1993 Live Beats · 30th anniversary
During the early 1990s, The Prodigy were not widely known in the United States, despite a few small visits to the country. Their music had limited awareness and lacked impact outside of the UK, which meant that they had to work hard to convince people of their value. To gain more exposure, the band’s team decided to embark on a two-month tour of the United States in the spring of 1993. On February 14, 1993, exactly 30 years ago, The Prodigy concluded their tour by performing at the Rave New World in Washington D.C.
According to Martin Roach, the 1993 USA tour encountered several eventful incidents, beginning with the tour bus breaking down shortly after they started driving. Despite the possibility of cancelling the show and the band’s preference for self-sufficiency, they opted to hire a commuter plane to get to their destination on time, as it was more financially viable. Upon arriving at the small local airport, they discovered that the plane they had booked was actually a small and dilapidated propeller plane. The band members were forced to cram into this tiny little thing, with Keith sitting in the tail and Leeroy doubled up in the front due to lack of space. The bumpy flight and turbulence left the band members extremely anxious and wishing for a smoother ride. Upon landing, they were greeted by a British expatriate who offered them a bag of dope, sack of magic shrooms and some Marmite, which he referred to as “tastes of home”.
Moby, a health-conscious, non-smoking, and non-drugging musician, was touring with The Prodigy during their USA trip. Moby’s quarters in the tour bus were located at the front, while The Prodigy occupied the back and engaged in smoking dope. Over the next month a suffering Moby spent most of his time constantly asking the band to close their door and using blankets and paper to block the weed fumes from entering his room.
The band received an excellent response during their performances in Maine, LA, New York, Detroit, Texas, and other places. However, as the tour progressed, tensions started to rise, and their expected financial gains did not materialize. Consequently, the band had to rely on their own funds, but their commitment to their fans made them continue despite this setback. Along with the fresh 1993 tour impressions came the new live beats. That’s exactly what we will cover in this post today!
Generally speaking, 1993 has the fame of one of the most interesting and mysterious years in terms of the band’s creative activity. That year The Prodigy had more than a hundred gigs, but as strange as it may sound, there are not more than five recordings available online. It was in 1993 when the band started changing their image while drifting from their initial rave scene orientation towards heavy and grim electronic sound. Moreover, around that time Liam started reaping the rewards of the band’s first and massively successful LP, Experience, and could afford more equipment, including those for live performances, which resulted in quite a few live jam tracks gradually filling the band’s setlists. There are practically no recordings from the first half of ’93, so it’s hard to tell what setlist was played on a regular basis and how many jam tracks it contained. Still, there are some excerpts from the 13th Feb New York gig which the band had as part of their American tour. The recordings of that gig, among the other stuff, include a live jam based on Music Reach and a ‘farewell jam’ which is well known among the fans as ‘Goodbye Jam / Thank You Rap’.
Going back to special live tracks of 1993, of course, it’s worth mentioning the legendary Now Hear This.
Apart from ‘Now Hear This’, one can find the first version of No Good. As we’ve covered it before, initially Liam used the “you’re no good for me” vocals for a simple jam tracks akin ‘Now Hear This’. It was played right after Start The Dance, which, in turn, didn’t have any vocals at that time. After a while, Liam used that vocal in ‘Start The Dance’, which made the track a worldwide hit known as ‘No Good (Start The Dance)’. We have recreated this one as well!
Along with ‘Siren’, another track, Funky & Raw, was registered in 1993. It was a pretty neat tune which was regularly played at The Prodigy gigs. Compared to other live jams, ‘Funky & Raw’ was a nearly completed track which is reminiscent of ‘We Are The Ruffest’ sound-wise. We can only guess as to why the track hasn’t been officially released but it’s likely that it was written at the same time as ‘We Are The Ruffest’ and wasn’t so lucky to end up on the ‘Wind It Up’ single. Later, when the ‘One Love’ single and the ‘MFTJG’ album were released, ‘Funky & Raw’ became “sound-dated” and remained unused.
We’ve completely recreated the track, so now it’s yoz!
Apart from ‘Funky & Raw’, another relatively completed track appeared in the setlist in late 1993. We don’t know the exact title of it yet among the fans it’s known as Devil Inside.
Here you have it: lots and lots of interesting material that can be drawn from only five live recordings from 1993. It’s a huge mystery how many tracks from the other 100 gigs have been lost to time. We’re hoping that more recordings from the mysterious 1993 will be recovered!
Headmasters: SPLIT, SIXSHOT
Additional thanks to: Canyon Hill, Break-D, Martin Roach, Jay McKendry Jenkins (header artwork).
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