I’ve a compilation effort on the shelf entitled Independents Day ID08. It’s a 2xCD collection, one of which has a range of cover versions from well-known and established acts while CD2 has original songs by lesser known names with each band or singer having been nominated by one of the CD1 acts of their label. It’s not the worst collection of covers that have ever been pulled together and I suppose there is something for everyone.

It opens with something which I found surprising and intriguing in equal measures.

mp3 : The Prodigy – Ghost Town

I had always reckoned this was one of those songs that was so originally brilliant that to attempt a cover was foolhardy and doomed to failure. And then I played it. I wasn’t convinced on the first couple of listens thinking that it was a bit of a lazy effort but the bit that kicks in after 2 minutes when it really sounds like The Prodigy soon reeled me in.

As far as I know, it was a song they played in their live sets for a while and had plans to issue it as a single that in the end were shelved. Not sure if it was made available elsewhere other than this compilation CD.




This #1 hit from April 1996 is a genuine timeless classic

mp3 : The Prodigy – Firestarter (edit)

It also gave the former NME scribe turned novelist turned socio-pop commentator Paul Morley a #1 hit, a situation that nobody from the post-punk Manchester scene could ever have imagined when he was part of The Negatives, a group set up as an antagonistic joke and which also numbered famed photographer Kevin Cummins in its line-up. Morley’s writing credit came from one of the two cracking bits of sampled instrumentals:-

mp3 : The Art of Noise – Close (To The Edit)
mp3 : The Breeders – S.O.S.

The former had been a Top 10 hit back in 1984 while the latter was one of the many outstanding tracks on the 1993 LP Last Splash.

Firestarter took The Prodigy out of the dance/rave scene and right into heart of the cultural mainstream and along with the likes of Chemical Brothers, Leftfield, Orbital and others helped create the sort of critical mass that enabled dance music to become such a mainstay of the festival circuit across Europe and so drive bring a welcome end to line-ups that were becoming increasingly one-dimensional and dull thanks to the plethora of sub-standard indie-guitar Britpop line-ups.

Here’s the other tracks that you will find on the CD single:-

mp3 : The Prodigy – Firestarter (empirion mix)
mp3 : The Prodigy – Firestarter (instrumental)
mp3 : The Prodigy – Molotov Bitch

The Empirion Mix doesn’t feature any of the samples and stretches out to almost eight minutes and it demonstrates, from about the 1:40 mark onwards just how hardcore and good a tune Firestarter is on its own. Nice companion piece to Moaner by Underworld as featured on the blog a few weeks back…