Prodigy

  • 09 June 2004

Band form

1990

The Prodigy (formed 1990)
The Prodigy are an electronic / rock group from Essex, UK. They have sold over 17 million records across the globe and encompass various genres in their music, including hardcore, rave, big beat and punk.

Career: Liam Howlett chose the name 'The Prodigy' in tribute to his first analogue synth, the Moog Prodigy.

Initially, Liam Howlett created a 10-track demo tape on his Roland W-30 whilst he was living in Essex. He gave the tape to the head of XL Recordings, Nick Halkes. XL released a limited pressing of the 'What Evil Lurks' "12 in February 1991.

The band's debut live performance was in Dalston at the Four Aces club, with Leeroy Thornhill and Keith Flint as dancers. The track 'Charly' soon became a massive club hit, as was its B-side 'Your Love'. Their track 'G Force (Energy Flow)' - from the 'Everybody In The Place' single - was featured on the Kaos Theory compilation series.

The band's debut album, Experience, was released on XL Recordings in September 1992. Around this time, Howlett also released an anonymous white label recording, entitled 'Earthbound I'. The track was later released officially as 'One Love', which charted at number eight in the UK singles charts.

The Prodigy's second full-length album was Music For The Jilted Generation and was released in 1994. The album debuted at number one in the UK album charts and was a triumph for the crossover of dance and rock music. The track 'Their Law' featured the band Pop Will Eat Itself. The album received a nomination for that year's Mercury Music Prize award but lost out to M People's Elegant Slumming. Jim Davies joined the band on guitar, later going on to join the band Pitchshifter. Davies was later replaced by Gizz Butt.

In 1996, The Prodigy released the track 'Firestarter' which became a huge global hit. Featuring Keith Flint on vocals, the track opened doors for The Prodigy and that year, they went on to headline the Lollapalooza festival in the US. Their second single, 'Breathe' became their second number one single of the year.

The band's third album was entitled Fat of the Land and was released in 1997. That year, the band headlined the opening night of the Glastonbury festival. The album featured the controversial track 'Smack My Bitch Up'. The lyric was not actually written by the band, but sampled from the Ultramagnetic MCs track 'Give The Drummer Some'. The video for the track was also deemed too controversial for many and MTV would only air the track between 1am and 5am. At 1998's Reading Festival The Prodigy had an onstage argument with The Beastie Boys, who had requested that The Prodigy did not play 'Smack My Bitch Up' as it was offensive for those who had suffered domestic abuse. The band played the track anyway.

In 1999, Liam Howlett released a DJ mix entitled Dirtchamber Sessions Volume 1.

After a short break from touring and releasing records, The Prodigy released 'Baby's Got A Temper' in 2002, though it failed to receive the acclaim of it's predecessors. The song mentions the drug Rohypnol, again ensuring a degree of public outcry over the song.

The next album from the band was entitled Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned and was released in August 2004. The singles taken from the album were 'Memphis Bells' and 'Girls'.

2005 saw The Prodigy release a compilation entitled Their Law: The Singles 1990-2005. To accompany the album, they also released a single with Audio Bullys remixing 'Out of Space' and Pendulum remixing 'Voodoo People'.

In 2008, The Prodigy performed at the Oxegen festival, previewing a number of new tracks, including 'Mescaline' and 'Warriors Dance'. Another track, 'First Warning' was chosen for the soundtrack to the film Smokin' Aces.

In March 2009, The Prodigy released Invader Must Die, their fifth studio album. Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters and formerly of Nirvana, plays drums on 'Run with the Wolves'. The frontman of Does It Offend You, Yeah?, James Rushent also co-produces 'Omen' and 'Invaders Must Die'.

The Prodigy Announce New Album 'No Tourists'

By Ed Biggs in Music / Festivals on 20 July 2018

Prodigy

They also shared the album's first single 'Need Some1', plus a music video.

British dance legends The Prodigy have announced details of a new studio album to be called No Tourists, as well as releasing its first single, titled ‘Need Some1’.

The group’s seventh studio record will be released on November 2nd via BMG/Take Me To The Hospital. It’s the follow-up to 2015’s well-received The Day Is My Enemy, and, with just a three year gap, is the shortest wait between any two Prodigy albums since the 1990s. They also announced a series of tour dates over the coming year, which can be found via their official site.

Written and produced by the group’s creative engine and founding member Liam Howlett over the space of the last year at his studio in London, the new record came with a written explanation of its themes and motivations.

Continue reading: The Prodigy Announce New Album 'No Tourists'

The Prodigy Reveal Solitary UK Festival Date For 2018

By Ed Biggs in Music / Festivals on 07 February 2018

Prodigy

The group will close out Portsmouth's Victorious Festival in late August, alongside fellow headliners Paul Weller and The Libertines.

The Prodigy have announced their only British festival date of 2018, confirming that they’ll be topping the bill at Southsea’s Victorious Festival.

The revived rock/rave legends will be headlining the three day festival alongside previously confirmed acts Paul Weller, The Libertines and Kaiser Chiefs. They’ll be closing out the third and final day of the Portsmouth-based festival on Sunday, August 26th.

