The Fat Of The Land

The Fat of the Land, released on XL Recordings on June 30th, 1997, became the best-selling album ever produced by The Prodigy. It’s safe to say that this LP has led breakbeat and big-beat out of underground since all the singles from it got heavy radio rotation. The Prodigy have got the recognition that they deserved and literally lived off the fat of land. But it was more of a side-effect than a deliberate goal. With The Fat of the Land, Liam raised the bar for the breakbeat and big-beat scene pretty freaking high. No one could even come close to the level Liam had reached, so it’s not surprising that this genre died out several years later.

Production-wise, this album got even more complex that the previous ones. Liam switched from his W-30 to Steinberg’s Cubase, but kept using W-30 at gigs to trigger samples. New pieces of gear came into play: Korg Prophecy (the acid synth in Smack My Bitch Up and the space fx in Firestarter) and Clavia Nord Lead (the lead synth in Funky Shit). Many drumloops were taken from a sample library by Zero-G, Jungle Warfare Vol. 1. In general, the use of sampling CDs in Liam’s production started to rise.

LP
SMACK MY BITCH UP
    Sample: intro guitar loop
    Sample source: Kool And The Gang – Funky Man [Live At The Sex Machine, 1971]
    Sample: break & bass
    Sample source: Randy Weston – In Memory Of [Tanjah, 1973]
    Note: Liam rearranged the break from ‘In Memory Of’.
    Sample: vocals (‘like this!’)
    Sample source: Mixmaster Gee And The Turntable Orchestra – Like This (Full And Fresh) [Like This, 1985]
    Sample: ‘wow’ guitar
    Sample source: Coldcut – Beats + Pieces (Mo’ Bass Remix) [Beats + Pieces, 1987]
    Original source: The Chubukos – House Of Rising Funk [Witch Doctor Bump / House Of Rising Funk, 1973]
    Sample: shaker fill
    Sample source: Ultramagnetic MC’s – Critical Beatdown [Critical Beatdown, 1988]
    Sample: vocals (‘change my pitch up, smack my bitch up’) & instrumental
    Sample source: Ultramagnetic MC’s – Give The Drummer Some [Critical Beatdown, 1988]
    Note: The sample source is listed in the booklet of ‘The Fat Of The Land’: Track 1 contains portions of ‘Give The Drummer Some’ by Ultramagnetic M.C.’s from their album entitled ‘Critical Breakdown’ used courtesy of Next Plateau Records.
    Sample: lead synth
    Sample source: Korg Prophecy – Presets – B52: 303Growler Rbn
    Sample: wah-wah guitar loop
    Sample source: Rage Against The Machine – Bulls On Parade [Evil Empire, 1996]
    Sample: sitar
    Sample source: Sheila Chandra – Nana / The Dreaming [Weaving My Ancestors’ Voices, 1992]
BREATHE
    Sample: drum fill
    Sample source: Thin Lizzy – Johnny The Fox Meets Jimmy The Weed [Johnny The Fox, 1976]
    Sample: break
    Sample source: Zero-G – Jungle Warfare [1995] – Paul 162
    Original source: Little Richard – The Rill Thing [The Rill Thing, 1970]
    Sample: stab
    Sample source: Nu-Matic – All Over Me (Original Mix) [Spring In My Step, 1992]
    Sample: trumpet
    Sample source: Please – Sing A Simple Song [Please, 1975]
    Sample: swords
    Sample source: Wu-Tang Clan – Da Mystery Of Chessboxin’ [Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), 1993]
    Original source: Shaolin And Wu Tang [1983]
    Sample: ringing snares
    Sample source: The Meters – Here Comes The Meter Man [The Meters, 1969]
    Sample: harmony
    Possible interpolation source: The Dave Bailey Quintet – Comin’ Home Baby [2 Feet In The Gutter, 1961]
    Note: There are dozens of tracks with the same chord progression, therefore it’s hard to say whether Liam was inspired by any of those. Nevertheless, ‘Comin’ Home Baby’ seems to be the first song with this harmony.
