Song of the Week – I’m On Fire, Dwight Twilley Band


In the mid to late 70s the Dwight Twilley Band was trying to find its niche. Their brand of rockabilly influenced rock (power pop, really) didn’t have a clearly segmented audience like so many other genres of the day like southern rock, progressive rock, glam, punk or even disco/funk.

Yes, there were a few others travelling down the same road – Cheap Trick comes to mind – but to me, Twilley was closer to Springsteen in his approach.

His first album, 1976’s Sincerely on Leon Russell and Denny Cordell’s Shelter Records, contained a genuine power pop classic – “I’m On Fire”.

This song has snap, crackle and pop. Right out of the gate, the guitars sizzle and the cymbals crash. Dwight Twilley and partner Phil Seymour, two Oklahoma boys, “one up” the best of the British Invasion.

Both the song and album suffered from the poor distribution that Shelter was known for, so they never attained the popularity they deserved. But that’s what the SotW is for!

Enjoy… until next week.

6 thoughts on “Song of the Week – I’m On Fire, Dwight Twilley Band

  1. Love this song, I first heard it in a record store on 2nd Ave and bought it on the spot. The rest of the album has its moments too. I always wondered why Tom Petty did so well and Dwight Twilley didn’t. They have so much in common.

  2. Agreed all around, Gene (and Tom). An ass kicker. I had always heard this apocryphal rumor that Dwight and wide out Howard were related. I never researched it cos I was happier believing it sight unseen.

  3. I was a big fan of this, too, and wonder why Shelter (which was part of WEA, no?) had distribution problems. For me it was a sign of music of interest, always.

  4. Shelter had Tom Petty, too, and they fucked up a lot when they sold to MCA (i think it was). But, i think Denny Cordell (who played on early Dylan stuff) was the brains behind Shelter. Maybe he was one of those artists who was smart and thought he could do anything, but actually should have left the business aspect of his business to business people.

  5. Terrific interview: “The first thing he pointed out to us was we’d all sing like pussies. [Laughs] And he was right. He took a listen to my songs and said, “Dwight, he’s a talented boy but he’s too spacey, he needs some meat and taters under his belt.” And he was right about that too. “

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