The Fat of the Land

The Fat of the Land
The Fat of the Land
Studio album by The Prodigy
Released 30 June 1997 (1997-06-30)
Recorded 1996–1997, Earthbound Central
Genre Alternative dance, big beat, dance rock, industrial rock, synthpunk[citation needed]
Length 56:24
Language English
Label XL (UK)
Maverick (US)
Producer Liam Howlett
The Prodigy chronology
Voodoo People
The Fat of the Land
The Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One
Singles from The Fat of the Land
  1. "Firestarter"
    Released: 18 March 1996 (1996-03-18)
  2. "Breathe"
    Released: 11 November 1996 (1996-11-11)
  3. "Smack My Bitch Up"
    Released: 17 November 1997 (1997-11-17)

The Fat of the Land is the third studio album by The Prodigy. The album was released by XL Recordings on 30 June 1997 and on 1 July 1997 in the United States by Maverick Records. The album title comes from the old English phrase 'living off the fat of the land', which means 'living well' or being wealthy.[1]



Samples are used on a majority of tracks on the album (see the Samples section for more details). Matt Cameron of Soundgarden and later Pearl Jam, who is falsely credited as "Mark" in the liner notes, is also understood to have contributed samples to the album, though it is not clear where.[2]

In popular culture

The song "Mindfields" was featured in the soundtrack for The Matrix.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[3]
Q 5/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[citation needed]
Robert Christgau (1 star Honorable Mention[5]
Spin 7/10 stars[citation needed]
Pitchfork Media (7.9/10)[citation needed]
Entertainment Weekly (B)[6]

The Fat of the Land has received critical acclaim, with many Prodigy fans considering it their best album.[citation needed] The album debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.[7] The album has since gone double platinum, selling over 2 million copies in the U.S.[8] In 1999, the album entered the Guinness World Records as the fastest-selling UK album and was also nominated for a Grammy Award.[9]

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,[10] and was included in their "90 Best Albums of the 1990s"[11] and "50 Best Albums of 1997" lists.[12]
  • Rolling Stone included in their "Essential Recordings of the 90s" list.[13]
  • Spin ranked it number 20 on their list of the "Top 20 Albums of the Year [1997]" list.[14]
  • Melody Maker ranked it number 13 on their list of "Albums of the Year" for 1997[15] and number 29 in their 1997 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll.[16]
  • NME ranked it number 17 in their 1997 Critics' Poll.[17]

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

In 2004, KISS co-founder Gene Simmons covered "Firestarter" on his second solo album, Asshole.

The album also caused some 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".[18]

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Smack My Bitch Up" (feat. M. Smith, C. Miller, K. Thornton, and T. Randolph of Ultramagnetic MC's) Liam Howlett 5:42
2. "Breathe"   Howlett, Keith Flint, Maxim Reality 5:35
3. "Diesel Power"   Howlett, Kool Keith 4:17
4. "Funky Shit"   Howlett 5:16
5. "Serial Thrilla"   Howlett, Flint, Len Arran, Skin 5:11
6. "Mindfields"   Howlett, Maxim Reality 5:40
7. "Narayan"   Howlett, Crispian Mills 9:05
8. "Firestarter"   Howlett, Flint, T. Horn, A. Dudley, J. Jeczalik, P. Morley, and G. Langan of Art of Noise, Kim Deal 4:40
9. "Climbatize"   Howlett 6:38
10. "Fuel My Fire"   Donita Sparks, Walsh, James, and Knight of Cosmic Psychos 4:19


The Prodigy
Additional musicians
Other personnel
  • Christian Ammann – photography
  • Jake Holloway – illustrations
  • Alex Jenkins – art direction, design, photography
  • Neil McLellan – engineer
  • Pat Pope – photography
  • Alex Scaglia – photography
  • Lou Smith – photography
  • Terry Whittaker – photography
  • Konrad Wothe – photography


