Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fatboy Slim - Better Living Through Chemistry


Ah, there's just no mistaking the sound.  I think I could recognise a Fatboy Slim song in 30 seconds.  I might not be able to tell you the name of the song but really, when it comes down to it, who cares?  He's the ultimate Big Beat musician/composer/producer and also the last of one of the great party kings.

His music has inspired many late nights cavorting with mind-altering substances while dancing around like I just don't care.  And I seriously didn't.  The best thing about Fatboy Slim is he brings out the best at any party and the essence of a great party is its carefree-ness. 

Unfortunately, my love of Norman's work starts with and pretty much ends with the followup album to this - You've Come A Long Way, Baby.  In fact, apart from a few cursory listens prior to having to review Better Living Through Chemistry, I've pretty much ignored this album.  It certainly has Fatboy Slim's trademark big beat sound but it also lacks the inclusion of hooky vocals.  He obviously learnt his lesson for the next one.



Stormin' Norman!  My relationship with Mr Cook goes right back to his time with The Housemartins (loved Caravan of Love) and then to Beats International.  I only have an EP of theirs, which features a great dub version of Madonna's Crazy For You.

But of course it's his work as Fatboy Slim that's garnered him the most acclaim and I am a firm fan.  This album, however, isn't what I'd call the pinnacle of his career.  Largely instrumental, I'm fond of Michael Jackson and Going Out Of My Head, but the rest of it isn't as good.  He really came into his own with the next two albums, You've Come A Long Way, Baby and Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars.

I've seen him DJ once, at The Dome in Sydney's Moore Park.  My friend Sharon and I went on a very hot summer night, where Sydney did one of its famous 10 minute tropical cloudbursts so it was sticky, too.  The DJs who were the support acts were frankly pretty dreary, but it was worth the wait for him.  I recall it was so hot, condensation was dripping off the roof onto the dancers.  A great night.

VERDICT: TURN IT DOWN the next two albums are better

For more information: http://fatboyslim.net/

In our collection, we also have: You've Come A Long Way, Baby and Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars

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