Don’t we love a big hook, songs that are so catchy they transcend the artist. The first few seconds of ‘Right here right now” take you back to a place in time and when the hook kicks you’re back there living it. Norman Cook, aka ‘Fatboy Slim’ has the knack for operating inside the big beat but can wander outside it with reggae, hip-hop and pop.
This record was released in 1998, a prime era for electro bangers. The Crystal Method, Prodigy and Chemical Brothers were right in their own hot zone filling out nightclub dance floors.
Surprisingly I did buy this when it came out but as with so many cd’s in the late 90’s it hung out in the rack for years until I rediscovered it. When I had my musical reawakening a few years back I went straight to the big beat.
It’s an old school party of backbeats with weird samples tied in to house music and old style rap. The thing is the fusion of it all works on so many levels, it’s irresistible as every song seems a touch different from the last one. On this record Fatboy Slim knows this better than anybody.
“The Rockafeller Skank” track was made for the clubs with the “check it out now the funk soul brother” line wrapped in a heady 60’s guitar groove.
Other standouts include “Gangster Tripping” with a Beastie Boys vibe to it, “You’re not from Brighton” has an undercurrent of Cypress Hill and “Praise You” is an instant classic.
The second last song “Love Island” will get you moving no matter what and the final track “Acid 8000” is one trippy seven-minute blast you’d imagine an open air Ibiza nightclub playing at 4am.
The eleven songs kick in at just over an hour. It’s the twists and left turns that make this record great. Norman was a bass player in the band ‘The Housemartins’; he then started dabbling in his favorite musical genre as ‘DJ Quentox’ at University clubs. This eventually transformed him and the reincarnation into ‘Fatboy Slim’ was complete.
‘You’ve come a long way baby’ went on to sell 3 million units worldwide, it’s the record fans of the big beat can dine out on for generations to come.
hallymustang rating :4.5/5