Norman Cook, or Fatboy Slim as he is more commonly known, is one of the most successful British dance music producers to have risen out of the music scene over the past three decades. Having bagged a Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video, a bunch of MTV Awards, 2 Brit Awards and also an Ivor Novello, he is also one of the most awarded British dance artists to date.
Although he has worked under many different monikers and even used to be part of The Housemartins, as the multi award winning artist Fatboy Slim, Cook has fabricated some of the most seminal dance anthems of all time, many of which remain timeless classics that have stood the test of time and are still relished amongst his fans and played for dance floors all over the globe.
Here we have chosen 5 of his greatest tracks and said a little about just why they were, are and will be so good for a long time coming.
Right Here, Right Now
Voted by readers of Mixmag as the 10th greatest dance record of all time, this is perhaps Fatboy Slim’s most successful record to date. Having reached number 2 in the UK Singles Chart, that is success enough, however the music video that came with it, like that of many other Fatboy Slim tracks, was just as appraisable as the tune itself.
Depicting the process of evolution from a single celled organism to the human being of today, the video maps out evolution and ends in a way that makes you think about human behaviour, all thanks to a man who evolves into the guy from the cover of the album this single was released as party of: You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby. This album went 3x Platinum.
Released as the third single from the same album as Right Here Right Now, Praise You was another track that stormed the charts upon its release, however this time the single managed to reach number one. In a similar feat the music video that was released with the tracks went viral, this time depicting several people who are quite simply, dancing like no one is watching, round a little boom box in the centre of a busy street
Although the lyrics don’t necessarily go deep into any religious message that might be behind the single, the words we can hear are enough to know this tune was made with the intention of bringing people together, something dance music will never cease in doing.
This is probably the one single out of all those we have chosen, which I don’t feel much can be said about, purely because we don’t need to. Some will know the Rockefeller family as one of the richest families in the world, some many believe conspiracies about everything that surrounds them, but for me personally, this tune doesn’t make me think, it just makes me dance. I did first hear this track on FIFA99 back when I used to be remotely interested in sports, but it still pops up here and there sounding just as timeless.
Gangster Trippin’ was Fatboy Slim’s dance record that pays tribute to the hip-hop producers who were gaining world wide notoriety at the time this single was released. Opposed to predominantly using electronic music instruments, Norman opted to form the single Gangsta Trippin out of several samples that were from artists that include DJ Shadow, The Dust Junkys, Anne Robinson and X-Ecutioners
Weapon Of Choice
Whilst discussing which 5 of Fatboy Slim’s singles we should pick for this list, there was an overwhelming agreement that Weapon Of Choice should be on here. What we all love most about this particular single however is not its irresistible funk, the Bootsy Collins samples or the fact it was the B side to one of the rudest records of the 20th century, Star 69, we love it for the music video that come with it.
Fatboy Slim is one of a very few dance artists who, over the years he has released music, hasn’t adopted clichéd visuals of people running down a street to a four by four beat and settle for that as a music video (although ironically Right Here Right Now adopts this, but with a message). Instead he employed the one and only Christopher Walken to star in the music video. Toe tapping turns to the twist, which eventually escalates to flying round a hotel lobby.
Words by Josh Plews
Photos courtesy of The Edge