Billy Joel is sharing his thoughts on Fall Out Boy’s take on his 1989 hit “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”
In a recent interview on BBC Radio2, the “Vienna” singer said he listened to Fall Out Boy’s cover of his hit song with modern-day updates.
“Everybody’s been wanting to know when there’s going to be an updated version of it, because my song started in ’49 and ended in ’89 — it was a 40 year span,” Joel, 74, said.
He continued, “Everybody said, ‘Well, aren’t you going to do a part two?’ I said, ‘Nah, I’ve already done part one.’ So, Fall Our Boy, go ahead. Great, take it away.”
In the original track, Joel filled the lyrics with an array of pop-culture headlines spanning from 1949 to 1989. In the new release, Fall Out Boy took over where he left off and continued through the present day.
The updated track’s verses include many fun pop culture mentions like Harry Potter, Twilight, MySpace, Tiger Woods, Kanye West and Taylor Swift, Woodstock and Michael Jordan.
Fall Out Boy didn’t leave out the tragedies, either. The track includes mentions of Sandy Hook, the war in Afghanistan, polar ice caps melting, Lebanon’s explosion, George Floyd, the Boston Marathon bombing and more.
Fall Out Boy’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” was released alongside “Hold Me Like a Grudge” and “Love From the Other Side” on June 28. The band marked its release on Instagram.
“I thought about this song a lot when I was younger. All these important people and events- some that disappeared into the sands of time- others that changed the world forever,” they wrote. “So much has happened in the span of the last 34 years- we felt like a little system update might be fun. Hope you like our take on it…”
Joel originally released the song as single and it was later featured on his album Storm Front. It was nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards and became his third-ever song to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Listen to both tracks below: