Burning In The Skies

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"Burning In The Skies"
Single by Linkin Park
from the album A Thousand Suns
Recorded 2008 - 2010
Released March 21, 2011
Format CD
Length 04:13
Stems Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock (A Thousand Suns)
Time signature 6/4 (Verses); 4/4 (Chorus)
Tempo 120
Key A Minor
Live debut December 13, 2010
Last played September 23, 2011
Writer(s) Linkin Park
Producer(s) Mike Shinoda, Rick Rubin
Label Warner Bros.
Linkin Park singles chronology

Waiting For The End (2011) Burning In The Skies (2011) Iridescent (2011)

A Thousand Suns track listing
  1. The Requiem
  2. The Radiance
  3. Burning In The Skies
  4. Empty Spaces
  5. When They Come For Me
  6. Robot Boy
  7. Jornada Del Muerto
  8. Waiting For The End
  9. Blackout
  10. Wretches And Kings
  11. Wisdom, Justice, And Love
  12. Iridescent
  13. Fallout
  14. The Catalyst
  15. The Messenger

"Burning In The Skies" is the third track on A Thousand Suns, as well as the album's fourth single. The song was originally streamed on Linkin Park's official MySpace page on September 8, 2010 to promote the album prior to the US release but it was removed in the same day and replaced with "Blackout".[1] The song features prominent use of piano and ambient electronics, and also features a guitar solo during the bridge. The song's verses are composed in 6/4 time, while the choruses are in 4/4. Along with its uniqueness, it is one of few Linkin Park songs to feature fingerpicked guitar.


"Burning In The Skies" begins with programmed kick and snare, with Bourdon providing hi-hat and tambourine. As the song builds, Bourdon's parts are overlaid with the existing programmed beats.[2]

In reference to the Robert J. Oppenheimer speech in "The Radiance" that precedes the song, the band felt that the speeches used on the album were connected to the world in a way that the lyrics could not convey, the speeches bringing a new emotional aspect to the songs. The speeches resonated with the songs in a different way than by themselves, giving the songs a stronger emotional punch.[3]

In a livestream on June 9th, 2020, Mike gave some insight into the writing of the song: "We probably did most of that at NRG Studios in North Hollywood. I know that the main loops in the intro were done with either a Maschine or an MPC through a tape echo. I did the guitars. I don't think there was anything remarkable in terms of the process of doing it. I think it was just like writing a song, and it was the one of the ones that we always loved through the making of the album. It immediately was a favorite, stuck around the whole time, made it on the album. Partially cause of the unusual measure counts. It's not just 4/4. I don't think it was an unusual writing process. I think it was pretty standard songwriting and recording stuff. I wrote the guitars, I wrote the vocals over the guitars and the loop. That may have been one where I didn't really give Rob a thing to play. That he just kinda came up with the drums."[4]


CD Single

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Burning In The Skies Linkin Park 4:13
2 Blackout (Live) Linkin Park 4:36

Digital Single

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Burning In The Skies Linkin Park 4:13
2 Blackout (Live) Linkin Park 4:36
3 When They Come For Me (Live) Linkin Park 5:21

UK Promo

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Burning In The Skies (Edit) Linkin Park 4:01

Music Video


Note: Only the date of the very first release of each version is listed.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Burning In The Skies A Thousand Suns

Burning In The Skies

Transformers: Dark Of The Moon - The Album (RUS Edition)

4:13 2008-2010 September 8, 2010
Burning In The Skies (Edit) Burning In The Skies (UK Radio CD) 4:01 2008-2010 2011
  • Shortened intro.
Burning In The Skies A Thousand Suns Instrumentals 4:20 2008-2010
  • The CD dates from September 15, 2010.
  • Official instrumental version.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Burning In The Skies (Live From Hamburg, 2011) A Thousand Suns - Live Around The World 4:12 June 21, 2011 June 19, 2012


"Burning In The Skies" had a short run in the setlists. Initially, the chorus of the song was exclusively sung over the extended bridge of "Bleed It Out" starting at the show in Chile until the show in Melbourne, Australia, where the song got its full debut alongside "Blackout", right after "Numb". The song was then played periodically throughout 2011. During the 2011 North American Tour, the song was only included in Set C-5 and C-6, after "Waiting For The End". The song was played a bit more frequently on the 2011 European and Asian tours, however. In Sets A and C, it was played right after "Waiting For The End", though it was dropped for the first time Set A was played in Irvine, California and in Imola, Italy, both of which were shortened shows for festivals. Despite how few times the song was performed in full, the chorus of the song did continue to be sung over the extended bridge of "Bleed It Out", usually in conjunction with the first verse and bridge of "A Place For My Head". After the A Thousand Suns tour cycle ended, "Burning In The Skies" was dropped from the setlists, and hasn't been performed since.





In Other Media

  • "Burning In The Skies" was released in 2010 as part of a DLC for the 2010 videogame Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock.
  • "Burning In The Skies" is featured in the 2012 film The Expendables 2.
  • "Burning In The Skies" is featured in the 2014 film How To Train Your Dragon 2.

External Links