The song became the group's second consecutive number-one on both the UK and Finnish singles charts.


"Breathe" was released in November 1996 as the second single from the album The Fat of the Land. The song became the group's second consecutive number-one on both the UK and Finnish singles charts.  The song features a drum break from the song "Johnny the Fox Meets Jimmy the Weed" of the group Thin Lizzy. The whiplashing sword sound effect is a sample of the song "Da Mystery of Chessboxin", by Wu-Tang Clan. As in "Firestarter", Jim Davies played the guitar in the song. In 2003, Q Magazine ranked "Breathe" at number 321 in their list of the "1001 Best Songs Ever".

The first ever performance of the song was held at a concert at the Pionir hall in Belgrade, Republic of Serbia, on December 8, 1995, 11 months prior to its release. It was the first major international music act to play in Belgrade since the breakup of Yugoslavia, and came shortly after UN sanctionswere partially lifted. Breathe thus became an iconic song for Serbia's urban youth.

An edited version of the song is featured as the opening track on MuchMusic's Diamond-Certified compilation album, Big Shiny Tunes 2. The song also featured in a 2012 television commercial for Tooheys Extra Dry.

The Prodigy performed "Breathe" at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, and won the Viewer's Choice Award. The song was a major worldwide hit, reaching the top 10 in several countries such as Australia, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.

Breathe was a number-one hit in Finland, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The song was also a hit in France, reaching #26. In the United States, the song reached number 18 on the US Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart. The single also returned to the Billboard charts after Flint's death, entering number 14 on its Dance/Electronic Digital Songs Sales chart in its 16 March 2019 issue.

Breathe is to date The Prodigy's biggest selling single ever.

Before 'Breathe' was released Midi Management reported the tracklisting to be the following:
1. Breathe
2. Poison (Live)
3. Their Law (Live)
4. Blow Your Mind

Blow Your Mind was probably a studio version of Diesel Power without Kool Keith on vocals but likely with Maxim instead as heard on several gigs before the release of FOTL.



We recorded that straight after "Firestarter. " And it was an instrumental for ages. We were playing it on stage and the guys were just dancing to it and stuff. It was just like an instrumental track. And I thought that it was so obvious to put a vocal on it and I think what happened is they came around and they knew the track anyway. They'd been listening to it for about three months. To tell you the truth, I think I wrote "Breathe" before I did "Firestarter. " I wrote the instrumental of "Breathe" about two months before "Firestarter. " And then about three or four months later I came around and literally set up a mic in the studio. I went into the lounge for about half an hour, watched telly, come back and they'd done the vocals. It was quite a quick sort of thing really. It was just a matter of sorting a couple of syllables out, getting them to fit in right with the beats and then it was just plain sailing, it was done.

Literally for that track it was just like going in and experimenting with a couple of sounds. The first opening line is like a really twangy old guitar sound, really monotone sort of guitar sound. I made that and that was made about six months before we actually recorded the vocals. And it was just literally that, with a beat on it. And all I did was throw some loops down on a DAT. I basically just did that guitar part. [sings] That riff and just threw a beat on there. And just put it down as a loop onto DAT.

When we did the song, it was about confrontation between [singer/dancer] Maxim and Keith. There was no deep meaning. It was like, you want to taste me, come over here and taste me. And then Maxim was like, breathe me, breathe me... It was just more of a confrontational thing between them two. When they do it on stage, that comes across really obviously. I'm not gonna sit here and try and think of some deep meaning because it just hasn't got one. "Firestarter" has but "Breathe" hasn't. It's basically like a full-on, almost punk dance track. It's kind of got the energy of our other tracks but it's also got the edge of "Firestarter" in a way. When you see it live, it's really confrontational between them two. We just wanted to get that on record and it just captured that live part of the show, you know?

Liam Howlett

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See also

What Evil Lurks EP

What Evil Lurks


Charly Single



Everybody In The Place Single

Everybody In The Place


Fire Single



Experience Album



Out of Space Single

Out of Space


WInd It Up Single

WInd It Up


One Love Single

One Love


No Good (Start The Dance) Single

No Good (Start The Dance)


Music For The Jilted Generation Album

Music For The Jilted Generation


Voodoo People Single

Voodoo People


Poison Single



Firestarter Single



The Fat Of The Land Album

The Fat Of The Land


Smack My Bitch Up Single

Smack My Bitch Up


Prodigy Present: The Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One Compilation

Prodigy Present: The Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One


The Prodigy Experience - Expanded: Remixes & B-sides Compilation

The Prodigy Experience - Expanded: Remixes & B-sides


Baby's Got A Temper EP

Baby's Got A Temper


Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned Album

Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned


Girls Single



Hotride Single



Spitfire Single



Their Law: The Singles 1990–2005 Compilation

Their Law: The Singles 1990–2005


Voodoo People / Out Of Space Single

Voodoo People / Out Of Space


Back To Mine Compilation

Back To Mine


More Music For The Jilted Generation Compilation

More Music For The Jilted Generation


Invaders Must Die Album

Invaders Must Die


Omen Single



Warrior's Dance Single

Warrior's Dance


Take Me To The Hospital Single

Take Me To The Hospital


Invaders Must Die EP EP

Invaders Must Die EP


The Added Fat EP EP

The Added Fat EP


Nasty Single



Wild Frontier Single

Wild Frontier


The Day Is My Enemy Album

The Day Is My Enemy


Ibiza Single



The Night Is My Friend EP EP

The Night Is My Friend EP


Need Some1 Single

Need Some1


No Tourists Album

No Tourists


Light Up The Sky Single

Light Up The Sky


The Fat Of The Land 25th Anniversary - Remixes EP

The Fat Of The Land 25th Anniversary - Remixes


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