Burning Up

Play Video


  • This was the follow-up single to "Holiday," which was Madonna's first major hit. In spite of suggestive lyrics and a steamy video (including the songstress writhing on a road), it was only a minor success. Still, it had enough momentum to keep Madonna in the limelight after "Holiday," which she used to her advantage. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Santa Barbara, CA
  • Madonna performed this on her 1985 debut tour, but it didn't make the setlist again until her 2004 Re-Invention Tour, where she played the electric guitar on the song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Marek - Odense, Denmark
  • The music video for this song was directed by Steve Barron, whose credits include the Human League video for "Don't You Want Me" and Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean." The "Burning Up" video isn't on Barron's highlight reel - the clip is best remembered for Madonna writhing around on a road. He didn't like the song and only took the gig because Madonna was signed to Warner Bros. Records, which was a big client. Barron says that when he met Madonna, she did a flirty thing where she put her head down on a table to talk to him, which he had her do on the road in the video.
  • Madonna has the sole writing credit on this song; writing her own songs was an early sign of her (blonde) ambition. The track was produced by Reggie Lucas and her then-boyfriend John "Jellybean" Benitez.
  • The track was made using a LinnDrum, an early programable machine with real drum samples; Reggie Lucas and Leslie Ming did the programing. Paul Pesco played the guitar part.
  • This song was used in the 1984 comedy-drama The Wild Life, starring Eric Stoltz.

Comments: 2

  • Leo from Westminster 1, MdThe first of her guitar songs, Burning Up marks the introduction of Madonna, the Unrepentant Rocker. Madonna writes in her Lesson Plan "Unlike the Others/I'll do anything/I'm Not the Same/I have no shame/I'm on Fire/I'm Burning Up for your Love!"-as a manifesto for World Domination-When Madonna plays that solo from her Blaring Black Beauty Gibson Les Paul, all eyes are on Her Brilliance. Rock & roll is never the same again. With this song Burning Up, Madge tore up the rulebook and knocked down the door.
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnSexy song, love when she says "I have no shame."
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Dean Pitchford

Dean PitchfordSongwriter Interviews

Dean wrote the screenplay and lyrics to all the songs in Footloose. His other hits include "Fame" and "All The Man That I Need."

The End Of The Rock Era

The End Of The Rock EraSong Writing

There are no more rock stars - the last one died in 1994.

Jethro Tull

Jethro TullFact or Fiction

Stage urinals, flute devices, and the real Aqualung in this Fact or Fiction.

Grammar In Lyrics

Grammar In LyricsMusic Quiz

Lyrics don't always follow the rules of grammar. Can you spot the ones that don't?

Women Who Rock

Women Who RockSong Writing

Evelyn McDonnell, editor of the book Women Who Rock, on why the Supremes are just as important as Bob Dylan.

Black Sabbath

Black SabbathFact or Fiction

Dwarfs on stage with an oversize Stonehenge set? Dabbling in Satanism? Find out which Spinal Tap-moments were true for Black Sabbath.