In last week's edition of Throwback Thursday, I picked a few tracks from EDM's past which I was vibing on that week. But this week, I wanted to focus on a landmark album for EDM in the 1990s. We looked at a few classic trance songs from the 90s last week, but the same decade also saw another dance genre burst into the global spotlight: Industrial Techno. At the forefront of the movement was a three piece band from Essex, England know as The Prodigy and their third studio album, The Fat of the Land, which remains one of the most highly praised EDM albums of all time.
The first single from Fat of the Land, released in 1996, was entitled “Firestarter” and it hit the ground running with a passionate following that led the song to the top of the U.K. Singles Chart. This single also made the wait for the full album incredibly anticipated in the U.K, as well as the United States, causing it to enter the dance charts at number 1 in both markets and reach gold or platinum status in a total of eleven countries.
The third single off Fat of the Land, “Smack My Bitch Up,” created a massive controversy by using the single lyric: “Change the pitch up, smack my bitch up.” The song received a furious response from the National Organization for Women (NOW), who proclaimed that it “advocated violence against women,” and its music video was banned from MTV until a heavily cencored version was approved for broadcast.
Fat of the Land had a huge impact on the dance community as The Prodigy acquired international success and stardom; However, the album also had a significant influence on the world of punk and rock as well. "Breathe," the album's second single, is a a classic example of the band's forward-thinking fusion of breakbeat, UK punk, rave and industrial, which laid the groundwork for the sound of future acts such as Pendulum and The Qemists.
Soon to celebrate their 25th birthday, The Prodigy is still active and doing huge things including: performing live shows all around the world and working on a new album tenitively titled "How To Steal a Jet Fighter."
Not to mention, just a few days ago, XL Recording reissued a 15th anniversary edition of Fat of the Land with remixes of some of the album's most popular songs. The Prodigy hand selected six artists who all got the chance to remix a song: Alvin Risk, Baauer, The Glitch Mob, Noisia, Zeds Dead, and Major Lazer. I have included some of the remixes in the soundcloud player below.