Born Slippy Nuxx

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"Born Slippy .NUXX"
Underworld bornSlippyNuxxUS.jpg
Single by Underworld
from the album Trainspotting: Music from the Motion Picture
A-side"Born Slippy"
B-side
  • Darren Price Remix
  • "Banstyle" (Alex Reece Remix)
Released1 July 1996 (1996-07-01)
Genre
Length
  • 11:46 (original release)
  • 9:44 (album edit)
  • 4:25 (single edit)
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Rick Smith
  • Karl Hyde
  • Darren Emerson
Underworld singles chronology
"Pearl's Girl"
(1996)
"Born Slippy .NUXX"
(1996)
"Juanita"
(1997)
Underworld singles chronology
"Cowgirl"
(1994)
"Born Slippy"
(1995)
"Rowla"
(1996)

"Born Slippy .NUXX" is a song by British electronic music group Underworld. It was first released as the B-side to an unrelated[citation needed] track, "Born Slippy", in May 1995. The fragmented lyrics, by vocalist Karl Hyde, describe the perspective of an alcoholic.

After it was used in the 1996 film Trainspotting, "Born Slippy .NUXX" was issued as a single on 1 July 1996 and reached number two on the UK Singles Chart. It has been named one of the best tracks of the 1990s by numerous publications.

Writing[edit]

Vocalist Karl Hyde wrote the lyrics for "Born Slippy .NUXX" after a night drinking in Soho, London, hoping to capture the way a drunk "sees the world in fragments". The vocals were recorded in one take; when Hyde lost his place, he would sing the same line repeatedly, creating the line "lager, lager, lager, lager".[2] Hyde, who was struggling with alcoholism, said he did not intend the song to be a "drinking anthem" but rather a "cry for help". He was disturbed when audience members raised their lager cans during performances.[2] Underworld producer Rick Smith said the lyrics reflected "this energy of movement, and of time and place", like an abstract painting.[3]

Release[edit]

Underworld released "Born Slippy .NUXX" as the B-side to an unrelated track, "Born Slippy", on 1 May 1995.[4][5] It does not feature on an Underworld album, but it was included as a bonus track on reissues of Second Toughest in the Infants (1996).[citation needed] In the United States, the song was released in October 1996.[6]

The song became a hit after it was used in the 1996 film Trainspotting.[4] Director Danny Boyle described it as the "heartbeat" of the film, capturing its "euphoric highs following intense lows".[4] Underworld initially refused permission to use it in the film, as they disliked how their music was often used in negative portrayals of clubbing, but Boyle persuaded them after showing them a clip.[3]

"Born Slippy .NUXX" was re-issued as a single in the United Kingdom on 1 July 1996.[7] Boosted by Trainspotting,[3] it reached number two on the UK Singles Chart.[2] Smith was shocked when BBC Radio 1 played the track on breakfast radio, and said: "I thought, music is moving, culture is moving, it's spreading. It's meaning things outside of just the context of on an amazing sound system in a club or on a PA system in a student hall. It was very nice!"[3]

Critical reception[edit]

British magazine Music Week rated the song five out of five in 1996, describing it as "an anthem for a generation".[8] On the 1995 release, Brad Beatnik from the magazine's RM Dance Update wrote, "Messrs Emerson, Hyde and Smith bung a few breakbeats on board for a dazzling ride through rich, colourful techno terrains. For the first minute, you might think the boys have gone all jungle on us but no – those lush synths cruise in to perfectly balance the thwacking beats."[9]

Impact and legacy[edit]

AllMusic wrote that "Born Slippy .NUXX" was "simply one of the best slices of electronica one will find. Musically austere in its emotional textures, the song becomes a nearly unstoppable force ... Dance music is rarely so artistic and enjoyable in the same instance."[10] Vice described "Born Slippy .NUXX" as one of the 90s' most iconic songs,[3] writing that it "mixed sublime synths with a four-to-the-floor freakout, and represented everything that was going on; it was new."[3]

In 2004, Mixmag readers voted it the fourth-best dance track,[11] and in 2011 Slant Magazine named it the 95th best single of the decade.[12] In 2014, NME named it the 261st greatest song of all time.[13] Pitchfork named it the 31st best track of the 1990s.[14] The Guardian named it the "most experimental and sonically extreme hit of the 90s", alongside the Chemical Brothers' 1996 single "Setting Sun",[1] and among "the weirdest chart hits of all time".[15]

For the film T2 Trainspotting (2017), Smith created a new version with timestretched chords, "Slow Slippy".[3] He said in 2017, "We’ve been playing 'Born Slippy' live for 20 years, and the reaction from the audience is so strong it's almost overwhelming. It's never got tiring to perform or play. It's what it triggers in people."[16]

Track listings[edit]

1995[edit]

1996[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

"Born Slippy .NUXX 2003"[edit]

"Born Slippy .NUXX 2003"
Single by Underworld
Released27 October 2003 (2003-10-27)[52]
GenreDance
Length3:58
Label
Songwriter(s)
  • Rick Smith
  • Karl Hyde
Producer(s)Underworld
Underworld singles chronology
"Dinosaur Adventure 3D"
(2003)
"Born Slippy .NUXX 2003"
(2003)
"JAL to Tokyo"
(2005)

"Born Slippy .NUXX 2003" is a version of "Born Slippy .NUXX" re-released by Underworld to promote the album 1992–2002, originally released in 2003. New remixes were commissioned for this release, along with a new video, compiled by Danny Boyle of clips from his film Trainspotting. This release reached No. 1 on the UK Dance Singles Chart during the first week of November 2003.

Track listings[edit]

UK and European CD single[53]

  1. "Born Slippy Nuxx" (2003 edit) – 3:58
  2. "Born Slippy Nuxx" (Atomic Hooligan Remix) – 7:19
  3. "Born Slippy Nuxx" (Paul Oakenfold Mix) – 8:11

European 12-inch single[54]

A. "Born Slippy Nuxx" (2003 12-inch version) – 7:01
B. "Born Slippy Nuxx" (Paul Oakenfold Mix) – 8:11
  • The US 12-inch single switches the two sides.[55]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2003–2004) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[56] 13
Belgium Dance (Ultratop Flanders)[57] 12
Italy (FIMI)[58] 44
Scotland (OCC)[59] 24
UK Singles (OCC)[60] 27
UK Dance (OCC)[61] 1
UK Indie (OCC)[62] 4
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[42] 9

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Petridis, Alexis (14 February 2004). "The rebirth of art rock". The Guardian.
  2. ^ a b c Lynskey, Dorian (24 February 2006). "Born Slippy was a greyhound we bet on". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Godfrey, Alex (24 March 2017). "How 'Trainspotting' Made Underworld's "Born Slippy" One of the 90s' Most Iconic Songs". Vice. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "From the Crate: Underworld "Born Slippy"". Insomniac. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  5. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 29 April 1995. p. 39. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  6. ^ Sexton, Paul (23 November 1996). "Junior Boy's Own Underworld Sent Overground with 'Slippy'". Billboard. Vol. 108, no. 47. p. 13. The relentless, hard-edged club cut, originally released here in May 1995 and in the U.S. in Oct. '96...
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