Interesting The Prodigy facts

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The Warrior's Dance Festival is an electronic and rock music festival that was curated by The Prodigy. The festival has been held in various locations around the world, featuring a lineup of both established and up-and-coming artists.

In 2009 the first festival was held in Tokyo, Japan. The lineup included The Prodigy, Pendulum, Hadouken!, MSTRKRFT, AutoKratz and South Central.

In 2010 the festival was held at the iconic Milton Keynes Bowl in the UK. Headlined by The Prodigy, the event was held over two stages with mainstage performances from Pendulum, Chase & Status, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Enter Shikari, Doorly, Zane Lowe and Eddy Temple Morris. The second stage was headlined by Gallows with Lethal Bizzle, David Rodigan, Caspa and Hounds.

In late 2011 Warriors Dance Festival was announced for Kalemegdan Fortress in Belgrade, Serbia on September 15, 2012. The first two announced acts to play were The Prodigy and Skrillex.

In 2013, the festival was announced for the Exit Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia. The announced acts are The Prodigy, DJ Fresh, Feed Me, Prototypes, Brookes Brothers, Eyesburn and South Central.

In 2009 The Prodigy established the Ragged Flag label, their own record label for new talents. Nothing much has never been heard of that since then.

The Prodigy founder Liam Howlett remarked on the band's website: "We have been planning this for a while and we are looking forward to building our label up, starting off with the release of the new Prodigy album."

The label was backed by UK independent label Cooking Vinyl just like their Take Me To The Hospital label which was used to release The Prodigy's own music before they signed a new deal with BMG in 2017.

1. Fire (Sunrise version)
2. Firestarter
3. Breathe
4. Serial Thrilla
5. Fuel My Fire
6. Baby's a Got Temper
7. Razor
8. Hotride (el batori) (ep version and live)
9. Warning (live)
10. Take Me to the Hospital
11. Colours
12. Run With the Wolves
13. Omen (back vocals)
14. Nasty
15. Rebel Radio
16. Awol
17. Rokweiler
18. Champions of London
19. Invisible Sun
20. We Live Forever
21. Give Me a Signal
22. Wall of Death
23. Wild Frontier (back vocals)
24. Nuclear (live)
25. Trigger (live)
26. Ibiza (back vocals)
27. Rise of the Eagles
28. Rebel Radio
29. Roadblox
30. War (live)
31. World's on Fire (live and back vocals)
32. Nightboat to Cairo (live
33. Their Law (live)
34. Voodoo People (live)
35. Action Radar link (live)

1. Death of the Prodigy dancers
2. Poison
3. Mindfields
4. Breathe
5. One Man Army
6. More Girls
7. Piranha
8. World's on Fire
9. Omen
10. Colours (back vocals)
11. Spitfire (live)
12. Roadblox
13. Get Your Fight On
14. The Day Is my Enemy (back vocals)
15. Wild Frontier
16. Back 2 School
17. Light Up the Sky
18. We Live Forever
19. No Tourists
20. Champions of London
21. Wake Up Call (live)
22. Omen Reprise
23. Trigger (live)
24. Rock 'n' Roll (live)
25. Smack (live)
26. Nuclear (live)
27. War (live)
28. Nightboat to Cairo (live)
29. Their Law (live)
30. Voodoo People (live)
31. Take Me to the Hospital (live and back vocals)
32. Little Goblin (live)
33. Rise of the Eagles (live and back vocals)
34. Rebel Radio (live and back vocals)

Fastest-Selling Dance Album
The fastest selling dance album in the UK is The Fat of the Land (1997) by Prodigy, which sold a record 317,000 copies in its first week. In the USA it sold more than 200,000 in its first week. The album entered the chart at No. 1 in a total of 20 countries, including the USA, the United Kingdom, Canada, Austria and Norway. Prodigy are distinctive not only for their 'hardcore' style of dance music, but also for their unique looks - Keith Flint has dyed, shaved hair and a pierced septum, while Maxim wears cat's-eye contact lenses.

