Baby's on Fire
|"Baby's on Fire"|
|Song by Eno|
|from the album Here Come the Warm Jets|
|Recorded||Majestic Studios, London|
|Genre||Art rock, glam rock, noise rock|
Writing and recording
Eno recorded "Baby's on Fire" during the Here Come the Warm Jets sessions in September 1973 at Majestic Studios, London, where he had previously recorded the majority of his earlier material. The track was produced by Eno, who handled production and mixing duties on the bulk of the album's recording, and was created with musicians Simon King, Marty Simon, Robert Fripp, Paul Rudolph, and John Wetton. The song is a bizarre fantasy about a photography session involving a burning infant and unthinking, laughing onlookers.
Live recordings of the song have appeared on various Eno recordings, the first being June 1, 1974, performed with Kevin Ayers, John Cale, Ollie Halsall and Eddie Sparrow. Eno spoke positively about this performance, saying, "The instruments were incredibly out of tune, so out of tune you wouldn’t believe it. But it sounds fantastic. There’s one little bit in it where there’s a riff between the guitar and one of the bassists, and they’re so out of tune it sounds like cellos. Amazing! I mean if you tried to make that sound in the studio it would have taken you ages. You wouldn’t have thought of making it, in fact, it’s such a bizarre sound. And the piano and guitar are quite well out of tune as well. Ha!"
The album version of "Baby's on Fire" is 5 minutes 19 seconds long. The song begins with a tense high-hat and bass line, along several different kinds of electronic sounds. Eno's vocals enter after this, being described as "nasal" and "slightly snotty." Following this first section of lyrics there is a 3 minute guitar solo by Robert Fripp and Paul Rudolph with shifting drum beats as backing; Eno's vocal returns as the song ends. The last line sung by Eno is, "The temperature's rising, and any idiot would know that." In the 801 Live version performed by 801, the last line says, "But any idiot could see that!"
Release and reception
"Baby's on Fire" has received positive reviews from critics, mainly noting the guitar solo. Douglas Wolk of Blender described the song as "a two-note wonder built around an all-hell-breaks-loose guitar meltdown by King Crimson’s Robert Fripp", while Chris Ott of Pitchfork Media called the track "earth-shattering". "Baby's on Fire" was featured prominently in the 1998 film Velvet Goldmine, with vocals provided by the film's star, Jonathan Rhys Meyers. There has been discussion in the last decade as to whether the solo is actually Paul Rudolph, or some combination of Fripp and Rudolph. 
- Eno – vocals, synthesizers, guitar treatments, keyboards, instrumental arrangements
- Robert Fripp – guitar
- Simon King – drums
- Paul Rudolph – guitar
- Marty Simon – percussion
- John Wetton – bass guitar
- Brian Eno – producer, mixer
- Chris Thomas – mixer
- Derek Chandler – recording engineer
- Denny Bridges, Phil Chapman, Paul Hardiman – mixing engineers
- Arun Chakraverty – mastering
- Here Come the Warm Jets (Vinyl back cover). Brian Eno. Island Records. 1973. ILPS 9268.CS1 maint: others (link)
- Tamm, 1995. p. 110
- June 1, 1974 (Vinyl back cover). Kevin Ayers, John Cale, Eno & Nico. Island Records. 1974. ILPS 9291.CS1 maint: others (link)
- Tamm, 1995. p. 48
- Huey, Steve. "Here Come the Warm Jets album review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
- Huey, Steve. ""Baby's on Fire" review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
- Wolk, Douglas. "Brian Eno : (various reissues) Review on Blender :: The Ultimate Guide to Music and More". Blender. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
- Ott, Chris (13 June 2004). "Brian Eno: Here Come the Warm Jets / Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) / Another Green World / Before and After Science". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2015-09-24.
- "imdb.com - Velvet Goldmine". Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- http://www.headheritage.co.uk/headtohead/unsung/topic/1193/#18. Missing or empty
- Tamm, Eric (1995). Brian Eno: His Music and the Vertical Color of Sound. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80649-5.