Baby's Got a Temper

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"Baby's Got a Temper"
Single by The Prodigy
Released 1 July 2002
Format 12" vinyl record
CD single
DVD single
Recorded Essex, England
Genre Big beat, electronica, alternative rock, synthpunk
Length 4:24 (Main mix)
Label XL Recordings
Maverick Records
Writer(s) Liam Howlett
Keith Flint
Kieron Pepper
Tony Howlett
Producer(s) Liam Howlett
The Prodigy singles chronology
"Smack My Bitch Up"
(1997)
"Baby's Got a Temper"
(2002)
"Girls"
(2004)

"Baby's Got a Temper" is a song recorded by English electronica group The Prodigy, released on 1 July 2002. It was the band's first single in five years, following "Smack My Bitch Up" in 1997, and was their second that was not a song from any of their albums. It was also their first release after dancer Leeroy Thornhill left the band in 2000.

The song's lyrics, written by Keith Flint, heavily played upon the misuse of the drug rohypnol. This resulted in the controversy surrounding the song, in which a lawsuit was filed against the band.[clarification needed] "Baby's Got a Temper" was released as their "thirteenth single" to generally negative reviews. Liam Howlett responded to the negative reaction to the single that he didn't own it.[1] Despite this criticism, the song was a top five hit on the Canadian Singles Chart.[2]

Recording and composition[edit]

The song was written by Keith Flint when he was in Flint, a side project of The Prodigy who co-wrote the song. The band performed several gigs, with their first being a brief set at the Download Festival on 1 June 2003. Having thought that the band were in the industrial metal genre, Flint decided that the song would largely contrast with the band's style, and invited Jim Davies to be featured in the song. Liam Howlett, the song's producer, would later argue he disowned the single.[1]

"Baby's Got a Temper" briefly samples The Prodigy's earlier hit "Firestarter," while its tempo is set in 100 BPM. In contrast to the slow tempo of the song, the majority of the lyrics focus on the misuse of rohypnol. The band generated controversy by including references to the so-called "date rape" drug in the lyrics however they explained that the song mentions only own use and makes no statements on actual "date rape" use of the drug.[3]

Release and reception[edit]

The single was initially intended to support their then-upcoming album, Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned. However, the album got reworked and the song was removed from its tracklisting. Because of the song's release as a non-album single, in 2008, the band's official website's discography classified it as an EP.[4]

Many critics disliked "Baby's Got a Temper" when released. PopMatters commented that the song "doesn’t sound like a great leap forward from the last Flint-fronted tracks, and that’s a big disappointment considering that we’ve been waiting five years for it."[5] In addition, NME panned the song, and called The Prodigy "just total fucking idiots" while unfavorably comparing it to glue.[6] Despite negative reviews, it was a commercial success, with the single being a top five hit on the Canadian Singles Chart.[2]

A Traktor-directed music video for the song was released as a DVD single that included a short "making of" film. It featured three ordinary men, dressed in suits, who walk into a disused funfair. They enter a makeup trailer, dress up and apply makeup, turning out to be the band members, Howlett, Flint, and Maxim. The group go onstage where they perform before a crowd consisting of cattle, which are milked by women dressed like strippers. The milk is then passed to a booth and sold to the public waiting outside who is desperate to get some in an addict manner. The video was apparently based upon one of Howlett's dreams.[7]

Track listing[edit]

XL Recordings[edit]

12" vinyl record[edit]

A1. "Baby's Got a Temper" (Main mix) (4:24)
A2. "Baby's Got a Temper" (Dub mix) (5:28)
B1. "Baby's Got a Temper" (Instrumental) (4:24)
B2. "Baby's Got a Temper" (Acapella) (3:25)

CD single[edit]

  1. "Baby's Got a Temper" (Main mix) (4:24)
  2. "Baby's Got a Temper" (Dub) (5:58)
  3. "Baby's Got a Temper" (Instrumental) (4:24)

DVD single[edit]

  1. "Baby's Got a Temper" (Main mix) (4:24)
  2. "A Day At Work" (1:56)

Maverick Records CD single[edit]

  1. "Baby's Got a Temper" (Main mix) (4:24)
  2. "Baby's Got a Temper" (Dub mix) (5:28)
  3. "Baby's Got a Temper" (Instrumental) (4:23)
  4. "Baby's Got a Temper" (Acapella) (3:25)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nekozine online interview on 17 December 2003 by Andrea Schnepf with Liam Howlett, published 7 January 2004. Retrieved 4 May 2007.
  2. ^ a b Canadian Chart - allmusic.com
  3. ^ James, Martin. "Liam Howlett: Punk and disorderly". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  4. ^ EPs on 11 March 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2008.
  5. ^ Charlotte, Robinson. "Review: "Baby's Got a Temper"". PopMatters. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  6. ^ Kessler, Ted (2002-06-25). "Review: "Baby's Got a Temper"" 46. NME. IPC Media. 
  7. ^ Hodges, Jessica. "The Prodigy: Baby's Got a Temper - PopMatters Music Video Review". PopMatters. Retrieved 2011-05-06.