Dance Act With Greatest Number of Simultaneous Hits
On 20 April 1996 all of The Prodigy's 10 hit singles were in the UK Top 100. Their previous nine singles (Charly, Everybody In The Place, Fire, Out Of Space, Wind It Up, One Love, No Good [Start The Dance], Voodoo People and Poison) had been re-issued after Firestarter gave them their first No. 1.

Most Successfull Dance Music Career in the UK
Prodigy have had the best ever run of dance hit singles in the United Kingdom, with a record of 12 successive releases reaching the top 15 of the chart. The British group which is made up of Liam Howlett, Maxim, Keith Flint and Leeroy Thornhill debuted with Chary in August 1991 and its 12th entry, the controversially titled Smack My Bitch Up entered the chart in November 1997.

They played live with the Chemical Brothers, Moby, David Bowie, Foo Fighters, Rage Against The Machine, Sepultura, Dog Eat Dog, Suede and many more. The most famous DJ they toured with was probably DJ Paul Oakenfold from the UK.

Keith Flint live with The Chemical Brothers at Universe, the Tribal Gathering festival in Beckley 1995.

"In November 1995 The Chemical Brothers play the Astoria Theatre in London. At this Astoria gig, during the encore, Keith Flint from the Prodigy jumps up on stage to dance, with a t shirt with the logo "Occupation: mad bastard". A few other from the crowd join in. However, in the climax of things, a power cable is kicked loose, and everything goes quite, and the music stops! The Chems are not too bothered; "because he's Keith from the Prodigy, and he can do whatever the fuck he likes" Tom would say afterwards. In December the Chems play their biggest gig yet, with the Prodigy, at the Brixton Academy, just before Christmas."

Liam Howlett has recorded a collaboration track with Massive Attack's 3D. The pair met and hit it off at the Mount Fuji Rock festival in Japan 1997. 3D has said following about the song on the official Massive Attack website ( "Liam and I had been talking about doing something together for about a year and then we did a track each for a porn film called ‘The Uranus Experiment’. Liam knew Alex Garland who wrote ‘The Beach’ and Liam suggested that he did the music and I wrote some lyrics for a song to go on the film’s soundtrack. The track is called ‘No Souvenirs’ and is slightly Pink Floyd; slightly Beach Boys in places; full-on dark but very musical with some great arrangements. But in the end, we felt it wasn’t appropriate for the soundtrack album. The rest of the album was too dance and pop-orientated so we pulled it. It might end up as a track on the next Prodigy album." The Beach is based on Alex Garland's best selling novel of the same name.

3D and Liam in the studio

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In 1996 Keith made nasty comments about Goldie's fianceé, Björk. This led to Goldie wearing a T-shirt with Keith's face and text "CUNT FACE". After that Muzik magazine featured a quote from an official letter where Keith apologises to Goldie. Keith comments on the situation: "It was a very sad moment for me, and probably the worst moment in the six years I've been doing this that I haven't enjoyed myself, when I read that article and saw Goldie and Björk getting dissed. But I'll get the oppurtunity to speak to them both and hopefully we can chill out, and they'll definately realise that I'm not out to diss them. " Goldie was satisfied with the official apology and members from both camps have since spoken. Goldie presented The Prodigy with the Best Dance Award at the 1996 MTV Europe Music Awards.

Tricky had a peace plan. Of sorts.

"Goldie and Keith should have a boxing match for charity. Sort it out fair and square. Or I tell you what - Keith could get that big bloke Leeroy to fight for him! I've seen him fight, and I'd definitely back him to have Goldie. "Thing is with Keith, he's a really lovely bloke - he's a pussycat really. I went training with him once, and we did a bit of kung fu. I punched him in the lace twice and it was all over!" So you haven't quite renounced violence yet, then? "No, er, yeah, well I just think musicians shouldn't pretend to be bad boys on the weekend, y'know? Me and Goldie should sort it out between us, using music. You should put him in one corner, and me in the other, both with our equipment, and get us both to write a tune, with independent adjudicators. I'd wipe the floor with him!"

