Baby’s Got A Temper · 20th Anniversary · Design

The Prodigy’s Baby’s Got A Temper celebrated its twenty on July 1 this year. In the first part of our write-up related to the single, we shared some details of its creation. But the whole thing about this banger is not only the song or the lyrics themselves. The buzz around the ‘Baby’s Got A Temper’ exemplifies that it all works in close connection with the visuals as well, so today we’ll tell the story of it: the cover artwork, the music video, the promo stuff, and the merch related…

In several episodes of the Flashbacks of a Fool movie (released in 2008) you can see exactly the same doll from the ‘Baby’s Got A Temper’ cover!

All the way through, Liam Howlett openly acknowledges the ‘Baby’s Got A Temper’ release was a mistake, as the label pressure, negative press reviews and the band rifts did their job. At the same time, while being interviewed by DJ Ron Slomowicz, Liam recalled that the best thing about that record for him was the single cover and the sleeve artwork. It was created by Jimmy Turrell, a graphic artist and video director from the UK. He combines a love of handmade collage, drawing, screenprinting and painting alongside digital techniques.

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After seeing the final outfit Jimmy was totally confident that this was the one he was searching for so long.

The ITC Machine was used for The Prodigy’s logo, as its bold uppercase geometric letters add strength and confidence to the band’s message. Jimmy also faxed the letters to give them a distressed feel. The ‘Baby’s Got A Temper’ title, a hand-rendered chop-up of the typefaces Platelet and Citizen, has been applied using acetate. The policeman was cut straight from the photograph. A standard gatefold-panel Digipak was chosen as the packaging, but with a matte finish, which gives the CD a more earthy feel. There are several official edits of the single cover, which have minor differences.

In addition to the CD release, The Prodigy showed up a ‘Baby’s Got A Temper’ DVD with the music video and its making-of footage, — Jimmy also created a separate cover for it, which differed quite well from the CD artwork.

Jimmy Turrell for I actually did a whole album campaign for The Prodigy which then got killed right at the final hurdle. It was my first big job, and I presented way too many options, which ended up confusing everybody. The whole process went on for a year and a half. It made me want to quit design altogether and do something else entirely. Instead, I went back and did an M.A. at St Martins, and then I also got an agent which changed everything.

Jimmy created over 500+ sketches for The Prodigy’s then-upcoming ‘Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned’ LP cover artwork, and then task was delegated to INTRO UK. In the very last moment, Liam changed his mind again.

The ‘Baby’s Got A Temper’ video was filmed in the middle of May 2002, just a month and a half before the release of the single. The location was the old power station near Prague in the Czech Republic — this former metallurgical plant Poldi was based in Kladno. Video is directed by Traktor: as they write about themselves, ‘Traktor have directed some of the most iconic film work on both sides of the Atlantic’. There are many Czechoslovak communist-era properties—the car in the opening scene is the last model Škoda 120 L, the time clock is a classical Elektročas model and the carousels include flying (hydraulic arm) swans made in Bílovice.

Illustration of Audi’s Maisto 1:18 used as stage background in the video.

The video received its TV premiere on June 5th, 2002 at 9pm on MTV2 (UK). Speaking exclusively to NME, Liam Howlett explained that the video had come to him ‘in a dream’, adding: ‘We built a funfair in the grounds of this power station (in Prague, where the video was shot) and we had an arena of cows and three guys go to work as the band and play to these cows, who generate milk. No one’s allowed in this arena with the cows, the cows are milked and the milk’s passed out through a gap to the people’.

In exchange, the people in the video hand over money and jewelry. ‘Cos the milk is like their fucking buzz, y’know, it’s like a drug reference I guess,’ said Howlett. ‘This one will be memorable. This is a good video’.

You may find the original ‘Baby’s Got A Temper’ music video on every platform you like, that’s why we share the alternate version of the video. It differs features several rare frames from 3:20 to 3:37. The episodes where one of the girls dribbles milk from a cow’s udder on her belly, as well as some close-ups with another girl drinking milk while milking, have rarely been seen before online or on any of the band’s video releases. The same yellow hue used on the film that Traktor used in Fatboy Slim’s ‘Ya Mamma‘.

Check out some rare footage from the video shoot below!

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As mentioned above, The Prodigy also released a ‘Baby’s Got A Temper’ DVD. This release has a small two-minute episode as a bonus: against the background of black-and-white shots from making-of footage captured by Traktor and Rockstar, the narrator briefly retells the synopsis of the video. It all looks quite ironic as the calm and confident voiceover reminds of the old-fashioned movies from the second part of the 20th century. Pure English humor.

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The merch and the promo campaign for the single were closely related to Jimmy Turrell’s cover artwork. He worked out some special stuff for The Prodigy’s official store and provided bits of his unused artwork for the band’s website and for some promo releases.

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Maverick even droped a special website dedicated to the single release, where the exclusive content for the fans was available! The link to this page was given on some of the label’s enhanced CDs. The concept, design, development and implementation of an enhanced CD with interactive and online components were developed under control of Slender Fungus.

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There’s also a special artifact from 2002 times which is still awe-inspiring behind the fans. A french promo-only ‘Baby’s Got A Temper’ box set released by Delabel featuring a 1-track promo CD, 1-track promo video, replica pellet gun, mock pill capsules and the promotional police report in French text. All are presented in 9″ x 12″ x 4″ custom printed cardboard box. Do you recognize this baby?

Headmaster: SPLIT


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