Dolly Parton is entering her Rockstar era with the upcoming release of her rock ‘n’ roll album. She’s sharing the first sample of the LP today with its lead single, the scorching and topically-relevant “World on Fire.” Update: Parton debuted the song live during the ACM Awards on Thursday night. Watch the performance below.
Parton’s Rockstar tracklist boasts an absolutely insane list of guest stars to assist her with some epic covers. While “World on Fire” is one of the album’s few original tracks, it definitely takes cues from her collaborators here. The introduction kicks off with some dramatic chorus vocals and a harpsichord-sounding riff that calls to mind Bon Jovi, before a beat comes in that’s lifted directly from Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”
Parton might be over half a century into her career, but — to appropriate her own words here — that don’t mean she don’t stay in touch. “World on Fire” is a song she wrote in hopes of motivating people “to make a change for the better,” and its lyrics find her at the peak of disaster: “Liar, liar, the world’s on fire/ What you gonna do when it all burns down?”
And although the track is certainly rock-focused, Parton’s twang and wry wit are still on display. Case in point: “Greedy politicians, present and past/ They wouldn’t know the truth if it bit ’em in the ass,” she sneers in one of the verses. Nobody’s safe in Dolly’s world! Listen to “World on Fire” below.
The 30-track Rockstar is out November 17th. Along with nine originals, it also features covers of songs like “Let It Be” (featuring Paul and Ringo!), “Heart of Glass” (with Debbie Harry!), and “Stairway to Heaven” (with Lizzo and her flute!).