‘Need Some1’ turned 5 years!

Exactly 5 years ago, on July 19th, 2018, the single Need Some1 by The Prodigy was released, which served as the first single from their upcoming album No Tourist. Today, in honor of the single’s anniversary, we have prepared a short article highlighting some details from that period, as well as sharing lesser-known facts related to its highly anticipated release. Join us as we dig into the events surrounding the release of ‘Need Some1’.

Single Need Some1 originally leaked a week earlier: on the evening of July 12, 2018, it appeared on Napster and several other streaming services. However, the release was quickly deleted, and the band’s management attributed the leak to a mistake. On the evening of July 19, the single officially appeared on all platforms. The track was co-written and co-produced by James Rushent from Does It Offend You, Yeah?, who has collaborated with Liam for The Prodigy tracks on multiple occasions.

James Rushent
James Rushent from ‘Does It Offend You, Yeah?’

After its release, the track received mixed reviews from fans. Some claimed it represented a new direction for The Prodigy’s music, while others accused the maestro of mediocrity and self-repetition. It’s all about the sound of the new track, which embraced a classic old-school lowtempo big-beat style. It featured heavy hip-hop beats accompanied by a lot of sampling.

Liam Howlett: “I wanted to write something that had downtempo swagger, but still felt dangerous!”

The bright and distinctive feature that set the track apart from traditional old-school sound was the main synth. It had a more characteristic sound associated with the relatively new skool of drum’n’bass and drumstep. This synth can be considered the foundation of the track, around which the rest of the structure is built. Interestingly, the synth was borrowed from the Prime Loops – Drumstep Revolt sample library and, during the initial stages of composing the track, it was sampled in its almost pure form.

    Sample: synth & melody
    Sample source: Prime Loops – Drumstep Revolt [2013] – Bpm174_E_Zippz_Synth

Recall that the track was first time presented to the public on December 11th in Tilburg, the Netherlands. During the tour, on the “wave” of talks about the upcoming album release, the band gradually started to add new tracks into their live performances. Among them, an early beta version the track was presented.

During its debut, the track didn’t have an official title yet, as it was still one of the few short working demos. It was simply titled as New Beat in the setlist.

The second notable aspect of the track was the sample taken from the song Crash Goes Love by American soul singer Loleatta Holloway, with the famous line “I need someone!”. This sample played a significant role in shaping the track and eventually gave it its name. Liam Howlett himself mentioned on multiple occasions his idea of incorporating this particular sample into the track:

Liam Howlett: “For Need Some1 we used the vocals of Loleatta Holloway, she was a proper disco diva and you’d hear her vocals all the time back in the rave days. I liked this idea of bringing her voice to gnarly, rocking beats.”

Liam Howlett: “Her voice takes me back to ’89. Combining that with the new school elements of the track felt really fresh. I find it really exciting to draw from our history. It was just about finding the right way to do it without it sounding retro.
Sometimes as Prodigy we’re happy to be able to put out old-school feeling tracks, stuff that’s like smash and grab sample-based records. It’s important we can still do that and not back ourselves into a corner and become one-dimensional.”

Since its live debut, the track was gradually updated over the course of half a year, until it became known to everyone that it would be the first single. The main criticism following its release was centered around the track’s length, which was only 2 minutes and 45 seconds and had not changed significantly since its initial working demo. Some longtime fans were left with the impression that the single was rushed and released under pressure, utilizing whatever material was available at the time. However, in today’s media landscape, where short-form content and quick consumption prevail, tracks ranging from 2 to 3 minutes are generally more in demand.

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As for the music video itself, it was directed by Paco Raterta and filmed in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. The main roles were played by two brothers Miguel and Chiko Hernandez of the Filipino psycho-tropical duo The Hernandez Brothers.

Paco Raterta

Liam Howlett: “After being sent loads of pedestrian video director showreels, Paco’s style stood out and punched me in the face: just so raw and original-looking, I knew he was the man for us. The finished video has such violent edge and style and looks like nothing else we have seen–to us it’s only worth doing a video if you can make something original and exciting, which this is.”

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Paco Raterta won a scholarship at the International Academy of Film and Television in Cebu, after which he followed a career in editing, working on commercials for top level brands such as Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Samsung. Paco moved on to directing as he started out a longstanding relationship with renowned artist David Choe, with whom he is currently working on an experimental ongoing project that mixes art, filmmaking and music.

After the official release of the single and music video, remixes of it started to gradually appear. In total, were released three official remixes from: Friction, Wh0, and Jim Pavloff – the same guy who gained fame on YouTube with video with his recreation of the ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ track.

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