Firestarter (The Prodigy song)

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"Firestarter"
Firestarter Prodigy.jpg
Single by the Prodigy
from the album The Fat of the Land
Released 18 March 1996
Format
Recorded Essex, United Kingdom
Genre Techno,[1] rave[2]
Length
  • 3:45 (edit)
  • 4:42 (album version)
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Liam Howlett
the Prodigy singles chronology
"Poison"
(1995)
"Firestarter"
(1996)
"Breathe"
(1996)
"Poison"
(1995)
"Firestarter"
(1996)
"Breathe"
(1996)

"Firestarter" is a song by the British band The Prodigy, released on 18 March 1996. It was the first single from their third album The Fat of the Land, and their tenth single. It was also the group's first number-one single on the UK Singles Chart, staying on top for three weeks, and their first big international hit, also reaching number one in Finland and Norway. It featured Flint's punk rock-style vocals which showcased him as the group's frontman. The title and lyrics were subject of controversy in the UK because of their violent nature. The music video further boosted these controversies. In 2004, the song was covered by Gene Simmons of KISS and in 2012 by De Staat.

Composition[edit]

The songwriting credits include Kim Deal of alt-rock group The Breeders. The looped wah-wah guitar riff in "Firestarter" was sampled from The Breeders' track "S.O.S." from the album Last Splash. The drums are sampled from a remix of the song "Devotion" of the group Ten City. Because of the use of a sample from a 1984 single "Close (to the Edit)", songwriting credits also list Art of Noise's then-members: Anne Dudley, Trevor Horn, J. J. Jeczalik, Gary Langan and Paul Morley. The "Empirion Mix," which does not include these samples, is credited solely to Howlett and Flint.

Critical reception[edit]

In October 2011, NME placed it at number 52 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[3] Writing for pitchfork.com in 2005, Jess Harvell said, "'Firestarter' sounds like Trent Reznor in one of his all-too-rare moments of self-aware humor, like the Bomb Squad at +5 with a pink-haired British bulldog bellowing about how tuff he is."[4]

"Weird Al" Yankovic created a loose parody of "Firestarter", titled "Bad Haircut", for an episode of The Weird Al Show; he could not do a full parody of the song as the network CBS did not want to pay royalties to The Prodigy.[5]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Walter Stern and was filmed in an abandoned London Underground tunnel at Aldwych.[6]

Track listing[edit]

XL Recordings[edit]

12-inch single[edit]

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Firestarter" 4:40
2. "Firestarter (Instrumental)" 4:39
Side two
No. Title Length
3. "Firestarter (Empirion Mix)" 6:45
4. "Molotov Bitch" 4:51

CD single[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Firestarter (Edit)" 3:45
2. "Firestarter (Empirion Mix)" 7:48
3. "Firestarter (Instrumental)" 4:39
4. "Molotov Bitch" 4:51

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Browne, David (July 11, 1997). "The Fat of the Land". Entertainment Weekly. No. 387. Retrieved October 9, 2017. 
  2. ^ Pattison, Louis (2008). "The Prodigy Fat Of The Land Review". bbc.co.uk. BBC. Retrieved October 9, 2017. 
  3. ^ "150 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years". NME. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "The Prodigy: Their Law: The Singles Album Review - Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. 
  5. ^ Gaines, Caseen (September 23, 2017). "'The Weird Al Show': The Complete Oral History". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 15, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Video - Firestarter | Video". Musicpilgrimages.com. Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  7. ^ "Australian-charts.com – The Prodigy – Firestarter". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  8. ^ "Austriancharts.at – The Prodigy – Firestarter" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Prodigy – Firestarter" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  10. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Prodigy – Firestarter" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  11. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  12. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 108 (21): 67. May 25, 1996. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  13. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 108 (18): 48. May 4, 1996. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  14. ^ "The Prodigy: Firestarter" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  15. ^ "Musicline.de – Prodigy Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  16. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to Know". Irish Recorded Music Association. Archived from the original (enter search parameter The Prodigy into Search by Artist box, then select Go) on July 21, 2011. Retrieved July 28, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Hit Parade Italia – Indice per Interprete: P". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 18, 1996" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  19. ^ "Charts.org.nz – The Prodigy – Breathe". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  20. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – The Prodigy – Breathe". VG-lista. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  21. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – The Prodigy – Breathe". Singles Top 100. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  22. ^ "Swisscharts.com – The Prodigy – Breathe". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  23. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  24. ^ "The Prodigy Chart History (Hot 100)" Billboard. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  25. ^ "The Prodigy Chart History (Alternative Songs)" Billboard. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  26. ^ "Top 40 – Jaargang 32, 1996". Dutch Top 40 (in Dutch). Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved July 28, 2012. 
  27. ^ Zywietz, Tobias. "CIN Singles 1996 – The Top 200 Singles Of 1996". Zobbel.de. Tobias Zywietz. Retrieved July 28, 2012. 
  28. ^ "End of Year Charts 1997". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017. 
  29. ^ a b "Prodigy" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved July 28, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved July 28, 2012. 
  31. ^ "British single certifications – Prodigy – Firestarter". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 22, 2014.  Enter Firestarter in the search field and then press Enter.
  32. ^ "American single certifications – Prodigy – Firestarter". Recording Industry Association of America. April 8, 1997. Retrieved July 28, 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"XL5" by Kaunis peto
Finnish Singles Chart number-one single
13/1996 - 18/1996
Succeeded by
"Children" by Robert Miles
Preceded by
"Velvet" by Velvet
Norway Singles Chart number-one single
13/1996 - 16/1996
Succeeded by
"Children" by Robert Miles
Preceded by
"How Deep Is Your Love" by Take That
UK Singles Chart number-one single
24 March 1996 - 13 April 1996
Succeeded by
"Return of the Mack" by Mark Morrison