  • The main vocal sample from "Smack My Bitch Up" is taken from "Give the Drummer Some" by American hip hop group Ultramagnetic MCs. Thus, The Prodigy invited group member Kool Keith, who raps the portion sampled by the Prodigy in the original track, to do the lyrics and vocals for another track, "Diesel Power". The track also features a looped sample of the bassline and drums from the beginning of "In Memory Of" by jazz musician Randy Weston and a sped-up riff from "Funky Man" by American funk group Kool and the Gang; both of these samples remain uncredited on the album.
  • "Breathe" samples sound effects from American hip hop group the Wu-Tang Clan's music video for their single "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'".
  • Three credited samples are present on "Funky Shit": the main vocal sample which gives the song its title is sampled from "Root Down" by American hip hop group the Beastie Boys, the horn riff that appears throughout the song is sampled from "Theme from "S.W.A.T."" by American disco-funk group Rhythm Heritage, and the "Break!" vocal is sampled from "2, 3, Break" by American hip hop duo the B-Boys.
  • "Serial Thrilla" features a sample of a riff from "Selling Jesus" by English rock band Skunk Anansie.
  • "Climbatize" samples a horn riff from "The Horn Track" by Egyptian Empire, the stage name of electronic musician Tim Taylor. The main drum loop was sampled from "Air Drums from Outer Bongolia" by English electronic duo The Jedi Knights; Liam Howlett sampled the drums without the group's permission, and The Jedi Knights threatened to sue The Prodigy. However, Howlett already knew that The Jedi Knights themselves had sampled the drums from an older track entitled "Bongolia" by American funk group Incredible Bongo Band without permission; XL Recordings, the Prodigy's record label, bought the rights to the Incredible Bongo Band track and threatened to sue The Jedi Knights. The media coverage cornered around the event attracted film producer George Lucas, who sued The Jedi Knights for taking their stage name from the Star Wars term "Jedi Knight", which Lucas created.[19]
  • "Firestarter" samples a guitar riff from "SOS" by American rock group The Breeders, and the "Hey!" vocal from "Close (To the Edit)" by English dance group Art of Noise (the vocal was also previously used by the band in "Full Throttle" on Music for the Jilted Generation). The drums on the song are sampled from a track on the Time + Space Recordings drum recording album Jungle Warfare, Vol. 1; another Time + Space Recordings album track was sampled on The Prodigy's previous single, "One Love".

Sales chart positions

Chart (1997) Peak
UK Albums Chart 1[citation needed]
Australian ARIA Albums Chart 1[20]
Finnish Charts 1[21][dead link]
U.S. Billboard 200 1[7]
Canadian Albums Chart 1[7]
Swedish Albums top 60 1[20]
Year Song Chart Peak
1996 "Firestarter" UK Singles Chart 1[22]
1996 "Breathe" UK Singles Chart 1[22]
1996 "Firestarter" Australian ARIA Singles Chart 22[23]
1996 "Breathe" Australian ARIA Singles Chart 2[23]
1997 "Smack My Bitch Up" UK Singles Chart 8[22]
1997 "Smack My Bitch Up" Australian ARIA Singles Chart 41[23]
1997 "Smack My Bitch Up" Canadian Singles Chart 12[24]
1997 "Firestarter" U.S. Billboard Hot 100 30[24]
1997 "Firestarter" U.S. Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 11[24]
1997 "Firestarter" U.S. Modern Rock Tracks 24[24]
1997 "Breathe" U.S. Modern Rock Tracks 18[24]
1997 "Smack My Bitch Up" U.S. Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 19[24]
1998 "Smack My Bitch Up" U.S. Billboard Hot 100 89[24]

Appearances in other media

  • "Mindfields" appeared on the soundtrack of the film The Matrix
  • "Smack My Bitch Up" has appeared in films Charlie's Angels, Scary Movie 2 and Closer. "Firestarter" and "Breathe" are both featured in the second instalment of Charlie's Angels. It also had an appearance in the show "Chuck" Season 2 and "Misfits" Season 1.
  • "Funky Shit" appeared in the trailers for the film Event Horizon and also played over the end credits
  • Crispian Mills, who contributed lyrically to the track "Narayan", later adapted "Narayan" and elements of "Climbatize" for his own band's 2007 album, Strangefolk as "Song of Love/Narayana".
  • "Climbatize" appeared in the pilot of the TV show "Harsh Realm", also appeared in the trailer for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.


