Fire It Up

Album: Fire It Up (2021)
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  • This is the title track to Steve Cropper's solo album, released when he was 79. Cropper first made his mark in the '60s as guitarist for the Stax Records' house band, Booker T & the MG's, which released their own material (notably the hit "Green Onions") and backed artists like Otis Redding and Rufus Thomas. In "Fire It Up," you can hear traces of the guitar licks he played on many of those soul classics he worked on, including "Soul Man."
  • Cropper's record company, Mascot, wanted to name the album after one of the song titles, so he picked this one. In a Songfacts interview, Cropper said: "I looked at the list of song titles, and 'Fire It Up' seemed to be the right one. I was like, 'Hey, we're going to 'fire it up' in 2021!'"
  • Roger C. Reale, a Connecticut musician who made an impact in the '70s with his band Rue Morgue, wrote the lyric and did the vocal. He told Songfacts: "'Fire It Up,' very straightforward. The title came immediately, and I wrote the rest around it. Sort of a call to action - let's get busy. Hopefully good days ahead, out of the darkness.

    Reale wrote and sang on all the vocal tracks on the album, working remotely with producer Jon Tiven, who was in Nashville with Steve Cropper. "I took each track as a blank slate," Reale said. "Sometimes I'd have a title right away, like this one, and sometimes I'd just start the narrative. I always went for the feel, and the idea that these words have to communicate to a listener, who could, hopefully, identify on some level... postcards from the pandemic."


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