With it’s UK release June 30th and it’s US release July 1st, the iconic album has reached a huge milestone. This record hands down changed millions of lives and simultaneously flung The Prodigy and electronic music into the psyche of the mainstream.
In the US, the album hit number 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 2.6 million copies by the end of 97. It has gone on to sell over 10 million albums to date. It also has been entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for fastest selling dance record in the UK and received a Grammy nomination. This leaves no question it has been responsible for bringing an entire generation to dance music in the late 90’s.
Like most American teenagers, I was introduced to the band when I saw the video for the track Firestarter premiere on MTV. I was blown away by Keith Flint’s (RIP) energy and sheer punk rock attitude in the video. I think most teenagers were. In 2020, Metal Hammer Magazine included the record in their Top 10 Albums of 1997, citing it as “the point at which rave culture collided with metal culture”. I couldn’t agree with that statement more. I was lucky enough to see The Prodigy open up for Tool at Lallapalooza 97.
2 more singles spawned from the album. Breathe and Smack My Bitch Up, the latter causing a great deal of controversy for the band. The video even being banned from MTV. However, it was the 90’s and bad publicity was usually good publicity with these sort of things. We were after all, a group a generation that was being brought up on heavy metal and gangster rap. So, most of us didn’t bat much of an eye. Some will say it’s problematic, but art is subjective all the same. YouTube is not having it though, I was able to hunt the uncensored video down from archive.org.
Looking back, this is still one of my favorite records and still holds up today in my humble opinion. So fire up those subs and give this bad boy a spin. Whether it’s your first listen or millionth, this shit still slaps.