What Evil Lurks
Second album, first number one. 'Music For The Jilted Generation', released by XL Recordings in '94, got the top album spot in the UK and ended up selling 600,000 copies which deemed it certified platinum.
Music for the Jilted Generation is the second studio album by The Prodigy. The album was released through XL Recordings in July 1994. The album was re-released in 2008 as More Music for the Jilted Generation, including remastered and bonus tracks. Similarly to their previous record Experience, Maxim Reality is the only group member, besides Liam Howlett, from the then line-up to contribute to the album.
When Liam Howlett came to the cutting room for the final phase in the album production he realised that all the tracks he had originally planned for wouldn't fit onto a CD, so "One Love" had to be edited which resulted in a cut of approximately 1 minute and 41 seconds, "The Heat (The Energy)" was slightly cut, and the track called "We Eat Rhythm" was left out. "We Eat Rhythm" was later released on a free cassette with in October 1994 Select Magazine entitled Select Future Tracks. Liam Howlett later asserted that he felt the edit of "One Love" and "Full Throttle" could have been dropped from the track listing.
The album is largely a response to the corruption of the rave scene in Britain by its mainstream status as well as Great Britain's Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which criminalised raves and parts of rave culture. This is exemplified in the song "Their Law" with the spoken word intro and the predominant lyric, the "Fuck 'em and their law" sample.
Liam Howlett later said he regretted the choice of album title. He also claimed it was never meant to be political, but with a track sampling speech saying "fuck 'em and their law", that's quite hard to believe.
There was two proposed titles for this second album that never got used. They were Music For The Cool Young Juvenile and Music For Joyriders.
You may not know what Liam thought of when he was writing them. Here is a quote from him: ”All of those tracks came from images in my head. For 3 Kilos, I pictured a load of laid back people lying around in a smoky room; Skylined had an uplifting, rush feel to it; and Claustrophobic Sting was a paranoid, depths-of-hell track, probably the most forbidding music I’ve ever written.”
"The Narcotic Suite" includes live flute parts, played by Phil Bent. Originally, Howlett asked Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull to play this part or to give permission to use samples of one of his flute parts; according to Anderson, the letter from Howlett got stuck in his office and when Ian found it, the album was already released.
Music for the Jilted Generation has received critical acclaim. Rolling Stone gave it three-and-a-half stars, calling it "truly trippy" and that it "generates universal dance fever". Alternative Press said it "throws much darker shapes than its predecessor" and "slams harder and rawer and covers more ground". Robert Christgau called it "one of the rare records that's damn near everything you want cheap music to be". Mojo ranked it number 83 in their "100 Modern Classics" list.
Spin ranked it number 60 in their "90 Greatest Albums of the '90s" list. NME ranked it number 9 in their "Top 50 Albums of 1994" list. On 4 December 2008, radio presenter Zane Lowe inducted it into his 'masterpieces' by playing the album in full on his BBC Radio 1 show. It was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 1994. It is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
With Jilted Generation, I basically just wanted to forget about all the formulas of the dance music. In the dance you've got lots of different categories: jungle, techno, whatever. And each category has their rules, as it were, like you should use certain sounds, you shouldn't use guitars, you shouldn't use slow beats, all this crap. I just threw that out the window. I thought, "No, I really don't care about whether people slag this record off or not. I'm just gonna write something how I want to say it. " And that's what I did. And that's basically what came out.
For me there's still tracks there I wasn't happy with. I wasn't happy to put the more techno tracks on there like "Full Throttle" and "One Love" and stuff like that. It took quite a long time to produce the album. And I felt that it was sort of an end to something we were doing before and the start of something new. It wasn't just a whole new album with all new direction. It was important to still have some tracks that the old Prodigy fans could relate to still, you know? So with tracks like "Their Law" which were a bit more extreme and "Poison" and stuff like that, it was kind of like a new direction and "Voodoo People" and stuff like that. It was like forget about all the rules of dance music and here's something new that sort of captures something along with the rock side as well, just bringing that through a bit. We didn't want to change into a rock band. I think about the same time as we left the rave scene, we started to play like festivals and college dates and stuff, just stuff with other bands, guitar bands. And just being around that environment just inspired me to harden up the sound. It was the environment I was in.
- Liam Howlett
There was also a special Jilted Day on Dazed Digital when Jilted turned 20. Check it out with articles including a Q&A with Liam Howlett, an exclusive playlist selected by The Prodigy, an interview with Sewart Haygarth and Les Edwards the men behind The Prodigy’s most iconic album sleeve and more.
You can check out all the content here: http://www.dazeddigital.com/tag/jilted-day
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What Evil Lurks
Everybody In The Place
Out of Space
WInd It Up
No Good (Start The Dance)
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