Exit Planet Dust

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Exit Planet Dust
Exit planet dust album cover.jpg
Studio album by The Chemical Brothers
Released 26 June 1995
Recorded August – November 1994 (tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9–11)
1993 ("Chemical Beats" and "One Too Many Mornings)"
1992 ("Song to the Siren")
Length 49:27
  • Tom Rowlands
  • Ed Simons
  • Cheeky Paul
The Chemical Brothers chronology
Exit Planet Dust
Dig Your Own Hole
Singles from Exit Planet Dust
  1. "Song to the Siren"
    Released: 1 October 1992
  2. "Leave Home"
    Released: 5 June 1995
  3. "Life Is Sweet"
    Released: 29 August 1995

Exit Planet Dust is the debut studio album by British electronica duo The Chemical Brothers, released in the UK on 26 June 1995 and the US on 15 August 1995. The title is a reference to their departure from their earlier name "The Dust Brothers".

In 2004, the album was packaged with 1997s Dig Your Own Hole in a limited edition box set as part of EMI's "2CD Originals" collection. It was certified platinum by the BPI on 1 January 1996.[citation needed]

The album was voted the second best dance album of all time by Muzik.[4] The album was in the UK charts for many weeks, and also charted in each year from release in 1995 until 2000. Its highest peak was #9 in 1995.[5] On 30 October 2000, the album was released on MiniDisc.

The album was recorded August – November 1994, with "Song to the Siren" performed live.


Their initial work included a remix of an Ariel song (a band which included Tom Rowlands of The Chemical Brothers on drums) (released under their '237 Turbo Nutters' name) and the track "Song to the Siren", issued as an independent single on Diamond Records, reportedly inspired by a nickname Ed Simons had. The single also contained two longform remixes of the track. The band took the song to various dance record shops around London but no one picked it up. "Song to the Siren" was made simply using a Hitachi hi-fi system, a computer, a sampler, and a keyboard, using a sample of This Mortal Coil.

Andrew Weatherall of The Sabres of Paradise had heard the track. He decided to play it live in his DJ sets, and signed the duo to his Junior Boy's Own record label, which re-released the single in 1993. The band had become popular remixers, mixing tracks ranging from "Jailbird" by Primal Scream to "Voodoo People" by The Prodigy (their remix of this particular track also became the A-side of "Voodoo People" on select versions).

The duo worked on new tracks in 1993, resulting in the EPs Fourteenth Century Sky and My Mercury Mouth E.P. The former included popular track "Chemical Beats", which laid down the big beat template used by the duo for much longer. "One Too Many Mornings" from the same release was the first glimpse at the duo's more chilled side. The duo began the idea of making an album in 1994. Around this time they began DJing abroad.


The album's recording began in August 1994[6] and concluded in November. Tom Rowlands stated in 2002 that they "stayed up for three weeks making it".[7] One song from the sessions, "Leave Home", was first released in late 1994 on the duo's mix album, NME Xmas Dust Up, released as a covermount cassette tape in an issue of NME. The first six tracks on Exit Planet Dust are continuous, making a medley. These six tracks include "Leave Home"; and edits of the duo's previous songs "Chemical Beats" and their first track "Song to the Siren", the latter being recorded live on the album from Sabresonic nightclub in March 1994, which belonged to Weatherall's act The Sabres of Paradise, who also remixed "Leave Home".

The duo became resident DJs at the small—but hugely influential—Heavenly Sunday Social Club at the Albany pub in London's Great Portland Street at this point. The likes of Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, James Dean Bradfield, and Tim Burgess were regular visitors. The Dust Brothers (as they were at the time) were subsequently asked to remix tracks by Manic Street Preachers and The Charlatans. Their remixes of Primal Scream's "Jailbird" and The Prodigy's "Voodoo People" received television exposure, being playlisted by MTV Europe's "The Party Zone" in 1995.

The album was finished by 1995 and released on the Junior Boy's Own label, in conjunction with The Chemical Brothers' own independent leg of that label, Freestyle Dust; and Virgin Records, which later replaced Junior Boy's Own as the band's head label. The duo, however, had to change their name to The Chemical Brothers after the US Dust Brothers had threatened to sue them if they refused to.[8] The Chemical Brothers name came from the duo's track "Chemical Beats". The name change inspired the name of the album.

The album was released in the UK in June 1995. Shortly before its release, Ed Simons said to Muzik that "nobody from the dance world has come up with an album to reflect these times. Why is that? Why is it left to a group like Oasis to express the way that young people want to go out and get battered every weekend? That's what The Chemical Brothers are about".[9]


The cover of the album was from a 1970s fashion shoot reject box, according to Ed Simons. In a 1995 interview with Select Magazine, Ed says "we wanted something that just looked nice. A lot of techno albums just have fractals on them, and we wanted something a bit more romantic and otherworldly with soft, nice colours. It's the wrong way round as well - intentionally. If me and Tom are in that picture we're in the car going "Oh she's alright, I wish I had a guitar on my back with her." That would rank as one of the good things in life. Originally we had this pregnant woman in a field wearing this white see-though dress, like a Flake advert gone wrong. But we couldn't use it because the unborn child could have sued us".[10] Stylus Magazine said that the people on the cover "are presumably travelling, but are content on making their own way—content travelers in a picturesque setting."[11] Another image from the same fashion photo shoot was used as one of the images in the Dig Your Own Hole booklet.