    Sample: guitar feedback fx
    Sample source: Roland JD-990 – Patches – 65 Wailing Guitar
DIESEL POWER
    Sample: beat
    Sample source: Zero-G – Jungle Warfare [1995] – Sub-Urban_05-155
    Original source: Fuzzy Haskins – The Fuz And Da Boog [A Whole Nother Thang, 1976]
    Sample: finger snap (at 0:11 and throughout)
    Sample source: Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit [Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), 1993]
    Also can be found in: Wu-Tang Clan – Bring Da Ruckus [Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), 1993]
    Sample: bell (at 0:52 and throughout)
    Sample source: Mixmaster Gee – The Manipulator (Dub Mix) [The Manipulator, 1986]
FUNKY SHIT
    Sample: vocals (‘oh my God, that’s the funky shit!’) & instrumental
    Sample source: Beastie Boys – Root Down [Ill Communication, 1994]
    Note: The sample source is listed in the booklet of ‘The Fat Of The Land’: Track 4 excepts from ‘Root Down’ used under license from Capitol Records, a division of Capitol Records Inc.
    Sample: stab
    Sample source: unknown
    Original source: Pleasure – Celebrate The Good Things [Get To The Feeling, 1978]
    Note: It’s very likely that Liam sampled this stab not from ‘Celebrate The Good Things’, but from somewhere else. If he indeed did sample the track by Pleasure, then he must’ve taken the second stab from the intro.
    Sample: beat
    Sample source: Zero-G – Jungle Warfare [1995] – Sub-Urban_05-155
    Original source: Fuzzy Haskins – The Fuz And Da Boog [A Whole Nother Thang, 1976]
    Sample: trumpets
    Sample source: Rhythm Heritage – Theme From S.W.A.T. [Disco-Fied, 1976]
    Note: The sample source is listed in the booklet of ‘The Fat Of The Land’: Sample from ‘Theme From S.W.A.T.’ by Barry Derorzan. Used courtesy of MCA Records, Inc. under licence from Universal Music Special Markets Inc. Published by EMI Gold Horizon Music.
    Sample: vocals (‘break!’)
    Sample source: The B-Boys – Two, Three, Break [Two, Three, Break, 1983]
    Note: The sample source is listed in the booklet of ‘The Fat Of The Land’: Sample ‘2-3 Break’ by the B-Boys used courtesy of Vintertainment. Published by Vintertainment Enterprises (ASCAP).
    Sample: guitar (at 4:31 and throughout)
    Sample source: Sheila Chandra – Bhajan [Weaving My Ancestors’ Voices, 1992]
SERIAL THRILLA
    Sample: engine noise
    Sample source: Earth vs. The Flying Saucers [1956]
    Sample: guitar & drums
    Sample source: Skunk Anansie – Selling Jesus [Paranoid & Sunburnt, 1995]
    Note: The sample source is listed in the booklet of ‘The Fat Of The Land’: Track 5 ‘Selling Jesus’ by Skunk Anansie used courtesy of One Little Indian except USA courtesy of Sony Music Inc.
    Sample: guitar riff & voice
    Sample source: Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit [Nevermind, 1991]
    Sample: outro fx
    Sample source: Spectrasonics – Distorted Reality [1995] – DIMENSIONS
MINDFIELDS
    Sample: melody
    Interpolation source: John Barry – Hip’s Trip [The Man With The Golden Gun (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), 1974]
    Note: A portion of the melody from ‘Hip’s Trip’ was replayed with almost no changes.
