The Prodigy

What's it called?: 
Music For The Jilted Generation
What does it sound like?: 
The sound of my lost youth, rage, optimism and a can't care less attitude wrapped up in pounding basslines, samples and protest against the governments crack down on rave culture. I was never a raver but this was dance music for indie kids, the first dance music I owned, one of the few records I remember buying. This was the dance record that proved electronic music and dance culture was not all about getting e'd up and waving your hands in the air.It marks the crossing over of rock and dance, featuring guitar riffs and Pop will Eat itself providing vocals on "Their Law" which slowly builds and builds to the pretty unambiguous "F**k em and their law". "Voodoo People" and "No Good" make you want to want to throw your hands in the air, "3 kilos" is more blissed out. I've considered writing this review for about 6 months now, knowing I couldn't do it justice in words. It deserves to be listened to.
What does it all *mean*?: 
Everything and nothing. At a basic level it makes you want to dance around like a lunatic on a more thoughtful level it is a statement of intent that rave culture was not going to be defeated. One of the most important albums of the last 20 years
Goes well with …: 
Cars. Cheap ones with relatively expensive stereos and sub woofers and delusions of being hot hatches. That's how I originally listened anyway and still do, the perfect antidote to a crap day, driving home, to remind yourself that you're still alive.
Might suit people who like …: 
Chemical Brothers, Underworld and Metallica and I'm not being flippant maybe the Mahavishnu Orchestra for the wilful dischordancy and experimental soundscapes.


What a record, best thing they ever did, from the distilled hooliganism of 'Break and Enter' to the full pelt lunacy of 'Voodoo People' and then heavy monster hip hop of 'Poison'. A classic album and the only one that every single one of my mates could agree on....

I immediately jumped to the conclusion that it must be being reviewed by Chimmers! Hah! Well done DC for getting in first. This is an utterly brilliant set; when this was still their latest release they were one of the few contemporary bands I saw that could make me forget everything else in my life and just make me want to go MENTAL.

At the risk of doing the rock snob cliche thing, it's really worth looking for live bootlegs from around then - that's where Maxim comes into his own and lifts it to another level. There's one knocking around from Bristol Sound City in '95 I think, I used to have it on tape.

This is what I tend to put on if I'm in the mood for some toe-tapping choons:

What. A. Record.

& still do. However, I can do without The Narcotic Suite. If it stopped at track ten, it would be in my top ten albums ever made (promise). As it is, Underworld's Third Toughest In The Infants wins the prize for best dance album ever (ahead of Earth, Wind & Fire, Chic & Kid Creole & The Coconuts)!

... that's Second Toughest In The Infants.

A belting record, don't you think?

Could do with the ghastly painting on the inner sleeve, tho'. The grandeur of it, especially the flute-y one on side 2, almost makes up for the sensationalist horse-scaring of their later notoriety, being, probably, the only one of their discs I feel capable of returning to. (I think the problem is basically of 3 foot five wonky-gonk Keith Flint making me tend to think only of Chucky in the various Childs Play "films".....)

that this was their high water moment as they became more cartoonish and sensationalist as you put it after this. I certainly haven't listen to "Fat of the land" (their next album) recently.

It's surprisingly good & stands up well. At the time, I was disappointed that included old singles & took ages to be released. They almost missed their moment. Now, it's thunderous, gargantuan rhythm section is aces, especially played loud. John Whatsisname's 'Kill Your Friends' which deals with that painting at some length, and in a very funny way. Look it up, you'll like it.

Prodigy. Brixton. Late Summer '97. I swear the building physically shook during the intro for Breathe and when the chorus during No Good kicked in.

The Prodigy? The rave Specials.
I still have the plastic album screaming face shop promo display on display.

Until I saw them at Glastonbury (on the telly) a couple of years ago. I thought they were magnificent. A real air of menace and we-don't-give-a-toss, in marked contrast to the bank clerks playing at being crusties in the main arena, who would have given Joe Dolce multiple encores had he appeared.
Which he probably will do, one day

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