chronicled his experiences in mental institutions, such as his stay in McLean Hospital in Massachusetts as a Senior in high school, and the suicide of a friend.
The fire in the song refers to his shock therapy. Rain is the cold showers that follow shock therapy.