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The Crazy World of Arthur Brown were an influential English psychedelic rock group formed by singer-songwriter Arthur Brown in 1967. Their song “Fire” (released in 1968 as a single and on the group’s only album) was one of the more famous one hit wonders in the U.K. of the 60s. Their sound and transgressive stage act contributed much to the development of heavy metal.
Sadly, their line-up practically dissolved on U.S. tour in 1969. Vincent Crane and Carl Palmer left to form Atomic Rooster, Sean Nicholas went on to Khan (as Nicholas Greenwood), and Theaker to Love and then Rustic Hinge. Brown himself went on to form Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come. He’s continued to record and perform for several decades.
Brown gained his nickname as ‘The God of Hellfire’ from his raucous performances of “Fire” (in which he screams the line) and other tunes. The band, with their dark tone and psychedelic hard rock style, is considered a major forerunner of the heavy metal style later picked up by Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and others as well as of the shock rock style of artists such as Alice Cooper. Also, “Fire” continues to receive major airplay as well as placement on many multi-artist single compilations.