FAT25 · Antecedent: Purple Haze & more
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.
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 ’96 intro just before ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ smashed the crowd as usual. Some people called it ‘Space Intro’, but it has nothing to do with space. In fact, this majestic orchestra introduction was not written by Liam Howlett himself, he just chopped the short loop from John Ottman’s Payback Time from ‘The Usual Suspects’ movie OST and spiced it up with some leads and samples on top. We decided to recreate it just in case, so you can immediately dive into the live pre-Fat atmosphere while reading this post…
And the only thing completely new in the live setlist was Funky Link, which, just like the ‘Payback Time’ intro, actually was just a loop from ‘Kick Out The James Again’ by Floormaster Squeeze (Coldcut) – this piece obviously was not planned for the band’s upcoming album. You may also check out our recreation of it in hidden section!
Also in May 1997 a certain unnamed demo appeared in the setlist. This short jam was played instead of the farewell jam track with Maxim’s freestyle (‘We Came Here’), which had been regularly played just before ‘Gabba’ since 1993. In the fan communities the fresh May 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’.
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’ beats were not mentioned in the setlists as well because in fact it was an unnamed one.
New Musical Express, 14 June 1997, page 45
Our team restored this original Purple Haze jam.
Stereo audio in high quality will be 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 cuts.
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, you can also find some demos from ‘The Fat’ times!
- Loop in the ‘Maxim’s Studio’ section.
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.
- Loop in the ‘Market’ section.
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’.
- Loop in the ‘Main’ section.
We still have no information on the sample sources of it but this demo sounds old skool and funky like a 100% ‘Fat’ tune.
By the way, our team recreated this demo from scratch as well:
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! However, we will talk about it separately in the next articles dedicated to the 25th anniversary of The Fat Of The Land. Stay tuned for more!
Headmasters: VOLTRON CREW