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House Of The Razing Arson

Liam Howlett & Cut 2 KillCut 2 Kill was the hip-hop band that Liam Howlett was a member of, in the early 1990s. Some promotional copies like Jus' Coolin' by Cut 2 Kill are easy to find. They sell for approx five Pounds Sterling on the market. This track is not written by Liam Howlett in any way though. There is one record released by Cut 2 Kill on which Liam Howlett worked. This record is Listen To The Basstone. It has been released in two forms: a promotional 12" and the normal 12". The promo copy is easy to recognize since it comes in a Tam Tam promo sleeve and on the 12" itself it says that it is a promotional copy. The complete looks are different then the looks of the retail version. On the promo copy it does not say who wrote which tunes on it, on the retail release it does though. The tracklisting of both the promo copy as the retail one are the same. It features three tracks being Listen To The Basstone twice, once the version with rap (on the A-side of the record) and an instrumental version, plus a tune called Talkin' Facts (these last two tunes are on the B-side). Talkin' Facts is not written by Liam, only Listen To The Basstone is. Listen To The Basstone is the first Cut 2 Kill single ever released. Jus' Coolin' is the second single ever released, but it is not written by Liam at all and he has nothing to do with it either. Normal versions of this record sell for about $4 and the promo copy for maybe $8 or $10. As for the value of a Listen To The Basstone, it varies $15 to $200.

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He wrote it in his bedroom in his dad's house (the Charly Says sample was recorded by his step-brother) he moved out of the house just before the single was released.

Mutant Dog (1996) was a video starred Keith Flint as a psychopathic newsreader, alongside Charlotte Coleman, who starred in Four Weddings And A Funeral. The film was also meant to feature 1996 live footage of the Prodigy from 'Breathe' tour at Brixton Academy. It also featured Boddingtons Bitter ad girl Melanie Sykes and Casualty's Lisa Coleman. The film was edited by Mark Reynolds, a former colleague of the band, who has videotaped many of their on-the-road-exploits and was responsible for the Prodigy long-form video, Electronic Punks, released with the band's approval. This was meant to be the second Prodigy video compilation (just like Electronic Punks). The film never got released; The Prodigy weren't happy with their friend for doing it, so it never happened. They really fell out about it, the guy saying he was quite upset about the Prodigy letting him down. It was a very cheap low-budget affair, with deliberate product-placement 'sponsorship' from the likes of Death Cigarettes, etc... "

Reynolds claimed he originally had permission from Liam to release the film and that two stills of Leeroy and Liam from it even featured on the cover of the band's last LP, 'The Fat Of The Land'.

Despite never being officially released, Mutant Dog remains an interesting artifact in The Prodigy's history.

Mark Reynolds: "If you look in their photo book, The Fat Of The Land, there are five pictures that are credited to the film. I'd worked with them on it for 18 months. We'd had meetings at Liam's house. I used a crew of 12 on the live stuff in Dublin so there's a lot of money at stake. I have a meeting planned with my lawyers."

"I had problems with XL over Electronic Punks," he said. "They just wanted a straight promo package and I gave them something more unusual. I don't know why they're trying to stop it now but they won't succeed. If it takes six months or six years, it will come out. "

Liam Howlett: "During 1994 and 1995, Mark Reynolds spent a good deal of time with the band shooting footage which eventually formed part of the 1995 video, Electronic Punks. Out of interest, we tentatively agreed to get involved with another of his projects but when we did the filming two years ago we felt uncomfortable and when we saw the results we didn't like them. "As we understand it, Mark Reynolds has now incorporated that footage into a larger project which he's calling Mutant Dogs. The band feel that it is unfair to sell this to Prodigy fans on the basis of some sketchy footage. It doesn't come up to an acceptable standard."

Reynolds believed that it was the band's label XL, rather than the Prodigy themselves, behind the blocking.

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The origin of the name "The Prodigy" has been a subject of speculation and debate among fans. While the official explanation is that the name refers to the Moog Prodigy synthesizer used by Liam Howlett, there are also other possible explanations.

