Lead vocalist Caleb Followill joked on his record label's website that "there's always been an element of sex in our music, so I thought I'd just wrap it all up in one song and be done with the sex for the rest of the record. Depending on whether a song starts with a melody or starts with lyrics, you know if it starts with a melody you just keep playing the melody over and over until you get it down and just throw in any lyrics that fit the verbal flow.
Sex On Fire was just kind of a little lyric just to fill in to kill some time until we could actually write something that wasn't about sex and fire. Caleb told MTV News: And the things that I'm seeing make it look like I'm a pervert and I'm attracted to my family. Every night after recording we'd go to a bar together, hang out and talk about what we were going to do the next day, rather than all of us going to our separate homes.
It was really a big family vibe. That's where the title comes from. It's also a reference to a poem by Edgar Allan Poe, and it has five syllables, like all of our album titles. Said the lead vocalist: I think my girlfriend hopes it's based on her. Maybe it is my girlfriend because we've had some good times together He was taking them as a result of an injury to his shoulder, following a fight with one of his brothers. The first three Kings of Leon albums were wildly popular in the UK but only modestly successful in America even though the band is from Tennessee.
In the UK, but was their first chart-topper; their previous highest position had been " Fans ," which peaked at 13 in Caleb had shoulder surgery in and wrote all of the album's lyrics while on painkillers. Drummer Nathan Followill recalled to The Sun: I would go over, listen, and say, 'Okay, cool, when did you write that? He's like, 'I have no idea. I just woke up and my songbook was open. I guess I wrote it last night'.
They'd put him on Vicodin and he was like a vegetable. The prescription said I should take a lot more than I was taking but I just couldn't do it. It was too much. But whenever I was taking them, I felt good. As soon as I started to come down, I was supposed to take another. After a while, I felt trapped. There was nothing to do and everything was kind of boring so I'd just write songs and, in the process, I really expanded my mind.
He later admitted that he lost his memories of this time. Caleb told NME magazine that he came to dumping this song without completing it. Then one day I just sang 'this sex is on fire' and I laughed. I thought it was terrible, but the rest of the band were like, 'it's good, it's got a hook. Their only previous entry on that tally had been " The Bucket ," which peaked at 23 in April After having surgery on his shoulder, Caleb was told he couldn't play guitar for eight weeks, but he ignored that advice and gave it a shot.
Since he could barely move his right arm, he had to play up on the neck of the guitar. When he started playing this way, he came up with the opening riff for this track. This reached 1 in several other countries apart from the UK, including Australia, Ireland and Finland. This was certified as the biggest selling download single ever in the UK in March , surpassing , online sales. The Daily Mirror June 12, asked Caleb if he thought this song would be the one?
People were tired of hearing about the war and politics, and Sex On Fire is a song about sex and young kids. Speaking to Q magazine, Caleb Followill revealed how the track was initially meant to be a "funny" song: That same week, Only By the Night was also in the top 10 resulting in this song achieving the rare feat of appearing on two albums, by two artists, in the top 10 simultaneously. So how do the band members explain the explicit track to their children? Turns out they've come up with a novel way.