Released: 13th March 1989
Recorded: Recorded and mixed at Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver, Sept. – Nov. 1988.
Producer: Bob Rock
Label: Beggars Banquet, Sire
- Automatic Blues
- Messin’ Up The Blues
- Fire Woman (LA Rock Mix)
- Fire Woman (NYC Rock Mix)
"This song is about a fiery femme fatale." Ian Astbury explains: "It's more of a universal symbol. More of an archetype. It's about elemental primary symbols. That's definitely a universal symbol."
IA: Similar to “She Sells Sanctuary,” in a sense, referring to the power of the matriarch. It’s a song of sexual power and spirited expression. It’s a very produced song. It came out of the same gene pool as “She Sells Sanctuary” and “Love Removal Machine.” If you look at all those songs, they have a very similar arrangement. I think that [producer] Bob Rock coming in at that time really gave us this… Well, Bob Rock’s production values were certainly quite different than Rick Rubin’s. Maybe more in harmony with Steve Brown’s, because these were guys who were musicians, they could play instruments, they could sit down with the band and play through songs. All the production values came up in many ways, I think.
The song evolved out of a desire to try and create something more than we’d created ever before. We wanted to create a bigger sound, a bigger statement. The title “Fire Woman” is quite a statement. It’s a very powerful, sexual, and energetic statement. I think we were feeling our youth and our prowess at that time, and that song really came out of that environment. It was a huge pop moment for us. Our biggest pop moment, in many ways. It was definitely a rock ’n’ roll song, but it had such popular success. I mean, it was never off MTV. I think we looked a certain way at that time. Well, certainly I looked a certain way: my hair was straight and black. I dressed in a certain way; I’d almost become like a character. People would mimic me, and they’d expect me to turn up in a cowboy hat, long, straight hair, and black leather trousers—which was pretty much my uniform. It’s what I wore every day: a t-shirt and black leather jeans. They got pretty stinky, but I used to wear them every day. I lived that life authentically.
It was our first real attempt at trying to create something for the commercial market. But not consciously, if that makes sense. We were definitely in a career at that point, and that’s when I felt that things weren’t… They didn’t really fit for me. It’s interesting, ’cause people still identify really strongly with that period and image, and they expect to see it when you come out. But then they see a guy in his late 40s that’s bearded and a bit burly. They go, “Whoa! What happened to the skinny 26-year-old kid?” [Laughs.] I grew up! I’m a man now! My balls dropped! I lived the life. And I’m still living the life, but you can’t sustain it at that level. I don’t know who can. That’s one of the myths of eternal youth, the whole “live fast and leave a young corpse” mindset. It would’ve been interesting to see what happened to Kurt Cobain if he’d lived on. Or Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones or Janis Joplin, etcetera, etcetera. Andrew Wood. How these guys would’ve aged and how they would’ve dealt with it. We look at our Bob Dylans and Neil Youngs and see how incredibly gracefully they’ve aged. They don’t seem to have missed a beat. In fact, certainly in the case of Neil Young, his teeth have gotten sharper. He’s like an old tiger. I mean, Le Noise is a phenomenal record. It’s such a scathing record. The sonics on it just pin you to the wall. And Bowie, he’s probably my biggest hero, and I look at him and the records he was making, like Heathen, which I love. It’s a brilliant record. I think, “My God, if that’s what lies ahead, then I’m down for this.” [Laughs.] I’m down to make noise like that.
(from The AV Club interview w/ Ian Astbury - jun 7, 2012)
* Fire Woman - Rare official 1989 Canadian CRIA certified GOLD award issued to commemorate sales in excess of 50,000 units of the Vertigo/Beggars Banquet single. The award features the CD artwork alongside a copy of the CD single, above a custom engraved presentation plaque which is dated June 1989 and a 'Certified Gold' plaque with CRIA logo. This framed and glazed award measures 15" x 15"
Fire Woman, 7", AUS, BEG228
Fire Woman, 7", AUS, BEG228, company sleeve w/ jukebox titlestrip
Fire Woman, 7", CAN, 888 778 7
Fire Woman, 7", GER, 112 099, promo, stamped label 'unverkaufliches muster'
Fire Woman, 7", GER, 112 099
Fire Woman, 7", S-AFR, VS763, Gallo (Africa) Ltd. Recordcompany sleeve
Fire Woman, 7", S-AFR, VS763, South African Broadcasting Corporation, plain sleeve + labels
Fire Woman, 7", UK, BEG228, w/ promo stciker + press pack (black BB folder)
Fire Woman, 7", UK, BEG228, w/ promo sticker and press release sheet
Fire Woman, 7", UK, BEG228, white label 'stamped' w/ stickered plain sleeve
Fire Woman, 7", UK, BEG228, mislabelled, both sides 'Automatic Blues'
Fire Woman, 7", USA, 927 543 7
Fire Woman, 7", USA, 927 543 7, double A-side w/ picture sleeve
Fire Woman, 12", CAN, 888 778 1
Fire Woman, 12", CAN, 888 778 1, w/ limited edition container 'Sonic Temple Collection' - sealed
Fire Woman, 12", CAN, DJV 334, promo, double a-side, Edited/Album Version
Fire Woman, 12", GER, 612 099
Fire Woman, 12", ITA, VI PRO 32, 2-track promo sampler w/ b-side Boy George "Don't take ...."
Fire Woman, 12", ITA, VINX234, promo - free sample, perforated sleeve 'campionw gratuito'
Fire Woman, 12", UK, BEG 228T
Fire Woman, 12", UK, BEG 228T, white label promo, stamp on cover and vinyl
Fire Woman, 12", UK, BEG228TP, Limited Edition w/ patch, stickered German sleeve
Fire Woman, 12", UK, BEG 228TR, LA Rock Mix/NYC Rock Mix
Fire Woman, 12", USA, PRO A 3435, promo, Billy from Sonic Temple on cover
Fire Woman, 12", USA, 921195-0
Fire Woman, CDS, CAN, 888 778 2, sealed blisterpack w/ free Sonic Temple Collection container
Fire Woman, CDS, CAN, 888 778 2
Fire Woman, CDS, OOS, 662 099
Fire Woman, CDS, UK, BEG 228CD, promotional use only cd, white cardboard
Fire Woman, CDS, UK, BEG 228CD, 3" cds special pack black wallet #653 w/ 3"cds ´Edie´ - BEG230CD
Fire Woman, CDS, USA, 2-27543, 12" x 3" long pack picture sleeve
Fire Woman, CDS, USA, 2-27543, 3" cds
Fire Woman, CDS, USA, PRO-CD-3435, promo
Sonic Temple Collection - 3LP,12", CAN, Ltd. Ed.No.3554:
- Fire Woman, 12", 888 778 1, CAN
- Edie (Ciao Baby), 12", 87 4699 1, CAN
- Sweet Soul Sister, 12", 842 281 1, CAN
Sonic Temple Collection - 3CDS, CDS, CAN, No.3797:
- Fire Woman, CDS, 888 778 2, CAN
- Edie (Ciao Baby), CDS, 87 4699 2, CAN
- Sweet Soul Sister, CDS, 842 281 2, CAN
Sonic Temple Collection - 3 TAPES w/ container and 3 inserts (available through mail order only), CAN:
- Fire Woman, TAPE, 888 778 4, CAN
- Edie (Ciao Baby), TAPE, 87 4699 4, CAN
- Sweet Soul Sister, TAPE, 842 281 4, CAN
Fire Woman EP, TAPE, CAN, 888788-4, 5 track cassingle, 1st of 3 part ST-collection
MISCELLANEOUS FIRE WOMAN