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] The title and lyrics were subject of controversy in the UK because of their violent nature. The music video further boosted these controversies.

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 Flint and to raise awareness for suicide in males.

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.[9]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Walter Stern and was filmed in an abandoned London Underground tunnel at Aldwych.[10]

Track listing[edit]

XL Recordings[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. ^ http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/design-the-gene-simmons-alter-ego-firestarter/
  8. ^ Torre Florim (DE STAAT) - Firestarter (Official Music Video) on YouTube
  9. ^ "The Prodigy Return to Billboard's Charts After Keith Flint's Death" from Billboard (13 March 2019)
  10. ^ "Video - Firestarter | Video". Musicpilgrimages.com. Archived from the original on 2016-04-21. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  11. ^ "Australian-charts.com – The Prodigy – Firestarter". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  12. ^ "Austriancharts.at – The Prodigy – Firestarter" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  13. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Prodigy – Firestarter" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Prodigy – Firestarter" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  15. ^ "The Prodigy Chart History (Canadian Digital Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  16. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 3182." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  17. ^ "Top 10 Czech Republic" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  18. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 108 (21): 67. May 25, 1996. ISSN 0006-2510.
  19. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 108 (18): 48. May 4, 1996. ISSN 0006-2510.
  20. ^ "The Prodigy: Firestarter" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  21. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – The Prodigy – Firestarter". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  22. ^ "Top 10 Hungary" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  23. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Firestarter". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  24. ^ "Hit Parade Italia – Indice per Interprete: P". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  25. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 18, 1996" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  26. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Prodigy – Firestarter" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  27. ^ "Charts.nz – The Prodigy – Breathe". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  28. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – The Prodigy – Breathe". VG-lista. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  29. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  30. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – The Prodigy – Breathe". Singles Top 100. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  31. ^ "Swisscharts.com – The Prodigy – Breathe". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  32. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  33. ^ "The Prodigy Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  34. ^ "The Prodigy Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  35. ^ "2019 Archive: Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales (March 16, 2019)". Billboard. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  36. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1996" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  37. ^ "Rapports annuels 1996" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  38. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  39. ^ "Top 40 – Jaargang 32, 1996". Dutch Top 40 (in Dutch). Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  40. ^ "Jaaroverzichten - Single 1996" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  41. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1996" (in German). Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  42. ^ Zywietz, Tobias. "CIN Singles 1996 – The Top 200 Singles Of 1996". Zobbel.de. Tobias Zywietz. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  43. ^ "End of Year Charts 1997". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  44. ^ a b "Prodigy" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  45. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  46. ^ Copsey, Rob (5 March 2019). "The Prodigy's biggest singles and albums on the Official Chart". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  47. ^ "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.
  48. ^ "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]