The Fat of the Land

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The Fat of the Land
TheProdigy-TheFatOfTheLand.jpg
Studio album by The Prodigy
Released 30 June 1997 (1997-06-30)
Recorded 1995–97
Studio
Genre
Length 56:23
65:29 (Japanese Edition)
27:28 (The Added Fat EP)
Label
Producer Liam Howlett
The Prodigy chronology
Music for the Jilted Generation
(1994)Music for the Jilted Generation1994
The Fat of the Land
(1997)
The Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One
(1999)The Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One1999
Singles from The Fat of the Land
  1. "Firestarter"
    Released: 18 March 1996
  2. "Breathe"
    Released: 11 November 1996
  3. "Smack My Bitch Up"
    Released: 17 November 1997

The Fat of the Land is the third studio album by English electronic music group The Prodigy. It was first released on 30 June 1997 by XL Recordings in the United Kingdom and on 1 July 1997 by Maverick Records in the United States.

The album received critical acclaim, and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide as of 2012.[3][4]

Content[edit]

The album title comes from the old English phrase 'living off the fat of the land', which means living well or being wealthy.[5]

The band name was shortened to simply "Prodigy" for the release and its singles.

While Liam Howlett is generally responsible for the compositions and Maxim Reality is featured on two tracks, this is the first record to include contributions by Keith Flint, who provides vocals on four of the songs, including a cover of the L7 song "Fuel My Fire" (from the 1994 album Hungry for Stink).

Release[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[2]
Entertainment WeeklyB[6]
The Guardian5/5 stars[7]
Los Angeles Times4/4 stars[8]
The New Zealand Herald4.5/5 stars[9]
NME8/10[10]
Pitchfork7.9/10[11]
Q5/5 stars[12]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[13]
Spin7/10[14]

Released in the last week of June, the album hit #1 on the Billboard chart on 19 July 1997. Certified double platinum on 2 December that year,[15] it sold 2,600,000 copies in the United States.[16]

The album caused controversy. The National Organization for Women objected to the seeming misogyny of "Smack My Bitch Up", though the band maintains that its true interpretation is "doing anything intensely".[17] "That record was for the fans," observed Liam Howlett. "Only brainless people get some stupid message out of it… I'm often misquoted. Some magazine said, 'Liam Howlett says his band are dangerous.' What I said was, 'For this band to survive, it has to be dangerous for us'… I wasn't saying we were dangerous because we're firestarters and we have spiky hair."[18]

In 1999, The Fat of the Land entered the Guinness World Records as the fastest-selling UK album and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album.[19]

Legacy[edit]

It has been featured in a number of music publication lists:

  • In 1998, Q magazine readers voted The Fat of the Land the ninth greatest album of all time. In 2000, Q placed it at number 47 in its list of the 100 greatest British albums ever.[citation needed] It has also been ranked number 43 in Q's "Best 50 Albums of Q's Lifetime" list,[20] and was included in their "90 Best Albums of the 1990s"[21] and "50 Best Albums of 1997" lists.[22]
  • Rolling Stone included in their "Essential Recordings of the 90s" list.[23]
  • Spin ranked it number 20 on their list of the "Top 20 Albums of the Year [1997]" list.[24]
  • Melody Maker ranked it number 13 on their list of "Albums of the Year" for 1997[25] and number 29 in their 1997 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll.[26]
  • NME ranked it number 17 in their 1997 Critics' Poll.[27]

The album is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[28] The album was also nominated for the 1997 Mercury Music Prize.[29]

Cover versions[edit]

In 2004, KISS co-founder Gene Simmons covered "Firestarter" on his second solo album, Asshole. "Firestarter" was also covered by Sepultura on their album Kairos, and by Jimmy Eat World on their EP Firestarter.

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Smack My Bitch Up"5:42
2."Breathe"5:35
3."Diesel Power" (featuring Kool Keith)
  • Howlett
  • Thornton
4:17
4."Funky Shit"5:16
5."Serial Thrilla"5:11
6."Mindfields"Howlett5:40
7."Narayan" (featuring Crispian Mills)9:05
8."Firestarter"4:40
9."Climbatize"
  • Howlett
  • Timothy Taylor
6:38
10."Fuel My Fire" (L7 cover; featuring Saffron)4:19

Personnel[edit]

The Prodigy
Additional musicians
Other personnel
  • Neil McLellanengineer
  • Christian Ammann – photography
  • JAKe – illustrations
  • Alex Jenkins – art direction, design, photography
  • Pat Pope – photography
  • Alex Scaglia – photography
  • Lou Smith – photography
  • Terry Whittaker – photography
  • Konrad Wothe – photography
  • Mike Champion – management

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (1997–98) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[31] 1
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[32] 1
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[33] 2
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[34] 3
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[35] 1
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[36] 1
French Albums (SNEP)[37] 2
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[38] 1
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[39] 1
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[40] 1
Scottish Albums (OCC)[41] 1
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[42] 1
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[43] 1
UK Albums (OCC)[44] 1
US Billboard 200[45] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1997) Position
German Albums Chart[46] 18

Singles[edit]

Year Song Chart Peak
position
1996 "Firestarter" UK Singles Chart[47] 1
1996 "Breathe" UK Singles Chart[47] 1
1996 "Firestarter" Australian ARIA Singles Chart[48] 22
1996 "Breathe" Australian ARIA Singles Chart[48] 2
1997 "Smack My Bitch Up" UK Singles Chart[47] 8
1997 "Smack My Bitch Up" Australian ARIA Singles Chart[48] 41
1997 "Smack My Bitch Up" Canadian Singles Chart[49] 12
1997 "Firestarter" US Billboard Hot 100[49] 30
1997 "Firestarter" US Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales[49] 11
1997 "Firestarter" US Modern Rock Tracks[49] 24
1997 "Breathe" US Modern Rock Tracks[49] 18
1997 "Breathe" Canadian Singles Chart[50] 65
1997 "Smack My Bitch Up" US Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales[49] 19
1998 "Smack My Bitch Up" US Billboard Hot 100[49] 89

