#FAT25 • 1997 Antecedent: New Beats • Toronto Live


Last week we remembered some live beats and studio demos from ’95-96 period such as ‘Benny Blanco’, ‘Rock’n’Roll’, ‘Blow Ya Mind’, ‘Bounce’, ‘Cocaine Kitten’, and ‘Take Me On’ — so today we’ll try to cover all of the unreleased stuff from 1997 that somehow lit up just before the album came out. This is the second post dedicated to The Fat Of The Land 25th anniversary.

Liam Howlett @ Toronto, Canada 1997

Funky Link

If we’ll explore the early ’97 live setlist, there were not too many fresh tunes that didn’t make the final cut for the upcoming album. The Prodigy were still playing ‘Rock’n’Roll‘ and ‘Bounce’ mentioned above. Liam also continued to play the legendary ‘1996 Intro‘ just before ‘Smack My Bitch Up‘ smashed the crowd as usual. And the only thing completely new in the live setlist was Funky Link, which, just like the ‘The Usual Suspects’ intro, actually was just a loop from Kick Out The James Again by Floormaster Squeeze (aka Coldcut) — this piece obviously was not planned for the band’s upcoming album.

    Sample: vocals (‘everything I do gonh be funky’) & beat & melody
    Sample source: Floormaster Squeeze – Kick Out The James [Hot Plate 1, 1987]
    Note: Played regularly before ‘Funky Shit’ in 1997. Featured on the tracklists and listed as ‘Funky Link’.

’97 Untitled Beats · Purple Haze

The earliest available ’97 recording on which the aforementioned ‘Funky Link’ was played, was made in May in Toronto. In addition to ‘Funky Link’, a couple of live jam tracks can also be found on this recording, which were also never played until ’97.

One just a fairly simple jam with a sample from the movie The Shining, which seems to have been left over after the ending of ‘Funky Shit‘ was changed to final.

Another short jam was played instead of the classic farewell jam track with Maxim (‘We Came Here’), which had been regularly played as farewell jam since 1993. In the fan communities the fresh demo was called Purple Haze because it sampled Johnny Jones and the King Casuals’ tune of the same title. Jam also contained loop of beats from Fatboy Slim’s ‘Song For Lindy’.

    Sample: guitar & drums
    Sample source: Johnny Jones And The King Casuals – Purple Haze [Purple Haze, 1976]
    Sample: beat
    Sample source: Fatboy Slim – Song For Lindy [Better Living Through Chemistry, 1996]

Whether this jam was played only once, or if it was played several times during that period is unknown. The only recording of these beats was made at the gig in Toronto in May ’97. The photos of the setlist from that concert weren’t available online, but we found a short article in the NME magazine dedicated to that PA — we scanned it in high quality and want to share it with you. Strange as it may seem, the article itself mentions the ‘Gabba’ jam for example, and most likely the author of the article saw the gig’s setlist, but there’s no mention of the ‘Purple Haze’ jam in the article. It’s more likely that like the ’93-96 farewell jam, “Purple Haze” jam were not mentioned in the setlists as well because in fact it was an unnamed one.

New Musical Express, 14 June 1997, page 45
'New Musical Express', 14 June 1997, page 45

Our team restored this original Purple Haze jam.

Full audio in high quality is available on our Patreon!

No less interesting is the fact that in 2003 a piece of this ‘Purple Haze’ jam was uploaded to the ‘Baby’s Got A Temper’ times website in the Liam’s Studio section, as well as many other unreleased old beats and loops.

We suppose that this way Liam kept his promise of posting old demos in the early 2000s. No one promised full-length recordings, right? Ha-ha… Moreover, among the other old-school loops from website, you can also find some demos from ‘The Fat’ times!

Studio Demos · Website Music

Loop from Radar / Maxim’s Studio sections:

The main synth bass here was taken from the Sony Creative Software sample library, which came out in 1996. The beat is sampled from ‘Nine Acre Dust (Chemical Brothers Remix)’ by The Charlatans UK, which was released in 1995. Obviously, this demo was made in the period of ’96-’97, but most likely it wasn’t finished and didn’t make it to the album after all.

    Sample: bass #1
    Sample source: Sony Creative Software – Methods Of Mayhem: Industrial Toolkit – Drive 01 38-03
    Sample: beat & bass #2
    Sample source: The Charlatans UK – Nine Acre Dust (Chemical Brothers Remix) [The Charlatans UK V. The Chemical Brothers, 1995]

By the way, our team recreated this demo from scratch as well:

Loop from Market / Official sections:

The melody for this demo was borrowed from ‘Ike’s Mood I’ by Isaac Hayes, and it does not give any clue about the period when this workpiece was written. However, the heavy old-school hip-hop beat makes it clear that this demo was written while working on such tunes as ‘Molotov Bitch’ and ‘The Trick’.

Some of you guys can also remember that in the spring of ’97 the fan communities were talking about a new track called Edward, supposedly being prepared for the album. Aside from these talkings in fan circles, the title ‘Edward’ can also be found in almost every music license database where Liam Howlett is mentioned! In our special article also dedicated to the 25th anniversary of The Fat Of The Land we explained in details what this track is. Check it out!

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