    Sample: tar
    Sample source: E-mu Proteus/3 – Patches – 013 Fragrant Tar
    Sample: synth
    Sample source: Roland JD-990 Super JD & SR-JV80-04 Vintage Synth – Patches – 208 EML Wobbler
    Sample: hat
    Sample source: Word Of Mouth – King Kut (Latin Rascals Instrumental) [King Kut, 1985]
    Sample: percussion element
    Sample source: Word Of Mouth – King Kut (Latin Rascals Instrumental) [King Kut, 1985]
    Sample: guitar feedback fx
    Sample source: Sony Creative Software – Methods Of Mayhem: Industrial Toolkit – Feedback 01 48-01
    Sample: stabs #1
    Sample source: Word Of Mouth – King Kut (Latin Rascals Instrumental) [King Kut, 1985]
    Sample: break
    Sample source: The Winstons – Amen, Brother [Color Him Father, 1969]
    Sample: stabs #2
    Sample source: Word Of Mouth – King Kut (Latin Rascals Instrumental) [King Kut, 1985]
    Also can be found in: 1st Prodject – Right Before (Remix) [Right Before (Remix) / Shady, 1992]
NARAYAN
    Sample: ethnic ambience loop
    Sample source: Spectrasonics – Distorted Reality [1995] – GHANDI DRN
    Sample: beat #1
    Sample source: Fatboy Slim – The Sound Of Milwaukee [Better Living Through Chemistry, 1996]
    Original source: The Milwaukee Coasters – Josephine [West Coast Rock N Roll 1968, 1968]
    Sample: vocal fx (at 0:58 and throughout)
    Sample source: Spectrasonics – Distorted Reality [1995] – CRYING OUT
    Sample: beat #2 (at 4:13 and throughout)
    Sample source: Zero-G – Jungle Warfare [1995] – Explore 162
    Original source: Lightnin’ Rod – Sport [Hustlers Convention, 1973]
FIREDRILL
    Sample: beat & bass
    Sample source: Deep Cops – Ol Diablo [Scream From Jaws, 1997]
    Sample: outro fx
    Sample source: Spectrasonics – Distorted Reality [1995] – RAPTUROUS
FIRESTARTER
    Sample: wah-wah guitar
    Sample source: The Breeders – S.O.S. [Last Splash, 1993]
    Note: The sample source is listed in the booklet of ‘The Fat Of The Land’: Track 8 sample of Breeders ‘SOS’ courtesy of 4AD / Elektra (by arrangement with Warner Special Products).
    Sample: beat #1
    Sample source: Zero-G – Jungle Warfare [1995] – The Roller 162
    Original source: M.B.P. Mix – Light My Fire [Light My Fire, 1969]
    Sample: beat #2
    Sample source: Zero-G – Jungle Warfare [1995] – Tiny 162
    Original source: Supreme DJ Nyborn – Versatile Extension (A Remix) [Versatility, 1988]
    Sample: fat kick
    Sample source: The Dust Brothers – Chemical Beats [Fourteenth Century Sky E.P., 1994]
    Sample: shout (‘hey!’)
    Sample source: The Art Of Noise – Close (To The Edit) [(Who’s Afraid Of?) The Art Of Noise, 1984]
    Note: The sample source is listed in the booklet of ‘The Fat Of The Land’: ‘Close To The Edit’ by Art Of Noise under licence from ZTT Records Ltd.
    Sample: arp fx
    Sample source: Korg Prophecy – Presets – B00: Space Adventure
CLIMBATIZE
    Sample: strings
    Sample source: John Ottman – Kobayashi’s Domain [The Usual Suspects (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), 1995]
    Also can be found in: The Usual Suspects [1995]
    Sample: organ
    Sample source: The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again [Who’s Next, 1971]
    Sample: beat
    Sample source: Jedi Knights – Air Drums From Outer Bongolia [New School Science, 1996]
    Original source: Michael Viner’s Incredible Bongo Band – Bongolia [Bongo Rock, 1973]
    Note: Liam sampled the drums from a track by The Jedi Knight (aka Global Communication) entitled ‘Air Drums From Outer Bongolia’. They caught wind of this and wasted no time trying to sue The Prodigy for the use of the drum loop, but Liam had a trump card up his sleeve: he knew that The Jedi Knights sampled the Incredible Bongo Band’s ‘Bongolia’ on their track. XL Recordings ended up buying the rights to ‘Bongolia’ and in turn threatened to sue The Jedi Knights. While this clipped the wind from their sails, it also got back to George Lucas, the man behind Star Wars who created the term ‘Jedi Knight’, and ended up suing The Jedi Knights over the use of the name.
