What Evil Lurks
The Prodigy's debut studio album released on legendary XL Recordings label.
Experience is the debut studio album by The Prodigy. It was first released on 28 September 1992 through XL Recordings.
Before music journalists were throwing around terms like "drum & bass" or "jungle", the Prodigy's Liam Howlett was creating high-energy dance music by marrying sampled, pitch-shifted beats to all manner of electronic timbres. This album has it all: complicated break beats, housey piano riffs, lush analog pads, frenetic and computer esque melodies, and subsonic bass. In fact, the mélange is so dense that the material demands full attention and repeated listenings to gain a complete understanding of the rhythmic interplay.
Apart from Liam Howlett - who was the sole composer - of the additional three members at that time, only Maxim actually contributed to the album, performing the vocals on the last track. A wide variety of artists in the breakbeat hardcore scene in the early 1990s are given respect and namechecked in the sleeve notes of the album, including SL2, Carl Cox, Moby, Tim Westwood, Orbital and Aphex Twin. Experience peaked at No. 12 in the UK Albums Chart and went on to achieve platinum status in that country. It also went gold in Poland.
From contemporary reviews, Kris Needs of NME declared that "the time-pod to enable future generations to get a handle on what happened in 1992, The Prodigy's debut album will be a much safer bet to illustrate the Rave Phenomenon than any half-assed "40 Bowel-Erupting Rave Greats" compilation. If only to show what killed it, some would say."
Experience received very positive reviews upon its release. AllMusic gave the album 5 out of 5 stars, saying that it "shows the Prodigy near the peak of their game from the get go" and stating that "almost every song sounds like a potential chart topper". Tom Ewing of Freaky Trigger commended the album as "four-minute-warnings, [...] hyperactive ravey blasts which boasted genuine irreverence rather than learned attitude."
Moby credited Experience with changing his perception about dance albums; previously he felt that "dance albums had always failed [...] because they didn't work over the full length of the record. Mostly they were singles collections which was exactly what I didn't want to do," and noted that Experience "impressed me because they'd managed to create a full listening experience which encompassed various styles. This was the kind of vision I had for my debut album."
On 19 June 2001, an expanded edition of the album was released in the United States, featuring a bonus disc of remixes and B-sides. It was released in the United Kingdom seven years later on 4 August 2008 as Experience: Expanded, with a gold cover and two extra tracks.
Another review: This being Liams first album, it reflects what he and the other members in the band were into at the time - pure, solid rave. It rocks, Out Of Space is excellent. Liam changes the mood of the track time and time again, with pretty raw edges to each change, but he gets away with it. Charly, trip into drum and bass version, has seen nearly all the original lyrics from the cat taken away, probably so people would stop giving the four hassle about being, "The Band That Killed Rave" - which we all know isn't true, no one said anything until the cash-in one hit wonders hit town. Liam Howlett did a great job mixing that one.
As with all Liam's albums there is a great variety in his work, from the fairly chilled Weather Experience (in Prodigy terms anyway - indie kids take note, you'll still be blown away with it's speed and power), to the hard beats and raw lyrics in Death Of The Prodigy Dancers. This track is recorded from a live gig, and changed my idea of typical rave bands forever. That should be so though because The Prodigy was not a "Typical Rave Band".
27 Aug 2008 | The Quietus
The Prodigy Talk To The Quietus About Experience And Jilted Generation
01 Jul 2002 | BPM
01 Feb 1993 | Future Music
What Evil Lurks
Everybody In The Place
Out of Space
WInd It Up
No Good (Start The Dance)
Music For The Jilted Generation
The Fat Of The Land
Smack My Bitch Up
Prodigy Present: The Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One
The Prodigy Experience - Expanded: Remixes & B-sides
Baby's Got A Temper
Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned
Their Law: The Singles 1990–2005
Voodoo People / Out Of Space
Back To Mine
More Music For The Jilted Generation
Invaders Must Die
Take Me To The Hospital
Invaders Must Die EP
The Added Fat EP
The Day Is My Enemy
The Night Is My Friend EP
Light Up The Sky