Talking Heads – “Burning Down the House” Live
Fightin’ Fire With Fire!
“Burning Down the House” was written by David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Jerry Harrison, and Chris Frantz. It was the first single of Talking Heads released in July 1983 for their fifth studio album “Speaking in Tongues.” Although it didn’t receive that much radio airplay, it did have plenty of exposure on MTV thus making this the band’s biggest hit.
“This song started from a jam,” says bassist Tina Weymouth in the liner notes of Once in a Lifetime: The Best of Talking Heads. “Chris (Frantz, drummer) had just been to see Parliament-Funkadelic in its full glory at Madison Square Garden, and he was really hyped. During the jam, he kept yelling ‘Burn down the house!’ which was a P-Funk audience chant, and David dug the line, changing it to the finished version, ‘Burning down the house’.”
BUT the initial words to the song were different since David Byrne was looking for the right phrases to fit the rhythms and it’s the main reason why the lyrics didn’t make a lot of sense. They were after the groove of a feel-good song and it didn’t really matter what they wrote.
- Number 9 in the US Billboard Hot 100
- Number 6 in the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks
I guess they did burn the house with this one!