Liam wrote the name of the keyboard on a tape and gave it to Keith. Keith thought that this was the name of Liam's Dance Act and asked if he could join. But there’s another (possible) explanation for this: in English the word ”Prodigy” means ”wonder”, or somebody (especially a child) of marvelous talents ("child prodigy"). In this case, Prodigy refers to Liam – here’s what he said about it: ”When I first thought of the name, obviously I didn’t consider it could be four people. It was just me, faceless, in my bedroom, writing music: The Prodigy.”

Keith: "I don't know how to take that."

Liam: "I laugh. Especially when you see the little kids. They never get the hair quite right. But there was a funny one the other day; people don't recognise me, which is cool, but they recognise Keith, and these people were saying, 'Look at him, he thinks he's the Firestarter! He thinks he's Prodigy Man!'. "

Keith's devil like image was copied for a Lucozade advert. When The Prodigy saw it they blamed lucozade for copying an image that they made for themselves and that Lucozade was just doing it to make money.

In October 1998, Liam confessed his least favourite track is the remix he had done for The Time Frequency (Retribution). He said that he thought it turned out awful - but did it cos one of TTF was a mate... "Liam has confessed that he did the mix for money, as he was a bit skint at the time! He also adds that now he has admitted to it being the worst Prodigy track, people will now try and track it down.

The single is the What Evil Lurks E.P. (not Charly as some fools may tell you, that's just their first CHART single!) with four tracks (What Evil Lurks, We're Gonna Rock, Android and the original (slow hip-hop) mix of Everybody In The Place), released only on 12 inch vinyl and there are only 7,000 genunine copies in existence! I'm lucky enough to own one after three years of searching in second-hand record shops! The value could be anything of up to £200 to collectors. Some fake vinyls of What Evil Lurks have been going around. These usually have the word 'Androids' instead of 'Android' in the tracklisting. Record Collector magazine has recently re-valued original copies at £80. By the way, just because it's rare, it doesn't mean to say it's good, the What Evil Lurks tracks are pretty low-budget and cheap efforts which sound primitive compared to Liam's current offerings! Android is probably the best track, and has been seen on some CDs (some illegal!).

It was held at The Labyrinth venue in 1990 (the event was organized by Ziggy, who became their manger later on) The gig was attended by only about 250 people, but it was immensely successful. It's also interesting to note that this was the first time that the band members met Maxim, who also enjoyed the show (despite the fact that he was into reggae instead of rave). They first performed abroad in Italy.

It was in Scotland, at an airport. Liam was very upset after the gig (the sound of the planes was drowning their bass), and issued the following statement: "Forget the authorities. You can't stop us. We're gonna keep the dance scene strong even if the world isn't. This is your day and no one else can take it away from you. The dance scene is too strong to disappear. "

It was from an undertaking called Amazing Animals, which provides film directors/producers with exotic animals, like crocodiles. It was run by the Chipperfield family, one of whose member was prosecuted for cruelty to animals.

Officially the Prodigy is only Liam Howlett. According to various sources, Liam was the only one from the band signed to XL Recordings as the Prodigy as they started. And although without him basically nothing would exist of the music (he plays all the instruments on synths), but without the existence of the other three there could never be such a great band – all three are required to create the "Prodigy buzz".

Yes. (Fake album means it's said to contain Prodigy music, but it isn't) The Ultimate Jilted Experience Experience Revisited Inflicted The Castbreeder Beware of any website telling you otherwise. The first two albums were set up by a webmaster of an unofficial Prodigy site in order to look credible. The tracks have been identified as obvious hoaxes by many real Prodigy fans. The 'Inflicted' album was a hoax set up by Tobi Wood during the 'countdown' to The Fat Of The Land. Tobi was pissed off with having CD bootleg pirates ripping off his site, so he set about forging an album called Inflicted, which featured mostly real existing tracks, except for 'Salvationed Army', 'In The Beginning' and a fake 'Benny Blanco', composed (very well) by Tobi himself. Even the artwork (a briefcase full of drugs syringes) was fake. " The best, the unreleased, the last.. "containing Prodigy songs with the 'Breathe' cover.

