Fall Out Boy Give ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’ A Long-Needed Update

35 years later, Fall Out Boy pick up where Billy Joel left off.

The band adds, “2. 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…”

Musically, I think Fall Out Boy deliver on this. Lyrically, however, I have a small gripe…

Now first I probably have to add that I (Joel) grew up on Billy Joel. Before I got into rock and alternative, it’s all my family had on whenever we were in the car. Billy Joel is a master lyricist. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, plus he’s a Kennedy Center honoree and a Gershwin Prize For Popular Song from the Library of Congress. A big part of what made the original history lesson contained in “We Didn’t Start The Fire” so effective is that its lyrics were chronological.

Fall Out Boy, meanwhile, jump around all over the place in their 1989-2023 update. The rhyme scheme is less consistent than Billy Joel’s as well. I’m not confident Fall Out Boy’s version will stand the test of time as well as the Billy Joel original. However, this was probably a massive undertaking on Fall Out Boy’s part, and the results are still rather impressive.

Fall Out Boy’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire” is out for streaming now, and they’re all selling a limited run of 5,000 7-inch vinyl at falloutboy.com