Singer Tom Meighan commented to The Guardian May 29, 2009 on this song that lurches in mood, tempo and rhythm. He described it as flipping out; if the song were a person, he would be nice, "then he's got a hammer in his hand the next minute."
This was the lead single from English alternative band Kasabian's third studio album West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum.
Kasabian were named after Linda Kasabian, the young pregnant girl who drove the car in which Charles Manson and his family escaped after the Tate-LaBianca murders. She subsequently was the star witness at their murder trial.
British director W.I.Z helmed the song's music video. He previously worked on the clips for Kasabian's "Empire" and "Club Foot" singles. Guitarist Serge Pizzorno explained the video on the record label's website: "We did that with W.I.Z. in South Africa. We wanted to get the look and feel of small town America, and it was easier to shoot over there than go to the States. We filmed it in this small town a hundred miles outside Cape Town. A totally mental shoot. There was a school next door, so there would be two hundred kids watching us, queuing up for autographs. The whole idea is that we're stealing the music back from the people who are out to ruin it - I think we all know who we're talking about. W.I.Z. is a genius at drawing people's personalities out on camera - he did it brilliantly with Tom on the 'Empire' shoot, and he did it again with 'Fire.'"
Pizzorno told the NME June 13, 2009: "I love the schizophrenic heart of this song. The verses are almost like a psychedelic Elvis, before it explodes into the chorus."
This won the award for Song of the Year at the 2010 Mojo Honours List.
Pizzorno told NME January 15, 2011 why he believes this has become such an anthem: "Of all the things I wanted to do in a band, the biggest was making a modern-sounding pop song, but one that has nothing to do with how you make a catchy pop single. If you listen to it, it's really out there, but everybody digs it as well. Everybody. And there's not many that have ever got away with that. That was the great thing about the song."
Pizzorno, who wrote the song, told NME it's about the inexplicable moments in life when "luck is on your side," whether it's throwing double sixes at the craps table or kicking a soccer goal.
Meighan has different ideas about the song's theme: "It's sexual, isn't it? It's about bondage and being whipped and being seduced, I suppose."