The opening moments a churchy organ underpinning a visual image of a girl crossing herself as she gets dressed, vague impressions of a wild living thing, a good girl gone bad; reinforced by the second verse which introduces our (anti-)hero. Both consumed by this ‘forest fire’, driving and living too fast.
“I believe in love, I’ll believe in anything
That’s gonna get me what I want and get me off my knees”
The rise in tension for the ‘doo doo’ middle section which only grows for the next section:
“Hey pick you up, put you down
Rip you up and spin you round
Just like we said we would
’cause we’re a forest fire
Believe you me, we’ll tear this place down”
The way Lloyd’s voice almost breaks on the falsetto across “spin you round” breaks my heart.
The drop down into the last verse failing to resolve the tension and Lloyd’s final aside to camera “It’s just a simple metaphor, It’s for a burning love; Don’t it make you smile like a forest fire” almost convinces you he’s being too clever clever, almost makes you believe he’s trying it on to get what he wants, but the tremelo guitar solo brimming over with melodic feedback tells a different story. This guitar gently weeps. The feedback almost sings and the track burns down to the end.
There was lots of talk about Lloyd and Co making a kind of garage soul, somewhere between Lou Reed and Al Green in the press at the time. This track was the closest they came to that. Simply beautiful.