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History

Prodigy History

The Prodigy story starts with a 12" EP called What Evil Lurks, the four tracks of which were taken from the youthful Liam Howlett's first demo tape. The EP was enthusistically received on the then-massive rave scene, and it remains a hardcore club anthem to this day, as well as being one of the most sought after pieces of dance vinyl of all time. On the back of the EP's underground success, The Prodigy gigged extensively throughout the UK, and were able to make their first trips [what sort?] abroad. In Italy they were hailed as pop royalty and mobbed by ecstatic ravers.

On August 12 1991, The Prodigy released their second single - the legendary Charly. There was a huge buzz around the track months before its release, and that excitement was justified when Charly shot to Number 1 in the National Dance Charts and to Number 3 in the Gallup Top 40. "Charly" inspired a string of copycat records, and triggered the notoriously heated "Is Rave Dead?" debate. Amid all the furore it was easy to miss the facty that Charly was one of the most successful dance records of the time, and far better than any of the opportunist tunes that came in its wake.

Twenty-four year-old Liam Howlett is the musical force behond the Prodigy sound, although there are three other members who contribute to the live performance - Maxim Reality, Leeroy Thornhill and Keith Flint. Liam was once the DJ for the London rap act Cut To Kill, but he became disillusioned with the rap scene's aggressive attitude after experiencing the "Love, Peace and Happiness" vibe that dominated the rave scene.

Liam is also a classically trained pianist, whose ambition once was "to get a record deal and put out a few tunes". That goal was achieved very quickly, so Liam is now concentrating on maintaining his status as the most successful hardcore underground act, blending his unique sound of hip-hop beats and manic house music, and, most importantly, keeping the crowds happy.

Extract from the New York Times, Sept. 22, 1994

IT'S A JUNGLE OUT THERE

And Liam Howlett of Prodigy, a best-selling techno group here, said: "We just did a festival with a guy from the American rap group Wu-Tang Clan, and he was in his bus with his crew listening to jungle. All it's going to take is for one person from his scene to get a jungle remix of one of their songs, and it's going to be all over America, too."

Liam Howlett Interview (MTease)

If you want to renew the tax disc on your car, you need Form V11, unless you want the disc to run from a later date, in which case ask for Form V10 at any main post office or Vehicle Registration Office. If you want to renew your insight into the techno-pop psyche, start here. This month: Liam Howlett of The Prodigy.

Prodigious Liam and The Prodigy have four hit singles and an album Experience behind them, and have just completed sellout tours of Japan and Greece. The autumn will continue te live presence in Europe and America, with UK dates already confirmed. A new EP One Love is scheduled for release in September, followed by a single and a brand new album by the end of the year.

1. What was the first synthesiser you ever played?

"Moog Prodigy."

2. Who is your favourite musical pioneer?

"Pink Floyd."

3. What's the difference between Take That and Stravinsky?

"Stravinsky wrote good original music. Anyway, who cares?"

4. What's the difference between a drum kit and a drum machine?

"Size!"

5. Playing live: why bother?

"You may not think so, but I feel a dickhead miming in front of a crowd"

6. Which record says most to you about music technology?

"Any Aphex Twin tune, because he creates his own technology"

7. What does the word multimedia mean to you?

"What does the phrase 'Bad Boy Don Gorgon' mean to you?"

8. How do react to hearing a sample of your music on someone else's record?

"Depends who it is. Someone respectable, it's OK. 2 Limited - I'm getting paid in full."

9. What is the next piece of equipment you would like to buy?

"A Casio home keyboard with pop/rock/disco preset rhythms."

10. Will technology become invisible?

"No, but it has already become too easy to write music."

The column above is taken from and is copyright MT - The Music Technology Magazine, Issue 83 - Sept 1993.

