Burning Car

Louis Gordon, John Foxx

About Burning Car

"Burning Car" is a song by John Foxx, released as a single in 1980. It was his third solo single, following "Underpass" and "No-One Driving" earlier in the year. The track was not included on Foxx's debut solo album Metamatic, post-dating its January 1980 release, but has been included as a bonus track on the 2001 and 2007 CD reissues. It was Foxx's last 1980s record in a hard-edged electronica style (his next single, "Miles Away", featured acoustic drums and a somewhat warmer production). "Burning Car" developed the futurist style of Metamatic and was pacier than most of the album's material. Its staccato introduction was reminiscent of the metallic guitar notes that kicked off the track "Some of Them" from Systems of Romance, Foxx's last album with former band Ultravox. The title came from a chapter in J. G. Ballard's SF novel Concrete Island and its automobile reference was shared by a number of tracks on Metamatic. The B-side, "20th Century", was used as the theme for the London Weekend Television arts and music show 20th Century Box. 


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She was dressed in a white suit
She looked like a bride too

It's a burning car
It's a burning car

Then I looked at the sunset
And it felt like a stage set



And I looked at my watch face
I remembered the time and place


And I breathed in the night perfume
As we met in the dark room



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John Foxx

John Foxx (born Dennis Leigh, 26 September 1948, Chorley, Lancashire, England) is an English singer, artist, photographer and teacher. He was the original lead singer of the band Ultravox before leaving to embark on a solo career with Midge Ure taking his place. Primarily associated with electronic synthesizer music, he has also pursued a parallel career in graphic design and education. more »

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Written by: DENNIS LEIGH

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

11 facts about this song

About the Artist - John Foxx
John Foxx is an English artist, musician, writer, and teacher who was born in Chorley, Lancashire in 1948. He is primarily known as the original lead singer of the band Ultravox! and for his innovative contributions to electronic music.
Career Shift
He left the band Ultravox in 1979 to explore a solo career. "Burning Car" was one of many hits he produced during his solo career.
About the Song
"Burning Car" was a track from Foxx's 1980 album Metamatic. Despite its popularity, it was not included on the original album and was available only as a single at the time of release.
Release Information
"Burning Car" was released as a single in July 1980, and it reached number 35 on the UK Singles Chart, making it Foxx's most successful solo single at that time.
Inspiration for the Song
"Burning Car" depicts an impending apocalypse and was inspired by the artist's dreams, giving it a surreal and unique atmosphere.
Music Video
The music video of "Burning Car" is distinctive for its simplicity. It consists mainly of a burning car that slowly melts away, mirroring the title and lyrics of the song.
2021 Release
The song was re-released in 2021 by John Foxx and The Maths. This new version maintains the original's spirit but does have slight changes in its arrangement.
Album Art
The cover art for the "Burning Car" single is notable for featuring one of Foxx's own artworks, a photo of a burning car. This photograph is influenced by his interest in dystopian cityscapes and reflects the song's themes.
Critical Acclaim
The song has been praised for its cinematic, futuristic sound that helped define the emerging genre of electronic music in the early 1980s.
Songwriting Style
Foxx’s songwriting process for "Burning Car" is representative of his style. He usually writes music before lyrics, drawing on images and atmospheres to guide his compositions.
John Foxx and the Maths
This is a musical project led by Foxx, which emerged years after his successful solo career. The group re-recorded "Burning Car" for their 2021 album, Howl.

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