Other new acts announced on Wednesday (February 7th) include Years & Years, who will return with more new music from their follow-up album to their 2015 debut Communion, while Friendly Fires will also make a comeback after countless years on hiatus.

Continue reading: The Prodigy Reveal Solitary UK Festival Date For 2018

Mobb Deep's Prodigy Died From Choking On An Egg, Coroner States

By Ed Biggs in Music / Festivals on 04 August 2017

Prodigy Mobb Deep

Prodigy, real name Albert Johnson, died in hospital in Las Vegas in June this year.

The late Mobb Deep rapper Prodigy died after choking on an egg in a freak accident while he was in hospital receiving treatment for his condition of sickle cell anaemia, it has been confirmed.

The rap star, whose real name was Albert Johnson, died at the age of 42 back in June this year, a few days after he was hospitalised in Las Vegas. However, while it was widely presumed that his death had been a direct result of his condition, which he had battled since birth, the Clark County Medical Examiner has ruled Prodigy’s cause of death as a result of accidental choking, TMZ claims.

Prodigy had been performing with his Mobb Deep colleague Havoc as the hip-hop duo’s reunion continued in Las Vegas during their Art of Rap tour. However, the heat of the Nevada desert caused the star’s condition to worsen, resulting in his initial hospitalisation.

Continue reading: Mobb Deep's Prodigy Died From Choking On An Egg, Coroner States

Isle Of Wight Festival - 2015 Live Review

By Jim Pusey in Music Reviews on 16 June 2015

It's perhaps fitting that my prevailing memory of this year's Isle of Wight Festival will be guitars. This was after all the 45th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix's legendary performance on the Island, something that was being widely celebrated by festival organiser John Giddings and his team across the site. Fender, for example, brought some specially designed guitars to the party for artists including You Me At 6 to play, and there was also a world record attempt for the most number of people in one place to be wearing a mask, the face in question was naturally Hendrix himself. Despite that backdrop, it was some of the guitarists who played across the weekend that demonstrated the power of the instrument and reinforced that guitar based rock isn't on its last legs as some have speculated over the past few years.

The festival got into full swing with a Stones-esque swagger on Friday afternoon when The Struts took to the Main Stage. Their enthusiasm signalled a continuation of their set from the previous year's festival, indeed they are an ideal opening act when you want to energise a crowd. Their appearance at Download the following day, will no doubt have had a similar effect. There seemed to be a Rolling Stones theme to many of the acts getting the festival underway. Over in the Big Top The Ruen Brothers covered 'Miss You' during their rousing set that was well received.

The first moment that sent a shiver down my spine this year was the Counting Crows though. The guitar line to 'Round Here' sent a wave of excitement across the main arena. It was a strong opening statement in a nine song set that featured the likes of 'Mr Jones', 'Miami', and 'Rain King' into which singer Adam Duritz dropped some Elbow lyrics as a nod of the hat to Guy Garvey. If Counting Crows' guitars weren't haunting enough, it was actually The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach whose riffs were the most powerful and elemental of the day. The dirty Blues grit of Auerbach's playing was like a roll of thunder that saw the heavens open to drench the crowd in torrential rain. While much of the set was dedicated to material culled from 'El Camino' and 'Brothers', rather than recent record 'Turn Blue', the band's graduation to a headlining slot was well deserved and warranted. The final song of the set 'Little Black Submarines', which builds from a delicate solo performance to a dramatic climax, utilised every trick in the book for The Black Keys' expanded touring band. If Patrick Carney's drums and Auerbach's guitars are the perfect union on record, it seems their live shows rightly now have the power to command top billing with the inclusion of bassist Richard Swift and keyboardist John Clement Wood.

Continue reading: Isle Of Wight Festival - 2015 Live Review

Isle Of Wight Festival Sees World Record Attempt In Honour Of Jimi Hendrix

By Ed Biggs in Music / Festivals on 16 June 2015

Isle of Wight Festival Jimi Hendrix Black Keys Prodigy Blur Fleetwood Mac

The IoW organisers attempted to break the world record for most masks worn simultaneously at one place to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Hendrix's set.

On the 45th anniversary of his legendary set at the venue, the organisers of the Isle of Wight Festival 2015 have honoured Jimi Hendrix by attempting to break a world record.

Amid the fun of four massive headliners over three nights – The Black Keys and The Prodigy sharing the slot on Friday, Blur on Saturday and Fleetwood Mac on Sunday – the IoW chiefs had been encouraging the 50,000 festival-goers to buy cut-out Jimi Hendrix masks in order raise money for its nominated charity WellChild.

Image caption IoW made the world record attempt to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Hendrix's 1970 set

Continue reading: Isle Of Wight Festival Sees World Record Attempt In Honour Of Jimi Hendrix

Fleetwood Mac And Blur Sing-A-Longs Are Expected For Isle Of Wight Festival 2015

By Staff Writer in Music / Festivals on 08 June 2015

Isle of Wight Festival Blur Fleetwood Mac Prodigy Black Keys Billy Idol Groove Armada Paul Oakenfold Charlatans Counting Crows First Aid Kit James Bay Suzanne Vega Foxes Chicks On Speed Sharon Corr Ash James Walsh Honey Ryder

We preview some of the top acts on the bill this year.

