Burnin' It Down

Album: Old Boots, New Dirt (2014)
Charted: 12
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Songfacts®:

  • The first single from Jason Aldean's sixth studio album, this was written by Rodney Clawson (Luke Bryan's "Drunk On You," Jason Aldean's "Drink On It"), Chris Tompkins (Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats," Chris Young's "Voices") and Florida Georgia Line members Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard. The same quartet also penned together Florida Georgia Line's hit tune "Get Your Shine On."

    The clincher for Aldean upon first listen was a reference to one of his favorite musical groups. "It mentioned Alabama," he said. "I'm a huge Alabama fan, and anything that makes reference to something I'm a fan of, it's cool to have it in there."
  • Aldean has previously launched albums with uptempo tracks like "My Kinda Party" and "Take a Little Ride," but this seductive cut marked a change in gear. "Sonically, this track definitely feels like something different for me and what I have typically put out as the lead single off my previous albums," the singer said. "I've pretty much always gone with a really guitar-driven song that's pretty in your face, and this is more of a laid back thing with a really cool groove."
  • Aldean performed the song for the first time publicly at his Cleveland show on July 18, 2014.
  • The song leapt from #42 to #1 on the Country chart, the biggest ever jump to the summit in the list's history. The previous record holder was Florida Georgia Line's "Dirt," which bounded from #40 to #1 just two weeks earlier. The FGL duo, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, were involved in both tunes having sung "Dirt" and co-written "Burnin.'"
  • Jason Aldean put his boot down when his label were initially reluctant to release this overtly sexual tune as the first single from Old Boots, New Dirt: "I finally just went, 'This is the single,'" he told Billboard magazine. "I'm in a fortunate position that not a lot of artists get to be in where I can go in there and do that."
  • Chris Tompkins was the guy who came up with the song's funky beat; he admitted it was inspired by rap and R&B. "When I first started writing songs," he told Billboard magazine. "I listened to a lot of R&B, a lot of rap. I was like the fifth member of Boyz II Men - that's kind of where my head was. Driving around I listened to a bunch of types of music on the radio, and I noticed that in a lot of rap songs they have the hi-hats going like apes--t, doing like 16th and 32nd notes."
  • Tompkins had doubts that the track would appeal, as he didn't know any country songs that used those kinds of beats. "I kind of thought the lyrics were a little too steamy," he said. "I thought the beat was a little too 'not country.'"

    However, the song's funky bass line gives it a cross-genre appeal amongst younger listeners. "For the most part," Clawson explained, "the high school and college age kids... they don't just listen to country, or just listen to hip-hop. They listen to everything. They don't really care as much what genre it is."
  • Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard wrote the song with Rodney Clawson and Chris Tompkins in 2013 right after they had recorded the new tracks for the deluxe re-release of Here's to the Good Times. So why did the Florida Georgia Line duo pass the song onto another artist rather than record it themselves? "The timing was tough on it," Hubbard told ABC News. "We were listening to it one day, and I think it was [Kelley]. that said, 'Hey dude, I think Jason would kill this song. We should try to give it to him, and at least let him hear it.' And next thing we know, he's cutting it."
  • Hubbard told ABC News that he gave Aldean the option of not singing the line about laying "naked in my bed." While recording the song's demo, he explained, "We threw in 'dreaming [in my bed]' on the second chorus, 'cause we didn't know who was gonna cut it."

    Aldean sang the "naked" line without hesitating.
  • The steamy music video was directed by Wes Edwards, who was at the helm for many Aldean clips, including his debut, "Hicktown." He also frequently collaborates with Dierks Bentley ("5-1-5-0," "Drunk on a Plane," "I Hold On").

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