One interesting fact about The Prodigy's early tracks is that none of the vocals were actually performed by the group's members. Instead, many of the vocals were sampled from other artists or sources. For example, the iconic "Charly" sample was taken from a TV campaign for children called "Say No to Strangers." The intro to "Jilted Generation" is from the horror movie "The Lawnmower Man," and the vocals on tracks such as "Music Reach," "No Good," "Out of Space," and "Their Law" were all sampled from various sources.

Interestingly, Liam Howlett, the group's founder and main creative force, even recruited his neighbor Simone to provide vocals for a few tracks, including "Music Reach," "Ruff in the Jungle," and "Rip Up the Sound System," when she was just 14 years old.

The Prodigy's innovative use of samples from various sources and collaborations with other artists helped to create their unique sound, which blended elements of rave, techno, and rock music.

Read more about samples and lyrics.

It's the studio besides Earthbound in which Liam recorded music (For example, five of the Jilted Generation tracks have been produced and mixed here) "One of [Jamie] Reid's current projects is the Strongroom Studio, a London recording studio designed by Reid and decorated with silk-screened canvases, marble, etched bronze and slate. Many of England's top musical acts, including the Chemical Brothers, Prodigy and even the Spice Girls, have worked within the acclaimed Strongroom. "It is like turning all my painting ideas into architecture," Reid said of the studio. "Bands such as the Prodigy have been recording in that space for a long time now... They've actually found what I've done there great inspiration to their music... Same as The Orb, The Orbital, The Chemical Brothers.

This is a frequent question, and causes much debate. The Prodigy don't really fit into just one category, since they are quite diverse, and have evolved over the course of their existence. There's no word to describe what genres they have been through, or even the musical styles they have either created or fused together! Some might call it techno cause it uses more repetative loops and 4-beat type hooks. Of course coming out of the rave era, Prodigy has added their own breakbeat and tension to their music. It doesn't just contain elements from techno as defined in its explicit terms, which would describe Detroit traxx and such. Prodigy has always been known to take common elements from the present genre (rave in Experience, the renaissance of electronic music usage in Jilted Generation, and hard calculated beats in The Fat Of The Land) and taking it to its critical peak. In songs like Fire, Jericho, Your Love, etc, synth sounds may be heard that have been used before in old school rave, but haven't been used in such melodious context. Some people would call it 'hard dance music'. Let's just say that they started up doing techno/rave anthems with hip-hip drumloops, but progressed from that, so that they now carry elements of ambient, hard-house, hip-hop, industrial, punk, acid-jazz, reggae, electro, gabba, heavy metal/rock, jungle and rap. Liam decision to have guitars in the music back in 1994 may have lost some of his original followers, but only the open-minded fans kept the faith, it also gained the Prodigy a larger alternative/indie following. Anyway there is no real explanation fro the style. We can only say like Liam did once "It's just...Prodigy music!"

"We have never been a techno band" - Liam Howlett."'Electronica' was a phrase invented by some a guy in an office. And when we find out who that guy is... ...we're gonna slap him. " - Liam Howlett, 1997 ”It just makes us laugh – electronica” - Leeroy Thornhill

He uses a Apple Macintosh computers (not a PC!) and Ableton/Cubase/Reason software for writing music. Here is what he said about Cubase: "The thing with Cubase is, I was scared to go on to it. It wasn't because I was against it, I was just scared. I thought it would change the sound and change the way I write music. <...> When I use Cubase, I turn off Cycle mode and use it as I would have used the W30. Now I've got over the fear. "

The makeup and clothes take Liam 2 minutes, Keith 3 minutes and Maxim 1.5 hours!

