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.
The Prodigy: 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'.