the fat of the landI am going a little outside the box this week for the album of the week post, but there is a reason behind my madness as you will undoubtedly see. I was a bar/restaurant when I recognized a song from a electronic dance music band from back in the 90’s and I instantly felt nostalgic. The DJ at the bar threw on Firestarter by English big beat/electronic… band Prodigy and I instantly knew what album I wanted to cover for today. Along with bands like The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, Prodigy helped pioneer the big beat genre (because it sounded similar to Acid House music) that everyone grew to love in the mid to late 90’s here in the states. The band mixed the big beat with electronic rock and punk sounds to create their iconic sound which was eaten up by kids here that loved Industrial music and techno music. The group at the time of the release of The Fat Of The Land which I am covering today was made up of Keith Flint (Vocals), Liam Howlett (Keyboards, synthesizers, sampling, programming), and Maxim Reality (Vocals). The album supposedly also features Matt Cameron of Pearl Jam/Soundgarden on it as well. The album peaked at both number one in the UK and the US Billboard Top 200 charts making it a huge success for the group as it eventually went 2X platinum in the states.

1. Smack My Bitch Up– This was one of the most controversial songs on the record because critics often called it Misogynistic in nature due to the title of the song being repeated throughout the track. The track features a bunch of samples from various artists like Rage Against The Machine (Bulls On Parade) and it even features the rap from Kool Keith in the Ultramagnetic MCs song Give The Drummer Some. 5/5

the_prodigy_-_the_fat_of_the_land_-_cd2. Breathe– This is such an iconic track from the album that has been featured in countless movies just because of the beat in the track. The song has that Industrial sound to it that was hit all around the world. 5/5

3. Diesel Power– This is a electronic dance track with a hip hop flare to it as Kool Keith raps over the track. 4/5

4. Funky Shit– The track features vocals sampled from Root Down by the Beastie Boys while the horn you’ll hear is from the Theme From S.W.A.T. track from Rhythm Heritage, and it also features samples from 2, 3, Break by The B-Boys. 4/5

5. Serial Thrilla– This track is pretty cool as it samples Smells Like Teen Spirit from Nirvana with Selling Jesus by Skunk Anansie with Keith Flint on vocals. 4/5

6. Mindfields– The main riff of the track is sampled from the James Bond film The Man With The Golden Gun as they use John Barry’s Hip’s Trip. 4/5

The_Prodigy-The_Fat_Of_The_Land_Japan-Back-7. Narayan– This is a pretty good electronic dance track that features Crispian Mills on vocals. 4/5

8. Firestarter– Another famous track off the album that samples the track S.O.S. by The Breeders as well as Close (To The Edit) by Art Of Noise.The track also showcases Flint’s punky vocal style which became iconic of the group. 5/5

9. Climbatize– The main riff of the track is from The Horn Track by Egyptian Empire and it also features the main drum loop from Air Drums from Outer Bongolia by The Jedi Knights. There is some controversy that surrounds this track because Prodigy didn’t get permission to use the drum loop so The Jedi Knights threatened to sue the band. The band’s label found out that The Jedi Knights used the drum loop from another band without permission so the label bought the rights to the Incredible Bongo Band track and turned around and threatened to sue The Jedi Knights. George Lucas found out about this and he threatened to sue The Jedi Knights for stealing the name he created. 4/5

10. Fuel My Fire– This is Prodigy’s cover of the L7 track that features Saffron on vocals and Gizz Butt on Guitar. 4/5

My Final Thoughts- These guys were definitely pioneers of their time as they brought this type of music to the forefront of the pop charts. Much like today’s EDM movement, they took over the charts at the time. This is a great album tat if you’re looking to get into this stuff, start here. I am giving the album 4 stars out of five for a final grade.

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