Spice Girls: ”They’re pub cabaret singers who’ve been given a Richard & Judy makeover. I’m surprised they’ve done so well as they have because, by and large, little boys aren’t interested in girls.” (Liam) Take That: ”Take That danced, they sang, they put on a fucking good show and towards the end of they’re career they became a credible pop group.” (Keith) Boyzone: ”The thing I really hate about Boyzone is that they’re so unnatural.20-year-old kids dressing in tweed suits because that’s what their manager tells ’em to do. And what’s with all thes covers?’ Words’ was crap 20 years ago, so why be crap with it again now?” (Keith)

The Dirtchamber was at the time Liam's new home studio. If you watch the "Smack My Bitch Up" video you will see that in the video, a CD with "Dirtchamber" written on it is put into a radio. That's the reason that the DJ mix album is named "Dirtchamber Sessions. "

Here is a quote from himself: "If people ask me what actually inspires me to make music, it's late-early '70s funk and '80s hip-hop-B.T. Express, the Meters, the roots of hip-hop, the rare grooves the DJs used to spin. I love to spend hours in record stores listening to the original breaks. " But it's important to note that what makes the Prodigy's music so diverse are the lots of music styles they have heard over the years, so funk and hip-hop aren't (obviously) the only styles that inspire them.

Five. When they formed the Prodigy, Liam, Keith, Leeroy and Maxim had another companion - a female dancer called Sharky. But when they got a record deal, she quit the band.

Another quote from Liam: "The thing about Prodigy is there's always scope for something else, and now there's scope for lyrics that actually mean something. We were stuck in a position of coming from the dance scene and not needing lyrics to have too much weight. Now all of a sudden, we can write about stuff that's happened to us. It's somewhere we can go, maybe, with the new album-if there is another album. I've never seen politics as an important part of Prodigy, but personal experience and stuff like that.... Enough's happened to us to write some fucking good lyrics!" (Note: it was said after May 1998)

This album is a a protest against an act by the British government which enabled the policemen to take greater measures against partygoers (although originally Liam did not intend the album to be an anti-Criminal Justice Bill record). Jilted here means something like betrayed (the goverment betrayed youth). "How can the government stop young people having a good time. Fight this bollocks" - The Prodigy.

You have probably seen Mindfields referred to as Minefields in some articles. So, what's the difference? The album version that The Fat Of The Land contains is called Mindfields. The single that eventually wasn't released commercially (only on promo) was officially called Minefields.

There is a book called something like The Fat Of The Land Songbook, and it contains the musical scores of the FOTL tracks (plus incorrect lyrics). It's worth checking out if you want to learn how to play their music.

He used samples from various films, for example: The Lawnmower Man (Intro), Smokie And The Bandit (Their Law), 2001: A Space Odyssey (Claustrophobic Sting), Carlito's Way (Benny Blanco).

Prodigy's music has been featured on to recent movies - A life less ordinary (Full Throttle) and Event Horizon (Funky Shit)... A breif review on each movie - A life less ordinary is a movie based on a kidnapping of a rich girl.. the story line gets hard to follow about half way through the movie.. and you end up understanding less at the end of the movie then you did at the start. Full Throttle is played right after the two angels shoot up and old car (you gotta see the movie to understand) - Event Horizon - This space movie based in 2000 something is a gore filled trip to hell and back.. Featuring that guy who played Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park as the crazy doctor who created a spaceship that can travel at light speed. The ship gets lost for 7 years, and is found orbiting neptune. A rescue crew goes to see if their are any survivors, and they eventually all go crazy and see visions of death and their greatest fears... all but a few die and the crazy dr pokes his own eyes out.. freaky movie... Funky Shit is featured at the end credits after the space doors shut and the words appear "THE END". Other Prodigy songs have been used in films such as Matrix (Mindfields), Jackal (Poison), Hackers 1 + 2 (Voodoo People, One Love + some others), Spawn (One Man Army) Charlie's Angels (Smack My Bitch Up) The Saint (Voodoo People). For more info check soundtracks section!

The first few ones (like Charly and Out Of Space) were directed by Russel Curtis. Most of the rest 90s videos were shot by Walter Stern (from No Good to Breathe), who also directed for the Verve, Madonna and Massive Attack. Possibly the most famous video, Smack My Bitch Up was made by Swedish director Jonas Ã…kerlund, who received two MTV Video Music Awards for his work. Later The Prodigy have been using always different directors in every video.

