So here’s how The Prodigy’s first three (and best) albums roll for me. These three albums mean a lot to me, for different reasons.
1992 and the rave scene as we know it was at it’s peak. Dance podiums in sweaty clubs across the UK & Ireland were filled with young people like myself, arms stretched to the sky and filled with a beautiful sense of connection to one and other. We came together from all sections of the community and all backgrounds during that very special time. Tracks from this album like “Jericho” “Your Love” “Charly” “Out Of Space” “Everybody In The Place”’ “Fire” created so many amazing and landmark moments that shaped where I began as a young wannabe DJ and keen hobby raver. When you listen back to these tracks almost 30 years on, you realise how far from perfect they actually were and how they can even be slightly messy in places, this was the norm with a lot of the early rave productions as producers were finding their feet with the limited resources that were available to them, it actually doesn’t matter one bit when the music is groundbreaking. So this album is part of this particular trilogy for me due to the fact of it bringing this sound to the mainstream and bringing me so many incredible memories.
“MUSIC FOR THE JILTED GENERATION”
The next step up the ladder for The Prodigy was to deliver this absolutely stunning example of breakbeat hardcore to the masses. This album has so many moments of twisted genius throughout, and such an urgent, cutting edge sound. If i had to sway (very, very slightly) in favour of one, it would be this record, but i’m not going there with this. This album was as much a protest album against the criminal justice bill which had been fast tracked as legislation and meant a ban on gatherings such as raves. There’s a strong air of the free party / acid techno vibe from some of the tracks on Jilted which reflect that defiant state of mind at the time. Where it may fall down slightly for the non-rave appreciator is the unnecessary length of some of the tracks, this might be it’s only very minor flaw to the non inebriated social listener who might not appreciate the culture surrounding the music.
“Music for the Jilted Generation” employs the same rave energy that they created with “Experience” but side swerves it away to a different cause other than taking pills at the weekend. An amazing album on all counts.
“FAT OF THE LAND”
This was The Prodigy coming of age on the commercial stage and stepping up a few gears into the big league. Proper song arrangements were added to the tracks, massive studio production came into play, the hooks became seriously big and memorable, and not forgetting this was the first proper introduction of Keith Flint who appears on 4 of the tracks “Breathe’, “Serial Thrilla”, “Firestarter” and “Fuel My Fire” This was a massive upsurge in production for the guys with a new proper, polished (but still hugely dirty) sound. This was the album that catapulted The Prodigy beyond just being a stage rave band and properly into the public domain. All the tracks are significantly stripped back in all the right places and the hooks and vocals are allowed space to breathe. You just know that Liam was spending a lot of time honing his own engineering skills. This album kicks absolute balls on every level and around every turn there is an anthem. The Prodigy is and will always be Liam Howlett, writing the tracks, composing the hooks, engineering the tracks and overall production on the tracks. You will struggle to ever find a bigger album in electronic music. “Fat Of The Land” is the “Never Mind The Bollocks” of our generation.
So there you have it. I’m sure all the fans among you will have your own opinions and probably a favourite from these three albums, i pay my respects to each of them in equal measures so therefore it was impossible to split them. Today’s offering is just – The Prodigy.