The albums

Experience

Jericho Music Reach 1/2/3/4 Wind it up Your Love Remix Hyperspeed G-Force part 2 Charly Trip into drum and bass version Out of Space Everybody in the Place 155 and rising Weather Experience Fire Sunrise version Ruff in the Jungle Bizness Death of the Prodigy Dancers Live

Music for the Jilted Generation

Intro Break & Enter Their Law Featuring Pop will eat itself Full Throttle Voodoo People Speedway Theme from Fastlane The Heat [The Energy] Poison No Good [Start the Dance] One Love [edit] The Narcotic Suite 3 Kilos Skylined Claustrophobic Sting

The singles

Breathe

Breathe [edit] Their Law [featuring PWEI live at Phoenix '96] Poison [live at Werchter '96] The Trick

Firestarter

Firestarter [edit] Firestarter [empirion mix] Firestarter [instrumental] Molotov bitch

Android

Everybody in the Place

Everybody in the Place [fairground edit] G-Force [energy flow] Crazy Man Everybody in the Place [fairground remix]

Fire - Jericho

Fire [edit] Jericho [original version] Fire [sunrise version] Jericho [genaside ii remix] Pandemonium

Out of Space

Out of Space [edit] Out of space [techno underworld remix] Ruff in the Jungle Bizness [uplifting vibes remix] Music Reach (1,2,3,4) [live]

Wind it Up (Rewound)

Wind it Up [the rewound edit] We are the Ruffest Weather Experience [top buzz remix] Wind it Up [rewound]

Charly

Charly [original mix] Pandemonium Your Love Charly [alley cat mix]

The Video

Electronic Punks

VooDoo People Out of Space Break and Enter '95 [live] One Love Their Law [live] Wind It Up VooDoo People [live] Poison No Good (Start The Dance) [live] Charly Poison [live] Everybody In The Place Rhythm Of Life [live] No Good (Start The Dance) The running time is approx. 97 minutes.

For additionnal information

For more information on the group and on the Prodigy's equipement, contact :

The Prodigy LTD merchandise PO BOX 2292 Braintree Essex CM7 6JE

Last update: 14 April 1997 among a small handful that can claim to be a force in the music that is chasing commercial "alternative" music out of the limelight. Like fellows Chemical Brothers, Orbital, Leftfield and a few others, Prodigy has won every level of critical and popular success in their homeland in the UK, while forging a juggernaut that will eventually dominate the pop charts and minds at the Millennium.

Hailed by the mercurial music press as "the greatest rock and roll band in the world," (a tired old saw) and "total sell-outs," (a sure sign of success), Prodigy is the brainchild of Liam Howlett. The classically trained Howlett is joined by wildman Keith Flint, 6 foot 7 raver Leeroy Thornhill and MC Maxim Reality (Keeti Palmer).

With roots in ska, hip-hop and the burgeoning rave scene of the late 1980's, Prodigy burst on the British techno dance scene in scene in 1991 with their second single Charly which reached #1 in the UK Dance Charts. It was so hot, in fact, that cynical music press savaged the track as a sell-out and proclaimed the early demise of the rave scene. 2 singles later and an album, The Prodigy Experience in the Top 40 charts for over 6 months, found Prodigy touring constantly worldwide and, after nearly a year, broke, exhausted and on the verge of break-up.

To counter critical claims the they had, again, sold out, the next single was released in the summer of 1993 as a white label to the DJ circuit under the band name "Earthbound," which happened to be the name of Howlett's home-based studio. The single, One Love defied efforts to categorize the music and became a highly sought after item, rumored to have changed hands for nearly $180 on occasion. It was only when One Love had achieved massive critical acclaim that Howlett took the credit publicly, paving the way for the second album, Music For The Jilted Generation. < p> With numerous charting singles, huge festival crowds throughout Europe and growing recognition in the US, '94 and '95 found The Prodigy nearly alone at the top of the techno world. Howlett was at one point saddled as the "modern-day Beethoven." There is nothing wrong with Liam's hearing!

1996 found Prodigy touring in support of a yet-to-be released album with a reportedly huge deal in the works with Geffen Records. Yet it was Madonna's Maverick Records that ultimately signed the band to it's reportedly astronomical deal. The first single "Firestarter" received massive radio play in the UK and on commercial alternative radio in the US in spite of its hard-core heart. The second single, "Breathe," released in December 1996 is a further harbinger of the power about to unleash on humanity with the '97 release of Prodigy's third full-length Album.