The first half of the album is composed of the tracks "Prologue" and "Helter Stupid". The two together form an extended piece lasting over 22 minutes. The concept, and some of the sampled material, came from a San Francisco television news program that was taken in by a media hoax perpetrated by Negativland while promoting its previous album, Escape from Noise. Other samples used included those from Rev. Estus Pirkle (further samples from the same sermon used in the band's signature song, "Christianity Is Stupid"), an interview with Charles Manson, and what was the band's most brazenly unauthorized sample to date: "Helter Skelter" by The Beatles.
Parts of the "Perfect Cut" tracks on Side 2 draw from samples of "The Winning Score", a 1977 presentation by TM Century, producers of radio jingles and imaging.