Newest Review: ... samples were being used, these were alongside some more innovative sounds. The man in question is of course, Norman Cook, better known as... more
Funk Soul Brother
Fatboy Slim in general
Member Name: Tcraze84
Fatboy Slim in general
Date: 02/04/01, updated on 02/04/01 (74 review reads)
Advantages: Highly original, homegrown talent.
Disadvantages: Question marks over recent releases.
The late nineties saw a massive resurgence in the popularity of dance music within the mainstream. A sudden rise in fashion of the likes of Balearic holiday resorts, most notably Ibiza, saw dance music rain down on the top 40 like, er, rain in the glorious summer of 1999. Trance music was the order of the day and soulful beats were soon replaced for some more bangin' tunes as the likes of Oakenfold and Sasha began their journey to become "Superstar DJs". And sure enough, even to this day, professionals like the aforementioned can command a five-figure sum for one night's work.
But as with everything, you really can have too much of a good thing. The likes of ATB and Alice Deejay gave the genre a distinctly over-used feel to it and so people, ironically began to look back again to some more traditional dance music. Traditional, however, may not be the right word - and although some old(ish) samples were being used, these were alongside some more innovative sounds. The man in question is of course, Norman Cook, better known as Fatboy Slim.
Quite possibly the best thing to come out of Brighton since, er,...something not quite as good as the Fatboy, Norman Cook brought with him to the modern dance music a certain finesse that none of the European acts could quite match up to. So much was Fatboy Slim's arrival on the "scene" a breath of fresh air that I almost mean it literally. Besides the bleeping, blooping and swirly synths of trance music, the Fatboy's unique blend of obscure sampling, big beats and "borrowed" melodies quite rightly earned him a massive cult following amongst the most patriotic of the clubbers.
But quite how the transformation from dodgy Eighties pop star to 21st Century dance idol came about is a long story. Suddenly here was a veteran of the scene, who incidentally also had hits behind the monikers Freak Power ("Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out") and Pizzaman ("Sex O
n The Streets"), who was given a new lease of life and playing sets to hundreds of clubbers each week.
But it was the 1998 release of the album "You've Come A Long Way, Baby" that really gave Norman Cook the helping hand to the upper echelons of the dance music scene. Chart-bound hits from the album such as
"The Rockafeller Skank" and "Praise You" were highly original and always going to be huge successes.
Couple the album's phenonemonal success with a whirlwind, immensely high-profile Ibiza romance and subsequent marriage to television and radio darling Zoe Ball and soon enough, Fatboy Slim was a celebrity in his own right.
Then, release-wise, it all went a bit quiet while he battled it out against fellow DJ Armand Van Helden in a series of many. The association and sponsorship of his record label Skint with favourites Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club also did its fair bit for publicity on the Fatboy wagon.
2001 saw the release of another album, however - "Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars" - ironically released at around the same time as the birth of his first child, Woody. Singles so far from the album include "Sunset(Bird Of Prey)" with obligatory samples included, a collaboration with Macy Gray - which was, well, a bit crap really. Critics began to raise question marks over Cook - after these mellowed numbers, had he lost his touch? Well, no, as the "Rockafeller Skank" for 2001, "Star 69" is due for release - bundled with vintage Norman Cook ingredients - samples of course, swearing and some of the most banging, hard beats you will hear this year.
There's life in the old dog yet - well, let's hope so at least.