The Prodigy and Beastie Boys were involved in a war of words at the 1998 Reading Festival. The Beastie Boys asked the Prodigy not to include Smack My Bitch Up in their set, claiming that it is offensive – but the Prodigy did play the song and Maxim shouted to the crowd: ”I do what the fuck I want.” Later the Beasties’ Ad Rock commented, ”From where I’m from, it isn’t cool.”.

The strange thing is that Liam actually didn’t want to play at Reading in 1998 – because the whole band was tired (of touring) by the time the gig was held (”Reading was the only show I didn’t want to be at. That show was just a joke.” – Liam)

Speech from Reading:

Maxim: Last night, we've received a call from one of the Beastie Boys.

[Crowd cheer]

Maxim: Wait a minute hear me out! They didn’t want us to play this funckin' tune. But the way things go, I do what the fuck I want.

[Large cheer, 'Smack my bitch up' intro.]

Contrary to what you might think, the Prodigy and the Beastie Boys have buried the hatchet – at least both bands say this. The B-boys have even let Liam use some of their tracks on his Mix Album - Dirtchamber Sessions.

Liam continued:
’ Whatever happened between me and Ad-Rock, there’s no respect lost as far as the music goes. I don’t think anything less of them as musicians over what they’ve done. And basically, if I’m making an old-skool record, it would be stupid of me to not have them on there.’

The Beasties’ Adam Yauch put their side:
’I think it all worked out fine. We just wanted to let the Prodigy know that we felt like that song had a real meaning, has a definite meaning with those lyrics... We were kinda more going to them saying, ’We’ve been through this and we feel weird about this stuff and we’d like to suggest or ask you guys not to play it.’

The band concluded they had decided to let the matter lie, though they still disagreed with the song’s content. (Source: NME)


When Select Magazine did a round up of the legendary music festival moments, they had to include the Prodigy vs Beastie Boys spat from Reading 98! Yep, it's up there alongside Nirvana's 1992 gig at Reading, Robbie Williams onstage with Oasis at Glastonbury 1995 and Courtney Love losing her marbles at Reading 1994.

Here's what the of Select have to say:

"PRODIGY VS THE BEASTIE BOYS: Reading 1998 On the evening before they were due to share a festival stage together, The Prodigy's Liam Howlett received an unusual phone call at his Essex home. Long-time idols Beastie Boys Adam Yauch and Mike D were asking him to cut his group's most recent single 'Smack My Bitch Up' from their forthcoming Reading set. The conversation proceeded affably enough with a general 'agree to disagree' conclusion being reached.

It was later revealed that the US rappers had even tried to stop The Prodigy sharing the same Reading bill. Indeed, with the Beasties demanding a say over their fellow performers, The Prodge were only at Reading because of the cancellation of the Phoenix Festival and subsequent combining of the two bills.

With the Beasties going on record against the performance afterwards, a transatlantic rivalry had quickly fomented. During the subsequent publicity, many sided aginst the Beasties for their seemingly sanctimonious attempt at censoring fellow performers. From being reviled as misogynistic cretins hiding behind bogus notions of 'street' authenticity, The Prodigy now found themselves cast as free speech crusaders. The Beasties, meanwhile - thanks to memories of early lyrics and shows liberally scattered with rampant sexism - were now officially Grade A hypocrites.

"During that whole Reading thing," says Liam Howlett, "the Beastie Boys really let themselves down. They think they have the power to come over to England and the tell a band not to play one of their songs - it's pathetic. I know a lot of people got offended by 'Smack My Bitch Up', but that wasn't my intention. It's just an old-skool phrase meaning to 'sort something out'. I still find it hard to exactly what it means, but in my head it didn't mean what other people took it as."

"I always used to like the Beastie Boys because they stood against all that American crap, but when I spoke to them they just seemed to be full of all that self-improvement, learning-to-be-a-better-person type of bullshit. I mean, you know, I think I'm intelligent enough to look at those early Beastie Boys records and see the tongue-in-cheek humour."

