Baby's on Fire  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

"Baby's on Fire" is the third track on English musician Brian Eno's 1973 debut album, Here Come the Warm Jets. It is an example of the predominantly glam/art rock style Eno employed at the time, praised for its guitar solo by King Crimson member Robert Fripp.

Contents

Writing and recording

Eno recorded the "Baby's on Fire" during the Here Come the Warm Jets sessions in September 1973 at Majestic Studios, London, where he had previously recorded the majority of his earlier material. The track was produced by Eno, who handled production and mixing duties on the bulk of the album's recording, and was created with musicians Simon King, Marty Simon, Robert Fripp, Paul Rudolph, and John Wetton. The song is a bizarre fantasy about a photography session involving a burning infant and unthinking, laughing onlookers.

Live recordings of the song have appeared on various Eno recordings, the first being June 1, 1974, performed with Kevin Ayers, John Cale, Ollie Halsall and Eddie Sparrow. Eno spoke positively about this performance, saying, "The instruments were incredibly out of tune, so out of tune you wouldn’t believe it. But it sounds fantastic. There’s one little bit in it where there’s a riff between the guitar and one of the bassists, and they’re so out of tune it sounds like cellos. Amazing! I mean if you tried to make that sound in the studio it would have taken you ages. You wouldn’t have thought of making it, in fact, it’s such a bizarre sound. And the piano and guitar are quite well out of tune as well. Ha!"

Musical composition

"Baby's on Fire" is 5 minutes 19 seconds long. The song begins with a tense high-hat and bass line, along several different kinds of electronic sounds. Eno's vocals enter after this, being described as "nasal" and "slightly snotty". Following this first section of lyrics there is a guitar solo by Paul Rudolph and Robert Fripp with shifting drum beats as backing; the soloing continues through with the return of Eno's vocals as the song ends.

Release and reception

"Baby's on Fire" has received positive reviews from critics, mainly noting the guitar solo. Douglas Wolk of Blender described the song as "a two-note wonder built around an all-hell-breaks-loose guitar meltdown by King Crimson’s Robert Fripp", while Chris Ott of Pitchfork Media called the track "earth-shattering".

Personnel

Technical personnel

  • Brian Eno – producer, mixer
  • Chris Thomas – mixer
  • Derek Chandler – recording engineer
  • Denny Bridges, Phil Chapman, Paul Hardiman – mixing engineers
  • Arun Chakraverty – mastering




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Baby's on Fire" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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