Artist picture of The Prodigy

The Prodigy

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Breathe The Prodigy 05:34
Smack My Bitch Up The Prodigy 05:42
Firestarter The Prodigy 04:39
Diesel Power The Prodigy 04:17
Funky Shit The Prodigy 05:16
Omen The Prodigy 03:36
Mindfields The Prodigy 05:39
Voodoo People The Prodigy 06:27
Out of Space The Prodigy 05:02
Voodoo People The Prodigy 05:07

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Biography

Taking their name from a Moog analogue synthesiser featured in their earliest songs, The Prodigy were formed when songwriter/keyboardist Liam Howlett met vocalist/dancer Keith Flint at a rave in 1989 where Howlett was DJing. Flint requested a mixtape and Howlett obliged with a collection that included his original songs on one side; along with keyboardist Leeroy Thornhill, Flint developed dance sequences to this tape before suggesting they start a group together. Completing the line-up was MC and vocalist Keith 'Maxim' Palmer and for a short time female dancer and vocalist Sharky.

Combining hip-hop breakbeats with up-tempo dance music, The Prodigy's earliest songs sampled children's TV shows and public information films to create rave scene hits that were popular with clubbers but dismissed by critics for a lack of seriousness. Early singles 'Charly' and 'Everybody in the Place (Fairground Edit)' reached number three and two respectively during 1991, bringing the band to wider public attention. Debut album 'Experience' came in September 1992 marking a watershed moment with the first significant full-length release from the British rave scene, producing the singles 'Fire/Jericho', 'Out of Space' and 'Wind It Up (Rewound)'.

Seeking to shed their 'kiddie rave' image, second album 'Music for the Jilted Generation' followed in 1994 with a guitar-heavy sound that garnered the band new fans from the rock world. Flint's new punk persona came to the fore at a successful 1995 Glastonbury Festival performance that proved dance acts could cut it on the stadium circuit. Third album 'The Fat of the Land' followed in 1997 with a less dense sound that reduced the tempo and number of samples. Continuing to pivot away from rave towards rock, many of the tracks featured punk-style vocals from Flint. Lead single 'Firestarter' garnered controversy for its lyrical focus on arson and its startling video. The track 'Smack My Bitch Up' also received negative press for appearing to advocate violence against women, a charge that the band denied. Despite being pulled off the air it won both Breakthrough Video and Best Dance Video at the 1998 MTV Awards.

Following a few years hiatus, the band returned in 2002 (minus Thornhill) with another controversial single that featured references to the drug Rohypnol. Fourth album 'Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned' was released in 2004 featuring several guest artists including Oasis' Liam Gallagher and actress Juliette Lewis. The album was notably lacking in vocal performances from Maxim and Flint, but both were present for a worldwide tour in support of the album's release that year. 2005 saw the release of a compilation album 'Their Law: The Singles 1990-2005', then in 2008 their first two albums 'Experience' and 'Music for the Jilted Generation' were re-released in expanded deluxe editions containing new mixes and live tracks. Their fifth studio album 'Invaders Must Die' was released in 2009 with a return to the sound of their rave routes and Flint and Maxim back as featured vocalists. This time there were no guest vocalists, but Dave Grohl played drums on 'Run With the Wolves' and James Rushent co-produced two of the singles.

Flint, Howlett and Maxim began a new creative process intending to work more collaboratively as a band, taking several years and moving through several studios to produce their 2015 album 'The Day Is My Enemy'. The album again channelled an aggressive and energetic vocal style over rock and rave influenced breakbeats, featuring guest vocals from Sleaford Mods and Flux Pavilion. In 2018 their seventh studio album 'No Tourists' was released, featuring guest spots from Ho99o9 and Barns Courtney and a more prominent use of synths. Plans to tour the US in 2019 were announced, but this was cancelled, along with all subsequent appearances, after the death of Keith Flint on 4th March 2019.