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[51] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[52] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[53] 3× Platinum 300,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[54] Platinum 42,426[54]
France (SNEP)[55] 2× Gold 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[56] Gold 250,000^
Italy (FIMI)[57] Gold 50,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[58] Gold 25,000^
Sweden (GLF)[59] Platinum 80,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[60] 4× Platinum 1,392,273[61]
United States (RIAA)[62] 2× Platinum 2,600,000[63]
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[64] 2× Platinum 2,000,000*

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Big Beat | Significant Albums, Artists and Songs | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Fat of the Land – The Prodigy". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Prodigy to release 15th anniversary edition of 'The Fat of the Land' | News". Nme.Com. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Prodigy's "The Fat Of The Land" To Get 15th Anniversary Rerelease -". bloody-disgusting.com. 
  5. ^ "Living off the fat of the land". phrases.org.uk. Retrieved 11 September 2009. 
  6. ^ Browne, David (11 July 1997). "The Fat of the Land". Entertainment Weekly (387). Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  7. ^ Bennun, David (20 June 1997). "Beats workin'". The Guardian. 
  8. ^ Hilburn, Robert (29 June 1997). "Prodigy Burns Down Barriers Dividing Rock, Hip-Hop, Dance". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Album review: Prodigy, Fat of the Land". The New Zealand Herald. 8 December 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2017. 
  10. ^ Moody, Paul (28 June 1997). "The Prodigy – The Fat Of The Land". NME. Archived from the original on 5 October 2000. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  11. ^ Lewis, Jim (31 December 1999). "Prodigy: Fat of the Land". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 16 February 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "The Prodigy: The Fat of the Land". Q (129). June 1997. 
  13. ^ Hoskyns, Barney (7 August 1997). "The Prodigy: The Fat of the Land". Rolling Stone (766): 82. Archived from the original on 13 February 2002. Retrieved 8 April 2017. 
  14. ^ Weisbard, Eric (September 1997). "Prodigy: The Fat of the Land". Spin. 13 (6): 155. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  15. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - May 18, 2015". riaa.com. 
  16. ^ Pattison, Louis. "The Prodigy Fat Of The Land Review". BBC. 
  17. ^ "Prodigy". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  18. ^ Elliott, Paul (February 1998). "Their year: The Prodigy". Q #137. p. 95. 
  19. ^ "Shahin Badar". shahinbadar.com. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  20. ^ Q (October 2001): 46.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  21. ^ Q (December 1999): 92.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  22. ^ Q (January 1998): 114.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  23. ^ Rolling Stone: 82. 13 May 1999.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  24. ^ Spin (January 1998): 87.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  25. ^ Melody Maker (20 December 1997): 66–67.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  26. ^ Village Voice. 24 February 1998.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  27. ^ NME (20 December 1997): 78–79.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  28. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (23 March 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2. 
  29. ^ "Mercury Prize - Prodigy". mercuryprize.com. Retrieved 2016-04-30. 
  30. ^ only CD released from Sony Music Entertainment Japan
  31. ^ "Australiancharts.com – The Prodigy – The Fat of the Land". Hung Medien.
  32. ^ "Austriancharts.at – The Prodigy – The Fat of the Land" (in German). Hung Medien.
  33. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Prodigy – The Fat of the Land" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  34. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Prodigy – The Fat of the Land" (in French). Hung Medien.
  35. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Prodigy – The Fat of the Land" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  36. ^ "The Prodigy: The Fat of the Land" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  37. ^ "Lescharts.com – The Prodigy – The Fat of the Land". Hung Medien.
  38. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH.
  39. ^ "Charts.org.nz – The Prodigy – The Fat of the Land". Hung Medien.
  40. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – The Prodigy – The Fat of the Land". Hung Medien.
  41. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 06 July 1997.
  42. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – The Prodigy – The Fat of the Land". Hung Medien.
  43. ^ "Swisscharts.com – The Prodigy – The Fat of the Land". Hung Medien.
  44. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 06 July 1997.
  45. ^ "The Prodigy Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  46. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved September 8, 2016. 
  47. ^ a b c "everyHit.com - UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". everyhit.com. 
  48. ^ a b c "The Prodigy". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  49. ^ a b c d e f g "The Prodigy". Allmusic. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  50. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca. 
  51. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1997 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  52. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Prodigy – The Fat of the Land" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Prodigy in the field Interpret. Enter The Fat of the Land in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  53. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Prodigy – The Fat of the Land". Music Canada. 
  54. ^ a b "Prodigy" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. 
  55. ^ "French album certifications – Prodigy – The Fat of the Land" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  56. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Prodigy; 'The Fat of the Land')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  57. ^ "Rock: Già disco d'oro l'album dei Prodigy" (in Italian). Adnkronos. 8 July 1997. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  58. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Prodigy; 'The Fat of the Land')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  59. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  60. ^ "British album certifications – Prodigy – The Fat of the Land". British Phonographic Industry.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Enter The Fat of the Land in the search field and then press Enter.
  61. ^ "Official Charts Analysis: Prodigy tops Easter Album Chart with 45,302 sales". Music Week. 
  62. ^ "American album certifications – Prodigy – The Fat of the Land". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  63. ^ "36ask". Billboard. Retrieved May 4, 2017. 
  64. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 1997". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. 

External links[edit]