Summer festival season kicks into high gear this weekend with the first big event of the calendar taking place on the south coast. Tens of thousands of people will be heading to Seaclose Park on the Isle of Wight for a bill, which is top heavy on heritage acts that bring with them a sense of nostalgia. While recent years have welcomed the likes of Jay-Z, Calvin Harris and Kings Of Leon to headline, this time round it seems big names with an even bigger back catalogue are being used as the main attraction.

Image caption The Prodigy will going on tour with Public Enemy in November

Continue reading: The Prodigy Announce UK Tour With Public Enemy

Mobb Deep and Prodigy - Mobb Deep performing on their '20th Anniversary Tour' at O2 Academy Liverpool at Liverpool O2 Academy - Liverpool, United Kingdom - Friday 8th May 2015

The Prodigy Score No.1 Album With 'The Day Is My Enemy'

By Michael West in Movies / TV / Theatre on 07 April 2015

Prodigy

The Prodigy continued their fine run in the charts.

The Prodigy has scored their sixth No.1 album with The Day is My Enemy, knocking James Bay's well received record The Chaos and the Calm to number two. The Essex band pulled in mixed reviews for their latest effort though it outsold albums from Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran on its debut week.

The Prodigy have landed their sixth new album, The Day Is My Enemy

The Day is My Enemy follows Music For The Jilted Generation (1994), The Fat of the Land ('97), Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned (2004), Their Law: The Singles 1990-2005 ('05), and Invaders Must Die ('09).

Continue reading: The Prodigy Score No.1 Album With 'The Day Is My Enemy'

The Prodigy - The Day Is My Enemy Album Review

By Alex Lai in Music Reviews on 23 March 2015

Now a quarter of a century into their career, The Prodigy are an act who genuinely need little introduction. This, 'The Day Is My Enemy', is their sixth album and will be promoted with European and UK tours, before a packed festival schedule taking in the likes of Isle Of Wight, T In The Park and Benicassim amongst many others.

When The Prodigy re-announced themselves with the vitriolic 'Nasty', it was the anger of the song which was the most impressive aspect of what was ultimately a disappointing return. Thankfully, the title track which opens the record hits the target with Liam Howlett providing the audio equivalent of an adrenalin shot. Tinged with electronica, the heavy beats are punishing in the best of ways and it is only bettered by 'Destroy', a frantic anthem which teases the sound of 'Breathe' during its intro. Another fine sensory assault comes in the shape of 'Wild Frontier', while 'Get Your Fight On' is a reminder of why this outfit have bridged the gap between dance and rock so successfully.

As much as 'The Day Is My Enemy' is a thumping example of the prowess of The Prodigy, it is by no means a classic to sit alongside their work of the nineties. The inconsistency which hindered 2009's 'Invaders Must Die' is, to an extent, present here. 'Ibiza' unfortunately finding Keith Flint sounding like The Streets' Mike Skinner while the lyric in 'Medicine' about "a spoon full of sugar" invariably leaves you thinking of Mary Poppins - perhaps the least threatening fictional character in history. It slightly derails an album of fury, which for the main, is channelled into relentless juggernauts, but there's no doubting this Essex trio remain a formidable force.

Continue reading: The Prodigy - The Day Is My Enemy Album Review

T In The Park 2015 Announces Killer Line-Up For Its New Venue

By Ruth Buxton-Cook in Music / Festivals on 20 February 2015

T In The Park Kasabian Avicii Fatboy Slim Noel Gallagher Prodigy David Guetta Stereophonics Sam Smith The Script Rudimental Alt-J Hozier George Ezra Annie Mac

T's new Perthshire home will welcome a group of amazing acts.

Amazing acts have been announced to perform at this year's T In The Park including Kasabian, Avicii and Fatboy Slim. Despite notorious festivals to match up to, it is looking very likely that this year that T in the Park will blow people away.

T in the Park has moved to it new home in the grounds of Strathallan Castle. Organisers DF Concerts and Tennent's Lager are ecstatic about the festival's first year here, playing host to 85,000 fans this summer. Festival Director Geoff Ellis said: 'This year is going to be a very special one for T in the Park as we make the beautiful grounds of Strathallan Castle our new home, and we're thrilled that some of the biggest artists in the world will be joining us in this historic first year.'

Continue reading: T In The Park 2015 Announces Killer Line-Up For Its New Venue

Prodigy - The Prodigy Sunday 22nd August 2010 at V Festival Chelmsford, England

Prodigy and Glastonbury Festival Sunday 28th June 2009 perform at the 2009 Glastonbury Festival - Day 3 Somerset, England

Prodigy - Liam Howlett New York City, USA - British electronic music group The Prodigy pose for photographers after an interview in their downtown hotel Friday 27th March 2009