The reference to "the kids from Orlando" in the liner thank you notes is a reference to the duo's first performance in the United States, at The Edge nightclub in Orlando, Florida on 4 July 1993. The LP features a series of messages on the run-out grooves. One of them, "Huw is innocent!" on side four, apparently refers to Rowlands' brother. This message would later be referenced on the LP of Push the Button (2005), where the side four run-out message claims "Huw is still innocent!"[12]


"Song to the Siren" was released on 1 October 1992 as a self-released single, three years prior to its appearance on the album. The Fourteenth Century Sky EP was released in January 1994, with "Chemical Beats" and "One Too Many Mornings" placed as tracks 1 and 2 respectively on the EP. Another EP, My Mercury Mouth EP, followed later in the year, although no tracks from it are featured on the album, though one track from it was an Exit Planet Dust B-side. "Leave Home" was released as the first official single from the album on 5 June 1995. It reached number 17 in the UK Singles Chart.[13] "Life Is Sweet" was released as the second single on 29 August 1995 and reached number 25 in the UK Singles Chart.[13]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau A−[14]
Q 4/5 stars[15]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[16]

The album received praise upon release. Allmusic's top-marks review states "The Chemical Brothers' sound is big on bombast, replete with screeching guitar samples and lots of sirens and screaming divas. A breakthrough album of sorts, Exit Planet Dust was, upon its release, one of the few European post-techno albums to make any sort of headway into the stateside market."[1] NME said that the album is "brash, raw, rule-bending gear made by open-minded music fans, for open-minded music fans."[12]

The album has received retrospective acclaim and continues to inspire. Muzik named it the second best dance album of all time in 2002[4] and Q TV named it the 41st best album of the 1990s.

Following the albums' release, the duo were thanked in the liner notes of Better Living Through Chemistry by Fatboy Slim and Homework by Daft Punk. The Edge also named it his favourite album of 1995.[12]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons; except where indicated. 

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Leave Home"     5:32
2. "In Dust We Trust"     5:17
3. "Song to the Siren"     3:16
4. "Three Little Birdies Down Beats"     5:38
5. "Fuck Up Beats"     1:25
6. "Chemical Beats"     4:50
7. "Chico's Groove"     4:48
8. "One Too Many Mornings"  
  • Rowlands
  • Simons
  • Mason
  • Treahy
9. "Life Is Sweet" (featuring Tim Burgess)
  • Rowlands
  • Simons
  • Burgess
10. "Playground for a Wedgeless Firm"  
  • Rowlands
  • Jones
11. "Alive Alone" (featuring Beth Orton)   5:16
Total length:



  1. ^ a b c d Sean Cooper. "Exit Planet Dust - The Chemical Brothers". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Tully, Gabriela (2015-06-26). "Exit Planet Dust Turns 20". Stereogum. Retrieved 2015-07-08. 
  3. ^ http://www.stylusmagazine.com/articles/under_the_covers/electronic-music.htm
  4. ^ a b "Planet Dust - The Chemical Brothers - The Muzik Top 50 Dance Albums of All Time". Planet-dust.laserjay.net. Retrieved 2015-07-08. 
  5. ^ The Complete Book of the British Charts Singles and Albums p. 226
  6. ^ Exit Planet Dust liner notes.
  7. ^ "Planet Dust - The Chemical Brothers - Remix Article". Planet-dust.laserjay.net. Retrieved 2015-07-08. 
  8. ^ "Interview with the Chemical Brothers". NY Rock. Retrieved 2015-07-08. 
  9. ^ "The Chemical Brothers interview - Muzik, June 1995". Pushstuff.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-07-08. 
  10. ^ "Planet Dust - The Chemical Brothers - Exit Planet Dust". Planet-dust.laserjay.net. Retrieved 2015-07-08. 
  11. ^ http://www.stylusmagazine.com/articles/under_the_covers/electronic-music.htm
  12. ^ a b c "How The Chemical Brothers Revitalised UK Dance With Their Lairy House And Hip-Hop Hybrid 'Exit Planet Dust'". Nme.com. Retrieved 2015-07-08. 
  13. ^ a b "Chart Log UK: Chris C. - CZR". Zobbel.de. Retrieved 2015-07-08. 
  14. ^ Robert Christgau. "The Chemical Brothers". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  15. ^ Martin Aston (October 2000). "Chemical Brothers Exit Planet Dust". Q. Archived from the original on 2004-11-01. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  16. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 157. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.