Firestarter (The Prodigy song)

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"Firestarter"
song
Single by the Prodigy
from the album The Fat of the Land
Released18 March 1996
Format
RecordedEssex, United Kingdom
Genre
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)

"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 overall. 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 Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary and Norway.

It showcased Keith Flint, with punk rock-style vocals, as the group's frontman and is an important crossover song, meshing electronic beats, with industrial metal and punk rock.[citation needed]

Composition[edit]

The songwriting credits include Kim Deal of alt-rock group the Breeders, as 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. The "hey hey hey" sample is from the 1984 song "Close (to the Edit)" by Art of Noise. Then-members Anne Dudley, Trevor Horn, J. J. Jeczalik, Gary Langan and Paul Morley also receive songwriting credits. The "Empirion Mix", which does not include these samples, is credited solely to Liam Howlett and Keith Flint.

Critical reception and covers[edit]

In October 2011, NME placed it at number 52 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[4] 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."[5]

"Weird Al" Yankovic created a loose parody of "Firestarter", titled "Lousy 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.[6]

In 2004, the song was covered by Gene Simmons of KISS[7] and in 2012 by Torre Florim of De Staat.[8]

Following Flint’s death on 4 March 2019, fans used the hashtag ‘Firestarter4Number1’ on various social media platforms to replicate the song’s success by getting it to the number 1 spot again. This was done out of respect for Keith Flint and to raise awareness of suicide among men.[9]

The single also returned to the Billboard charts, entering number 13 on its Dance/Electronic Digital Songs Sales chart in its 16 March 2019 issue, marking the first time that this song has appeared on a Dance chart of any kind.[10]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Walter Stern and was filmed in an abandoned London Underground tunnel at Aldwych.[11]

Track listing[edit]

XL Recordings/Maverick/Mute[edit]

12-inch single[edit]

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

CD single[edit]

No.TitleLength
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. ^ "Q&A: The Prodigy Look Back on the Most Aggressive Career in Electronic History". 27 April 2015.
  2. ^ Browne, David (July 11, 1997). "The Fat of the Land". Entertainment Weekly. No. 387. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  3. ^ Pattison, Louis (2008). "The Prodigy Fat Of The Land Review". bbc.co.uk. BBC. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  4. ^ "150 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years". NME. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  5. ^ "The Prodigy: Their Law: The Singles Album Review - Pitchfork". pitchfork.com.
  6. ^ Gaines, Caseen (September 23, 2017). "'The Weird Al Show': The Complete Oral History". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  7. ^ "Design The GENE SIMMONS Alter-Ego: FIRESTARTER!". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. January 14, 2004. Retrieved December 26, 2019.
  8. ^ Torre Florim (DE STAAT) - Firestarter (Official Music Video) on YouTube
  9. ^ Colothan, Scott (March 6, 2019). "Prodigy fans launch 'Firestarter for Number 1' campaign in memory of Keith Flint". Planet Radio. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  10. ^ "The Prodigy Return to Billboard's Charts After Keith Flint's Death" from Billboard (13 March 2019)
  11. ^ "Video - Firestarter | Video". Musicpilgrimages.com. Archived from the original on 2016-04-21. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  12. ^ "Australian-charts.com – The Prodigy – Firestarter". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  13. ^ "Austriancharts.at – The Prodigy – Firestarter" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Prodigy – Firestarter" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Prodigy – Firestarter" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  16. ^ "The Prodigy Chart History (Canadian Digital Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 3182." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  18. ^ "Top 10 Czech Republic" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  19. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 108 (21): 67. 25 May 1996. ISSN 0006-2510.
  20. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 108 (18): 48. 4 May 1996. ISSN 0006-2510.
  21. ^ "The Prodigy: Firestarter" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  22. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – The Prodigy – Firestarter". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  23. ^ "Top 10 Hungary" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  24. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (27.4. – 3.5. '96)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). 27 April 1996. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  25. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Firestarter". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  26. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 18, 1996" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  27. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Prodigy – Firestarter" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  28. ^ "Charts.nz – The Prodigy – Breathe". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  29. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – The Prodigy – Breathe". VG-lista. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  30. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  31. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – The Prodigy – Breathe". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  32. ^ "Swisscharts.com – The Prodigy – Breathe". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  33. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  34. ^ "The Prodigy Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  35. ^ "The Prodigy Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  36. ^ "2019 Archive: Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales (March 16, 2019)". Billboard. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  37. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1996" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  38. ^ "Rapports annuels 1996" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  39. ^ "1996 Year-End Sales Charts: Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  40. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  41. ^ "Top 40 – Jaargang 32, 1996". Dutch Top 40 (in Dutch). Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  42. ^ "Jaaroverzichten - Single 1996" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  43. ^ "Årslista Singlar – År 1996" (in Swedish). Topplistan. Archived from the original on 27 September 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  44. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1996" (in German). Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  45. ^ Zywietz, Tobias. "CIN Singles 1996 – The Top 200 Singles Of 1996". Zobbel.de. Tobias Zywietz. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  46. ^ "End of Year Charts 1997". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  47. ^ a b "Prodigy" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  48. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – The Prodigy – Firestarter". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  49. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  50. ^ Copsey, Rob (5 March 2019). "The Prodigy's biggest singles and albums on the Official Chart". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  51. ^ "British single certifications – Prodigy – Firestarter". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 21 March 2014. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Firestarter in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  52. ^ "American single certifications – Prodigy – Firestarter". Recording Industry Association of America. 9 April 1997. Retrieved 28 July 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]