On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Prodigy – Firestarter (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.
We’re leaving the US today, dear reader, and making our way over to the UK and to Braintree in Essex. It’s a second appearance on our list for Prodigy. When we rejoin them it is 1996 and they are working on their third album, The Fat of the Land, which would be released in 1997. In the run up to that record, Prodigy released their tenth single in the UK – Firestarter.
Firestarter began as an instrumental but band member – Keith Flint – heard it and said he would like to put lyrics to the music. He came up with Firestarter which is said to describe himself. His surname of “Flint” is, of course, something you can start fires with. I am embarrassed to say I had never made the connection until I researched it just now. What an idiot! Flint paints a picture of himself as wild, destructive and unpredictable in the song. You get the feeling that you never really know where you are with him, which makes Flint both appealing but also someone to be wary of.
Prodigy had already enjoyed prior success in the UK but I do remember when both Firestarter and Breathe were released in 1996 and topped the UK charts. Both songs showcased Flint’s vocal ability of sounding like a punk rocker but his voice melded with music more akin to a dance beat than the punk of the late 1970s. The band continue to this day but, sadly, in 2019 Keith Flint was found unresponsive at home, having taken his own life. He was only 49.
Favourite songs so far: