Music for the Jilted Generation

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Music for the Jilted Generation
Studio album by The Prodigy
Released 4 July 1994 (UK)
28 February 1995 (US)
4 August 2008 (2 disc re-release)
Recorded Earthbound Studios, The Strongroom
Genre Electronica, breakbeat hardcore, oldschool jungle, big beat, electro-industrial, hardcore techno, trip hop, rave
Length 78:07
Label XL
Mute (US)
Producer Liam Howlett, Neil McLellan
The Prodigy chronology
Experience
(1992)
Music for the Jilted Generation
(1994)
Voodoo People
(1995)
Singles from Music for the Jilted Generation
  1. "One Love"
    Released: 4 October 1993
  2. "No Good (Start the Dance)"
    Released: 16 May 1994
  3. "Voodoo People"
    Released: 12 September 1994
  4. "Poison"
    Released: 6 March 1995

Music for the Jilted Generation is the second studio album by English electronic dance music band The Prodigy. The album was released through XL Recordings in July 1994. The album was re-released in 2008 as More Music for the Jilted Generation, including remastered and bonus tracks.[1] Similarly to their previous record Experience, Maxim Reality is the only group member, besides Liam Howlett, from the then line-up to contribute to the album.

Album information[edit]

The album is largely a response to the corruption of the rave scene in Britain by its mainstream status as well as Great Britain's Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which criminalised raves and parts of rave culture. This is exemplified in the song "Their Law" with the spoken word intro and the predominant lyric, the "Fuck 'em and their law" sample. Many years later, after the controversy died down, Liam Howlett derided the title of the album, which he referred to as "stupid", and maintained that the album was never meant to be political in the first place.[2]

Many of the samples featured on the album are sound clips from, or inspired by, movies. "Intro" features a sample that sounds like it's from the film The Lawnmower Man, however it is an American voice on "Intro" instead of Pierce Brosnan's English accent and the words are subtly different (on "Intro" the words are "So, I've decided to take my work back underground, to stop it falling into the wrong hands",[3] but in "The Lawnmower Man" the line is "So I'm taking my work underground, I can't let it fall into the wrong hands again"[4]), "Their Law" samples Smokey and the Bandit, "Full Throttle" features a reverse sample from the original Star Wars movie, and "The Heat (The Energy)" features a sample from Poltergeist III.[2] In "Claustrophobic Sting", a voice whispers "My mind is glowing",[5] similar to HAL 9000 saying "My mind is going"[6] in the film 2001.

When Liam Howlett came to the cutting room for the final phase in the album production he realised that all the tracks he had originally planned for wouldn't fit onto a CD, so "One Love" had to be edited which resulted in a cut of approximately 1 minute and 41 seconds, "The Heat (The Energy)" was slightly cut, and the track called "We Eat Rhythm" was left out. "We Eat Rhythm" was later released on a free cassette with Select Magazine in October 1994 entitled Select Future Tracks. Liam Howlett later asserted that he felt the edit of "One Love" and "Full Throttle" could have been dropped from the track listing.[2]

"The Narcotic Suite" includes live flute parts, played by Phil Bent. Originally, Howlett asked Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull to play this part or to give permission to use samples of one of his flute parts; according to Anderson, the letter from Howlett got stuck in his office and when Ian found it, the album was already released.

The cover of the inner artwork of the record was analysed in an article published in 2008 in the techno underground Magazine Datacide. The author compares the picture with a persiflage which was published in 2003 on the Kid606 album Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You. The article not only describes the representation of raves in graphic artwork but also describes the marketing strategy of the band with the album and criticises it:

With the picture The Prodigy are taking a stance in the conflict of ravers versus the police in those days. At the same time this statement is used to market a rebellious attitude. The picture is part of the artwork of a record – which is of course a commodity. The teenage (and male) consumer ought to identify himself with the presented rebellion. With the help of the artwork a certain image of The Prodigy is established: They should be seen as anti-stars, who define themselves through refusal and opposition [...].[7]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Almost Cool 7.5/10[8]
Allmusic 5/5 stars[9]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[10]
Q 4/5 stars[11]
Record Collector 5/5 stars[11]
Robert Christgau A[12]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[13]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5 stars[14]
Ultimate Guitar 9.3/10[15]

Music for the Jilted Generation has received critical acclaim. Rolling Stone gave it three-and-a-half stars, calling it "truly trippy" and that it "generates universal dance fever".[13] Alternative Press said it "throws much darker shapes than its predecessor" and "slams harder and rawer and covers more ground".[16] Robert Christgau called it "one of the rare records that's damn near everything you want cheap music to be".[12] Mojo ranked it number 83 in their "100 Modern Classics" list.[citation needed]

Spin ranked it number 60 in their "90 Greatest Albums of the '90s" list.[17] NME ranked it number 9 in their "Top 50 Albums of 1994" list.[18] Q readers voted it the 62nd greatest album of all time in early 1998 and ranked it as one of the best British albums of the last 50 years in 2008.[citation needed] On 4 December 2008, radio presenter Zane Lowe inducted it into his 'masterpieces' by playing the album in full on his BBC Radio 1 show. It is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Liam Howlett, unless indicated otherwise. 

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Intro"     0:45
2. "Break & Enter"     8:24
3. "Their Law" (featuring Pop Will Eat Itself) Howlett, Pop Will Eat Itself 6:40
4. "Full Throttle"     5:02
5. "Voodoo People"     6:27
6. "Speedway" (Theme From Fastlane)   8:56
7. "The Heat (The Energy)"     4:27
8. "Poison"   Howlett, Maxim Reality 6:42
9. "No Good (Start the Dance)"     6:17
10. "One Love" (Edit)   3:53
The Narcotic Suite
No. Title Length
11. "3 Kilos"   7:25
12. "Skylined"   5:56
13. "Claustrophobic Sting"   7:13
More Music for the Jilted Generation disc 2
No. Title Length
1. "Voodoo People (Radio 1 Maida Vale Session)"   4:18
2. "Poison (Radio 1 Maida Vale Session)"   4:42
3. "Break & Enter (2005 Live Edit)"   4:56
4. "Their Law (Live at Pukkelpop)"   5:27
5. "No Good (Start the Dance) (Bad for You Mix)"   6:49
6. "Scienide"   5:49
7. "Goa (The Heat the Energy Part 2)"   6:03
8. "Rat Poison"   5:31
9. "Voodoo People (Dust Brothers Remix)"   5:55

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Weeks Peak Peak date
UK album chart 1 1
Norwegian VG-lista 12
Billboard 200 1 198 22 February 1997
Billboard Heatseekers 15

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Poland (ZPAV)[19] Gold 50,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[20] 2× Platinum 600,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Personnel[edit]

  • Liam Howlett – performer, producer (on tracks 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 11, 12, and 13) at Earthbound studios, co-producer (other tracks) at The Strongroom
  • Neil McLellan – co-producer (on tracks 4, 5, 7, 9, and 10) at The Strongroom
  • Maxim Reality – vocals on "Poison"
  • Pop Will Eat Itself – performer on "Their Law"
  • Phil Bent – live flute
  • Lance Riddler – live guitar on "Voodoo People"
  • Mike Champion – management

Artwork[edit]

  • Les Edwards – inside sleeve painting
  • Stuart Haygarth – front cover
  • Jamie Fry – rear sleeve

References[edit]

  1. ^ "More Music for the Jilted Generation", 2008 release [1] (Retrieved 26 May 2008)
  2. ^ a b c Dimery, Robert (2005). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. New York, NY: Quintet Publishing. p. 750. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5. 
  3. ^ "The Prodigy - Intro + Break & Enter". YouTube. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Clip from The Lawnmower Man, skip to 9:20 "The Lawnmower Man - Ending". YouTube. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "The Prodigy - claustrophobic sting (Narcotic Suite)". YouTube. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Deactivation of HAL 9000". YouTube. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "Commodities for the Jilted Generation" by Hans-Christian Psaar published in Datacide Magazine (10/2008, p.28)
  8. ^ http://www.almostcool.org/mr/945/
  9. ^ John Bush. "Music for the Jilted Generation – The Prodigy". Allmusic. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  10. ^ Petridis, Alexis (1 August 2008). "Electronic review: The Prodigy, More Music For the Jilted Generation". The Guardian. 
  11. ^ a b http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=7686875
  12. ^ a b Robert Christgau. "The Prodigy". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  13. ^ a b 20 April 1995, p. 80
  14. ^ http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/34844/The-Prodigy-More-Music-For-The-Jilted-Generation/
  15. ^ http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/compact_discs/prodigy/music_for_the_jilted_generation/index.html
  16. ^ (April 1995, p. 84) -
  17. ^ (September 1999, p. 150)
  18. ^ (24 December 1994, p. 22)
  19. ^ "Polish album certifications – The Prodigy – Experience" (in Polish). Polish Producers of Audio and Video (ZPAV). 
  20. ^ "British album certifications – The Prodigy – Experience". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Experience in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
Preceded by
Happy Nation by Ace of Base
UK number one album
16–22 July 1994
Succeeded by
Voodoo Lounge by The Rolling Stones