  1. ^ "Living off the fat of the land". Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  2. ^ News - Articles - 1427521 - 19970320
  3. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "The Fat of the Land - The Prodigy". Allmusic. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  4. ^ June 1997
  5. ^ Robert Christgau. "The Prodigy". Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  6. ^ David Browne (11 July 1997). "The Fat of the Land Review". Entertainment Weekly.,,288596,00.html. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c "The Prodigy". Allmusic. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  8. ^ RIAA Certifications - Search 'Prodigy'
  9. ^ "Shahin Badar". Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  10. ^ Q (October 2001): 46. 
  11. ^ Q (December 1999): 92. 
  12. ^ Q (January 1998): 114. 
  13. ^ Rolling Stone: 82. 13 May 1999. 
  14. ^ Spin (January 1998): 87. 
  15. ^ Melody Maker (20 December 1997): 66–67. 
  16. ^ Village Voice. 24 February 1998. 
  17. ^ NME (20 December 1997): 78–79. 
  18. ^ "Prodigy". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  19. ^ Kieran Grant. "Decline of the Jedi Knights". Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  20. ^ a b The Fat of the Land - Charting
  21. ^ Finland's Official List -[dead link]
  22. ^ a b c UK Charts - Search 'Prodigy'
  23. ^ a b c "The Prodigy". Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  24. ^ a b c d e f g "The Prodigy". Allmusic. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
Preceded by
Spice by Spice Girls
Billboard 200 number-one album
19–25 July 1997
Succeeded by
Men in Black: The Album by various artists
Preceded by
OK Computer by Radiohead
UK number one album
12 July – 22 August 1997
Succeeded by
White on Blonde by Texas
Preceded by
Album of the Year by Faith No More
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
13–19 July 1997
Succeeded by
Middle of Nowhere by Hanson

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

  • The Fat of the Land — Студийный альбом The …   Википедия

  • The Fat Of The Land — The Prodigy – The Fat of the Land Veröffentlichung 1997 Label XL Recordings Format(e) CD, 2xLP, MC Genre(s) Big Beat Anzahl der Titel 10 Laufzeit 52 min 21 s …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • The Fat of the Land — Studioalbum von The Prodigy Veröffentlichung 1997 Label XL Recordings …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • The fat of the land — Album par The Prodigy Sortie 30 juin 1997 Durée 56:24 Genre(s) Techno big beat Producteur(s) Liam Howlett Label XL R …   Wikipédia en Français

  • The Fat of the Land — Album par The Prodigy Sortie 30 juin 1997 Durée 56:24 Genre Techno big beat Producteur Liam Howlett Label XL Recordings …   Wikipédia en Français

  • The Fat of the Land — es el tercer álbum de The Prodigy. Salió el 1 de julio de 1997. Canciones Smack My Bitch Up (L. Howlett, M. Smith, C. Miller, K. Thornton, T. Randolph) – 5:42 Breathe (L. Howlett, K. Flint, Maxim) – 5:35 Diesel Power (L. Howlett, K. Thornton) – 4 …   Wikipedia Español

  • fat of the land — Living off the fat of the land means having the best of everything in life …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • fat of the land — noun The greatest part of anything; the finest and most abundant share of resources; the cream of the crop. Under capitalism, the wealthy live off the fat of the land …   Wiktionary

  • fat of the land — have the best of everything, especially without having to work for it He plans to move to the mountains and try and live off the fat of the land …   Idioms and examples

  • fat of the land — {n. phr.} The best and richest food, clothes, everything. * /When I m rich I ll retire and live off the fat of the land./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

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