    Sample: fx
    Sample source: Jedi Knights – Air Drums From Outer Bongolia [New School Science, 1996]
    Sample: horn
    Sample source: Egyptian Empire – The Horn Track (Original Mix) [The Horn Track, 1992]
    Original source: C Cat Trance – Rattling Ghosts [Khamu (She Sleep Walks), 1985]
    Note: The sample source is listed in the booklet of ‘The Fat Of The Land’: Track 9 contains portion of ‘Horn Track’ by Egyptian Empire / Tim Taylor courtesy of London Records and published by Northcott Music administered by International Music Network.
FUEL MY FIRE
    Source: L7 – Fuel My Fire [Hungry For Stink, 1994]
    Note: Cover of the L7’s track.
SINGLES / RARE STUFF
DIESEL POWER DIRTCHAMBER REMIX
    Sample: beat
    Sample source: UPP – Give It To You [UPP, 1975]
DIESEL POWER QUARASHI REMIX
    Sample: additional beat (at 2:12 and throughout)
    Sample source: Manzel – Midnight Theme [Sugar Dreams / Midnight Theme, 1979]
FUNKY SHIT MULDER EXCLUSIVE MIX
    Sample: shout (‘hey!’)
    Sample source: The Art Of Noise – Close (To The Edit) [(Who’s Afraid Of?) The Art Of Noise, 1984]
GHOST TOWN
    Source: The Specials – Ghost Town [Ghost Town, 1981]
    Note: Cover of the Specials’ track.
    Sample: fx
    Sample source: The Specials – Ghost Town [Ghost Town, 1981]
    Sample: scratch & drum fill
    Sample source: Run-DMC – Peter Piper [Raising Hell, 1986]
    Sample: guitar & drums
    Sample source: The Specials – Ghost Town [Ghost Town, 1981]
    Sample: shout (‘ho!’)
    Sample source: Darth Fader & Scarecrow Willy – Side B [Toasted Marshmallow Feet Breaks, 1995]
    Original source: Divine Sounds – Do Or Die Bed Sty [Changes / Do Or Die Bed Sty, 1984]
MINDFIELDS HEADROCK DUB
    Sample: beat
    Sample source: Schoolly-D – P.S.K. What Does It Mean? [Schoolly-D, 1985]
    Sample: stabs
    Sample source: Word Of Mouth – King Kut (Latin Rascals Instrumental) [King Kut, 1985]
MOLOTOV BITCH
    Sample: guitar
    Sample source: Adam And The Ants – Ants Invasion [Kings Of The Wild Frontier, 1980]
NO MAN ARMY FEATURING TOM MORELLO
    Sample: guitar feedback fx #1
    Sample source: Sony Creative Software – Methods Of Mayhem: Industrial Toolkit – Feedback 13 49-01
    Sample: break
    Sample source: Juice – Catch A Groove [Feel Like Good Music / Catch A Groove, 1976]
    Sample: wah-wah guitar
    Sample source: Rage Against The Machine – Bulls On Parade [Evil Empire, 1996]
    Sample: guitar feedback fx #2
    Sample source: Sony Creative Software – Methods Of Mayhem: Industrial Toolkit – Feedback 04 48-04
SMACK MY BITCH UP CLEAN EDIT
    Sample: a guitar sound that censores the word ‘bitch’
    Sample source: Psychedelic Skratch Bastards – Side B: Mud Cuts [Battle Breaks, 1992]
    Original source: Slayer – South Of Heaven [South Of Heaven, 1988]
    Sample: a camera shutter sound that censores the word ‘bitch’
    Sample source: Simon Harris – Effects & Scratches – Camera [Beats, Breaks & Scratches Volume 2, 1988]
SMACK MY BITCH UP VIDEO EDIT
    Sample: scream (at 2:18)
    Also can be found in: The Hidden [1997]
    Sample: reversed vocals (‘the wall of death one more time’) (at 2:46 and throughout)
    Also can be found in: The Hidden [1997]
    Note: These samples were added by the music video director Jonas Åkerlund, who had also used them in his short film ‘The Hidden’.
THE TRICK
    Sample: piano
    Sample source: War – Searching For Youngblood & Rommel [Youngblood (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), 1978]


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