I reckon Norman Cook/Fatboy Slim was pretty lucky in that – somehow – his back-story helped him out. His ascent as one of the big DJs came at a time when people were sceptical about the DJ that was not a musician separately – a lot of people feeling that the DJ/producer/beatmaker (and songwriter) did not on its own count unless there was some physical proof of actual musicianship. So the story of Norman Cook as part of The Housemartins was mentioned (and lapped up) to all that didn’t just fall in straight away with his Rockafeller Skank. Post-Praise You, Fatboy Slim did not need to exist. Those two big hits – and the back-story/pedigree – meant that he could phone any old thing in. And he so often did – and has. This album really doesn’t have a lot of worth. Weapon Of Choice is memorable for the video – thanks Christopher Walken. And I don’t mind Sunset (Bird Of Prey) but that’s because I have a thing for An American Prayer really. There are moments here – sure. But just as you think something actually lush, something actually worthwhile has been created you get the sense that this smug chump is just grinning and taking the piss (and covering the rates for another year or two on the place in Ibiza). Like when the lyrics keep mentioning “demons withering away” while the song is based on a lifted Bill Withers melody. Based on is of course being kind. It rides on it, coasts on it, needs it to exist. In fact the only thing that Fatboy Slim really is good at doing is making music that instantly dates itself. And I’d take The Housemartins any day over anything else Cook has created under his handful of DJ-names. So I’m not sure why I own this. (Or whether I will for much longer).
Sample Track: Demons
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown