Having a bonfire party this year? Good for you, pal. Do it right with these banging tunes, with which you and your mates can hang harder than Guy Fawkes.
How we not start with this 90s rave classic? The pounding bass actually sounds kind of like a banging firework and if you play it while on the right kind of substances, you might just see dancing shapes flashing before your eyes.
Play it when: You’re dodgy uncle lights up a rocket the size of a Coke can and, with a glint in his eye, whispers, “I’m the trouble starter, punkin’ instigator…”
Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, ‘Born on the 5th November
It’s sneering and sexy, and it’s all about fireworks and sparklers. When singer Jim Bob Morrison croons, “There were fireworks over London / But you weren’t among them anymore”, the 90s indie rockers deliver a burn that will require a lot more than Savlon.
Play it when: You’ve been dumped harder than Guy Fawkes was dropped from the gallows.
Dua Lipa, ‘Hotter Than Hell’
The London R&B and pop purveyor has been an NME favourite since last year’s soulful ballad ‘New Love’ marked her as a rising star, but it’s the banging ‘Hotter Than Hell’ that’ll get temperatures rising at your bonfire party.
Play it when: You’re stood way too near to the bonfire.
Fetty Wap, ‘Let It Burn’
Trap rapper Fetty Wap might have had Catherine wheels in mind when he wrote ‘Let It Bang’ – we may never truly know. But one thing’s for sure: this is a guaranteed way to make Bonfire night soar.
Play it when: You want to let it bang.
Taken from the band’s 1998 debut album, this is a weepy, emotional ballad that, accompanied by explosions in the sky, will make you feel like you’re in a montage from a romantic movie.
Play it when: To be honest, this one’s only included because it’s called ‘Fireworks’.
Katy Perry, ‘Firework’
Now you’re talking. This whirling dervish of a pop song is the ultimate Bonfire Night pop banger. If you host a fireworks party in your back garden and don’t call the Facebook group ‘Baby You’re A Firework’, you don’t know what you’re doing with your time.
Play it when: You’re celebrating the person who’s made your world snap, crackle and pop.
The Doors, ‘Light My Fire’
“Try to set the night on fire,” Jim Morrisson sings on this classic 1966 psychedelic rock song. Well preferably don’t – it would be a health and safety nightmare. But one thing’s for sure: the original blows the legs off Will Young’s insipid 2002 cover.
Play it when: You’re an old dad remembering the long-gone sexual conquests of your youth, because nowadays your loins only burn when you’ve dropped a sparkler on them.
There’s a new album on the way and its predecessor, 2014’s 48.13, boasted the ludicrously fun single ‘Eez-eh’. We’re all excited, aren’t we, so let’s light up a Catherine wheel an enjoy this strutting single from their third album, 2009’s booming West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum.
Play it when: You’re just four lads from Leicester making miracles happen.
Drake and Alicia Keys, ‘Fireworks’
At this stage, you’re starting to think we’re only including a lot of these songs because they’ve got ‘Firework’ in the title, don’t you? How cynical you are. This hip-hop slow-burner actually opens with a sample of fun explosives crackling in the sky, while an incredibly young-sounding Drake laments that, “Money changed everything”.
Play it when: You are so rich and so very sad about it.
Jimmy Eat World, ‘Just Watch The Fireworks’
No, it’s not as good as ‘The Middle’, but what hell is? Jimmy Eat World are back with a great new 2016 album ‘Integrity Blues’ and it’s good to see they’ve lost none of their heat since allowing us to channel our emo angst in the mid-noughties.
Play it when: You like to cut out the bullshit.
This one went off like the type of firework it’s named after. It was nominated for a Grammy (Best Dance Recording) in 2010 and sounds like a forgotten classic from a John Hughes soundtrack. Win.
Play it when: You are, quite literally, setting off a rocket.
Bruce Springsteen, ‘I’m On Fire’
This song is deeply sexy. Bruce, here, is burning with sexual desire. Hotter than the sun. Hotter even than your uncle after that Coke-can-sized rocket goes wrong. The understated nature of the instrumentation, all slinky guitar, makes it even sexier because we can only begin to imagine the level of lust that Bruce is holding back.
Play it when: You’re on fire.
Knife Party, ‘Bonfire’
The Austalian dance music duo – two of Pendulum – gets proper rambunctious on this reggae-influenced 2013 single, which moves at about a thousand miles an hour and is to be avoided if you’ve had a mulled cider and have been let loose on the fireworks.
Play it when: You’re sparking up.
Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, ‘Bang Bang’
This totally unbelievably brilliant pop extravaganza lit up summer 2014 and it will do the same to your Bonfire Night party. Join in by indulging your inner diva and warbling away like an absolute badass.
Play it when: You got a body like an hourglass.
This piping slice piece of electronica from Norwegian duo Röyksopp is hushed and understated – everything that fireworks night is not. Yet it actually perfectly sums up how your feel after a bloody good firework display, exhausted from pure joy but quietly satisfied with your little self.
Play it when: Things are winding down for the night and you’ve had a bloody good one.
Sean Kingston, ‘Fire Burning’
Somebody call 991! Shawty fire burning on the dancefloor! So goes Sean Kingston’s booming party starter. Hopefully the words won’t be literally applicable to your party.
Play it when: The dance floor is going OFF.
Taylor Swift, ‘Sparks Fly’
This 2010 track is pre-pop domination Tay, when she was still more influenced by country music. Like, she was already massive, but not yet the squal goal-living all-time A lister she is now. On ‘Sparks Fly’, though, there is all the evidence that she would become the most powerful woman in music: an ear-worm chorus and, in the video, killer dance moves.
Play it when: You want to take over the world.
Ash, ‘Burn Baby Burn’
A lot of these songs sound like ominous premonitions of ways in which your party could go badly wrong, but ‘Burn Baby Burn’ earns its place on the list by virtue of being total bloody genius.
Play it when: You walk like you’re in a daze.
Souxsie and the Banshees, ‘Fireworks’
It’s a dirge-like delight, this 1982 track from London post-punkers Souxsie and the Banshees. Slap on the heavy eye make-up and watch sparks fly.
Play it when: You’re really angry at your parents.
Smashing Pumpkins, ‘Rocket’
Taken from their classic grunge album ‘Siamese dream, this track sees Smashing Pumpkins distil all their mid-90s virtues into one scuzzy slab of brilliance: yearning lyrics (“I shall be free”), piles of distortion and frontman Billy Corgan’s knack for a pop hook.
Play it when: You’re a 90s kid.