ABC Music News

See how AI created the “We Didn’t Start the Fire” video Billy Joel fans always wanted

M_BillyJoelwedidntstartthefire_041223
Columbia

When Billy Joel first released his #1 hit “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” he could’ve created a video that included an image of every single event and person he mentioned, from Marilyn Monroe to Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan. He didn’t, but now we’ve got one, thanks to the magic of AI, aka artificial intelligence.

A TikTok content creator who goes by the handle @digitalresonator has used a popular AI program called Midjourney — which creates images from descriptions you feed into it — to craft an entirely new video for “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” 

“Lots of requests for this one,” the creator wrote. “I hope you guys like this one. It took a long time between the research, the length, and the number of images.”  Responding to comments, they said it took “four or five hours” to do.

All the events and people Billy names in the song are depicted via AI-created images, including more generic ones like “hypodermics on the shore,” “Rock ‘n Roller cola wars” and “British politician sex.”

So far, the video has racked up 91,000 likes, and as one fan put it, “I feel like this is the video Billy Joel wanted to do. This is perfection!!”

“This was just beautiful to experience. Really stunning,” another wrote. “Thank you for putting the effort in.”

“That’s incredible! I wish Billy Joel would write the sequel,” one fan chimed in, with many others agreeing that Billy should do an update that covers the 1990s through today. The original covered the year of his birth, 1949, through 1989, when he turned 40.

Years later, Billy admitted, “The melody is horrendous. It’s like a mosquito droning. It’s one of the worst melodies I’ve ever written. I kind of like the lyric though.”

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.