The Prodigy - The Fat of the Land


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  "The Fat of the Land" is the third studio album by English electronic dance music group The prodigy. The album was released by XL Recordings on 30 June 1997 and on 1 July 1997 in the United States by Maverick Records. The album has received critical acclaim and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide as of 2012.

The album title comes from the old English phrase 'living off the fat of the land', which means living well or being wealthy. The band name was shortened to simply "Prodigy" for the release and its singles. While Liam Howlett is generally responsible for the compositions and Maxim Reality is featured on two tracks, this is the first record to include contributions by Keith Flint, who provides vocals on four of the songs.

Release

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart. The album has since gone double platinum, selling over two million copies in the US. The album also caused some controversy. The National Organization for Women objected to the seeming misogny of "Smack My Bitch Up", though the band maintains that its true interpretation is "doing anything intensely". In 1999, the album entered the Guinness World Records as the fastest-selling UK album and was also nominated Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album.

Legacy

It has been featured in a number of music publication lists:

  • In 1998, Q magazine readers voted The Fat of the Land the ninth greatest album of all time. In 2000, Q placed it at number 47 in its list of the 100 greatest British albums ever. It has also been ranked number 43 in Q's "Best 50 Albums of Q's Lifetime" list, and was included in their "90 Best Albums of the 1990s" and "50 Best Albums of 1997" lists.
  • Rolling Stone included in their "Essential Recordings of the 90s" list.
  • Spin ranked it number 20 on their list of the "Top 20 Albums of the Year [1997]" list.
  • Melody Maker ranked it number 13 on their list of "Albums of the Year" for 1997 and number 29 in their 1997 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll.
  • NME ranked it number 17 in their 1997 Critics' Poll.

The album is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. The album was also nominated for the 1997 Mercury Music Prize.

 

Personnel

The Prodigy
  • Keith Flint – vocals ("Breathe", "Serial Thrilla", "Firestarter", "Fuel My Fire")
  • Liam Howlett – keyboards, synthesizers, sampling, programming, production, engineering, mixing, art direction
  • Maxim Reality – vocals ("Breathe", "Mindfields")
Additional musicians
  • Shahin Badar – vocals ("Smack My Bitch Up")
  • Kool Keith – vocals ("Smack My Bitch Up", "Diesel Power")
  • Crispian Mills – vocals ("Narayan")
  • Saffron – vocals ("Fuel My Fire")
  • Gizz Butt – guitar ("Fuel My Fire")
  • Jim Davies – guitar ("Firestarter")
  • Matt Cameron – drums
  • Tom Morello – guitar ("No Man Army")
Other personnel
  • Neil McLellan – engineer
  • Christian Ammann – photography
  • JAKe – illustrations
  • Alex Jenkins – art direction, design, photography
  • Pat Pope – photography
  • Alex Scaglia – photography
  • Lou Smith – photography
  • Terry Whittaker – photography
  • Konrad Wothe – photography
  • Mike Champion – management

 

Prodigy - The Fat of the Land
TheProdigy-TheFatOfTheLand.jpg
Studio album by The Prodigy
Released 30 June 1997
Recorded 1995–97
Studio
  • Strongroom studios, Shoreditch, London
  • Earthbound Studios, Braintree, Essex, England
Genre Big beat, break-beat hardcore, rave
Length 56:24
Language English
Label
  • XL
  • Maverick
Producer Liam Howlett
The Prodigy chronology
Music For the Jilted Generation
(1994)
The Fat of the Land
(1997)
The Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One
(1999)
 
Singles from The Fat of the Land
  1. "Firestarter"
    Released: 18 March 1996
  2. "Breathe"
    Released: 11 November 1996
  3. "Smack my Bitch Up"
    Released: 24 November 1997
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 5/5 stars
Entertainment Weekly B
Los Angeles Times 4/4 stars
NME 8/10
Pitchfork Media 7.9/10
Q 5/5 stars
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars
Spin 7/10
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Smack My Bitch Up"  
  • Liam Howlett
  • Cedrick Miller
  • Trovor Randolph
  • Maurice Smith
  • Keith thornton
5:42
2. "Breathe"  
  • Howlett
  • Keith Flint
  • Keith Palmer
5:35
3. "Diesel Power" (featuring Kool Keith)
  • Howlett
  • Thornton
4:17
4. "Funky Shit"  
  • Howlett
  • Michael Diamond
  • Adam Horovitz
  • Adam Yauch
5:16
5. "Serial Thrilla"  
  • Howlett
  • Flint
  • Leonard Aaran
  • Deborah Dyer
5:11
6. "Mindfields"   Howlett 5:40
7. "Narayan" (featuring Crispian Mills)
  • Howlett
  • Crispian Mills
9:05
8. "Firestarter"  
  • Howlett
  • Flint
  • Kim Deal
  • Anne Dudley
  • Trevor Horn
  • Gary Langan
  • Jonathan Jeczalik
  • Paul Morley
4:40
9. "Climbatize"  
  • Howlett
  • Timothy Taylor
6:38
10. "Fuel My Fire" (featuring Saffron)
  • Donita Sparks
  • Peter Jones
  • Ross Knight
  • Bill Walsh
4:19
 
 
   
Australian Albums (ARIA) 1
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria) 1
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders) 2
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia) 3
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts) 1
Finnish Albums (Soumen virallen lista) 1
French Albums (SNEP) 2
German Albums (Offixielle Top 100) 1
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ) 1
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista) 1
Scottish Albums (OCC) 1
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan) 1
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade) 1
UK Albums (OCC) 1
US Billboard 200 1
Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA) 2× Platinum 140,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria) Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada) 3× Platinum 300,000^
Finland (Musikkituottajat) Platinum 42,426
France (SNEP) 2× Gold 200,000*
Germany (BVMI) Gold 250,000^
Italy (FIMI) Gold 50,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland) Gold 25,000^
Sweden (GLF) Platinum 80,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) 4× Platinum 1,392,273
United States (RIAA) 2× Platinum 2,000,000^
Summaries
Europe (IFPI) 2× Platinum 2,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Year Song Chart Peak
position
1996 "Firestarter" UK Singles Chart 1
1996 "Breathe" UK Singles Chart 1
1996 "Firestarter" Australian ARIA Singles Chart 22
1996 "Breathe" Australian ARIA Singles Chart 2
1997 "Smack My Bitch Up" UK Singles Chart 8
1997 "Smack My Bitch Up" Australian ARIA Singles Chart 41
1997 "Smack My Bitch Up" Canadian Singles Chart 12
1997 "Firestarter" US Billboard Hot 100 30
1997 "Firestarter" US Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 11
1997 "Firestarter" US Modern Rock Tracks 24
1997 "Breathe" US Modern Rock Tracks 18
1997 "Breathe" Canadian Singles Chart 65
1997 "Smack My Bitch Up" US Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 19
1998 "Smack My Bitch Up" US Billboard Hot 100 89

 

 

The Prodigy - The Fat of the Land

UK XL XLLP 121 double album (1997).

Album produced by Liam Howlett.

The 2 x vinyl records, together with their packaging are new and unplayed, and therefore attain a mint grading.

Browse this category: Breakbeat/House/Electronic Dance