The Beasties later responded to these accusations by actually drawing attention to their past experiences of seeing ironically intended lyrics taken at face value. Adam Horovitz said: "You know, a woman in America gets murdered every 20 minutes every day, in domestic violence. So 'Smack My Bitch Up' isn't that funny".

In conclusion, The Reading Incident was only a 'War Of Words'. Here is a summary of what the parts said:

Beastie Boys: We’ve been through this and we feel weird about this stuff and we’d like to suggest or ask you guys not to play that song’, right before we go onstage.

The Prodigy: Well you can’t tell us what to do.

Beastie Boys: We don’t mean to be preacing to you, we’re just saying...

The Prodigy: That’s not what the song actually means. The lyrics don’t mean what you think they mean and we’ve been explaining that to the press for a long time.

Beastie Boys: To us they had a definite meaning. And I’m sure that irrespective of each other, those words have that same meaning to a lot of people.


Related articles

NME August 10th 1998 Yauch Defends Reading Face-off

MTV September 3rd 1998 Beastie Boys Battle Prodigy Over 'Smack My Bitch Up'

NME - September 12th 1998 Beasties V Prodigy: The Great PC WarsNME - 1998 Prodigy & Beasties Declare Peace at Christmas

The Carling weekend festivals in Leeds 23-08-2002 was the last Prodigy show in the original Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned era (2001-2002) before the the band scrapped all the material to return in mid 2004 with the actual release of AONO.

The Carling festival weekend had the band return with a whole new stage look and outfits and played a very interesting set that stands as an interesting show with many rarities such as 'Back to Skool' intro and a cover of 'Nightboat to Cairo' by Madness and other two unreleased tracks named 'Trigger' and 'Nuclear'.  The set also featured a performance of recently released single 'Babys got a Temper'

'Nuclear' was meant to be released as a follow up single to BGAT in late 2002. Parts of this song were rumoured to be used in the track 'Action Radar' from AONO. 

You've just been to Glastonbury, so you say to your mate "my word, I was trying to get in to Glastonbury, the police stopped us getting in. Apparently they caught a little boy around the backstage area and he was breaking up fireworks and sniffing them up his nose. There was another young kid there, he's got a battery from a car, and he's drinking the acid from the battery, right. And so the police come along, charged one, let the other one off. "

In '96 C.J. Bolland (who had earlier provided The Prodigy with a remix of No Good) released his track 'Sugar is Sweeter' which has a main vocal sample which rhythm-wise is just like the main hook in Poison. Camp Prodigy of course saw this as a rip-off and it went as far as Maxim slagging off C.J. for imitating Poison on stage at the '96 Brixton academy show.

It’s an ant, not a spider! There may be spiders of this form, but they definitely have eight legs (this could only be a crippled spider :) And the animal on the FOTL cover isn’t a spider either, it’s a crab. It’s probably a fiddler crab

The Prodigy has seven albums out: The Prodigy Experience, Music For the Jilted Generation, The Fat of The Land, Always Outnumberd Never Outgunned, Invaders Must Die, The Day Is My Enemy and their most recent release No Tourists (there is also mix album: Prodigy Present The Dirtcamber Sessions Volume 1, but it's more Liam's solo album than a Prodigy one).

The Prodigy performed at the V97 festival , It was so packed that they had to stop for 15 minutes to rescue the people at the front from getting crushed.

Maxim was also signed onto XL Recordings and he has released some own tracks. Read more from the solo section!

The original artwork for Smack My Bitch Up was changed due to the death of Princess Diana. It was to feature a VW Beatle wrapped around a lamp post.

Before Liam was in The Prodigy he was a graphic artist and he also worked on a building site.

Keith was exactly 1 foot smaller than Leeroy. Leeroy is 6 foot 6 and Keith is 5 foot 6.

Keith's tattoo on his stomach says "Inflicted".

Maxim used to have weird contact lenses... and they weren't exactly for bad eyesight!

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