Norman "Jacker-Of-All-Genres" Cook, in addition to his former occupations as bassist for the Housemartins and one third of acid-house hitmakers Pizzaman, is also the man behind one of the most popular of the new flock of English "brit hop" producers, Fatboy Slim. Releasing his Fatboy material through club staple Skint, Cook's raucous blend of house, acid, funk, hip-hop, electro, and techno has added to his already formidable reputation as one of the foremost all-around producers on the U.K. club scene. Born in Bromley on July 13, 1963, Cook joined the Hull-based pop group the Housemartins in 1986, replacing founding member Ted Key.
After the group split the following year, Cook became involved with the burgeoning acid-house scene, pairing with producers Tim Jeffery and JC Reid toward the end of the decade to form Pizzaman. The trio nailed three Top 40 hits together ("Trippin' on Sunshine," "Sex on the Streets," and "Happiness") before Cook splintered off to record with similarly-styled outfits Freakpower and Beat International in the early '90s. He's shut most of his other production acitivities down in recent years to focus on his latest incarnation, Fatboy Slim, which to date includes a trio of singles and the full-length Better Living Through Chemistry. Cook was also called in to add his remixing skills to Jean-Jacques Perry's proto-electronica classic "Eva," released as a 12-inch and CD single in 1997. In addition to his FBS work, Cook also recorded the Skip to My Loops sample CD, a popular studio tool sporting a melange of sample-ready drum loops, analog squelches, and assorted noises. In early 1998, his remix of Cornershop's "Brimful of Asha" spent several weeks at number one in the British charts. Fatboy Slim's eagerly anticipated second LP You've Come a Long Way Baby followed later that year. -- Sean Cooper, All-Music Guide
Fatboy Slim You've Come A Long Way, Baby
Fatboy Slim Live From The Floor Of The Boutique
Fatboy Slim Better Living Through Chemistry
Fatboy Slim Praise You
Fatboy Slim Gangster Tripping
Fatboy Slim The Rockafeller Skank
Fatboy Slim Going Out Of My Head
Fatboy Slim Punk To Funk
Fatboy Slim Everybody Needs A 303
Fatboy Slim Santa Cruz
Fatboy Slim Gotta Man
Tranquility Bass La, La, La
Beastie Boys Body Movin'
Cornershop Brimful of Asha
The Osmonds One Bad Apple
James Brown She's The One
James Brown The Payback Mix
Digital Underground Humpty Dance
Young MC Bust A Move
Vanessa Williams The Right Stuff
Fine Young Cannibals Not The Man I Used To Be
INXS Elegantly Wasted
Keith Sweat Make You Sweat
Tribe Called Quest I Left My Wallet In El Segundo
Jungle Brothers Doing Our Own Dang
Kid N' Play Do This My Way
Eric B & Rakim I Know You Got Soul
Bassbin Twins Out of Hand
Kahuna F.C. What is Kahuna?
Midfield General Devil In Sports Casual
Jean Jaques Perry E.V.A.
Angelique Kidjo We We
Stereo MCs I'm A Believer
Pierre Henry Psyche Rock
Double Trouble/Rebel MC Street Tuff
Was (Not Was) White People Can't Dance
A Certain Ratio Won't Stop Loving You
A Certain Ratio Shack Up
Mondo Grosso Souffles H
Mondo Grosso Anger
Stretch N Vern I'm Alive
Stretch N Vern Get Up, Go Insane
Ruthless Rap Assassins It Wasn't A Dream
Ruthless Rap Assassins Just Mellow
Lunatic Calm Roll The Dice
Duke So in Love With You
Brothers Love Dubs The Mighty Ming
Original Rockers What A Life
Urban Cookie Pressing On
Darryl Pandy Love Can't Turn Around
Judy Cheeks Reach
Tony Bryan Love is the Only Way
Latitude Building a Bridge
Yvonne Chaka Chaka Umqombothi
Nitro Deluxe This Brutal House
Shakatak Better Believe It
Dub Hangover Love Child
House Engineers Hit The House
Jean Paul Gautier How To Do Zat
Phil Edwards Don't Look Any Further
Ester B Pleasure For The Music
Wildchild Renegade Master
Ramp Rock The Discotech
Chrissy Ward Right and Exact
Professor Griff The Verdict
Cry Sisco Afrodisiac
Christopher Just I`m A Disco Dancer
Real Roxanne Roxanne's On A Roll
Definition of Sound Dream Girl
Fidelfatti Just Wanna Touch Me
Mahletini/Mahotella Queens Kazet
David Grant Life
Vanessa Paradise Tandem
Kings of Swing Nod Your Head To This
Martay N DBM Summertime
Silver Bullet Bring Forth The Guillotine
Kym Mazelle Useless
The Groovetrain Why Did You Do It?
Master Wel When I Was A Sperm
Les Negresses Vertes Famile Heureuse
Sound Systemme Crazy Lover
Screaming Target Fallout
URS History Rewritten
Betty Boo 24 Hours
Lindy Layton Silly Games
Aztec Camera Good Morning Britian
JC Lodge Pillow Talk
Heatwave Ain't No Half Steppin' (New Version)
Bass Invaders Hijack
FATBOY SLIM - You've Come A Long Way, Baby. - BRASSIC 11
Well here we are on the album that's going to put us into rehab, Fatboy
Slim's second album, 'You've Come A Long Way, Baby'. Fatboy was
originally going to call the album 'Viva La Underachieva' and then 'Lets
Hear It For The Little Guy' . However Norman tried both titles out on
journalist and had to spend fucking ages explaining what the titles
meant and got a bit flustered when people tried to find lots of deep
hidden meaning in the titles so in the end he resorted to using an old
50's slogan which is also where 'Better Living Through Chemistry² came
from interestingly enough. ³You've Come A Long Way, Baby² is actually
from a cigarette advert that featured a woman having a fag, basically
suggesting how sophisticated and modern women had become, what with
having the vote and washing machines and stuff, what this has to do with
11 tracks of dumb ass Friday night club tunes you'd better ask Norman.
Anyway I'll now attempt to go through the album track by track and think
of something funny and informative for each one.
1. Right Here, Right Now.
The joke round the office is that this is Norman trying to do Epic Big
Beat or Intelligent Big Beat depending on what sort of mood we're in,
actually we only really mentioned that so someone might ask him about in
an interview in order to watch him wriggle out of it. Obviously the term
Epic Big Beat offends us greatly but it does have an excellent epicy
string sort of intro and then guess what comes in, well fuck me if it
isn't a big old beat anyway it then chugs along, breaks down, builds up
again, kicks in, chugs along again, ermm you get the idea, in matter of
fact most the album does that, so I may well have shot myself in foot there.
2. The Rockafeller Skank
The first track off the album to be finished and Skints biggest single
ever, if you're interested it went in the charts at No 6 on the week
when all the World Cup singles came out, and was in the charts for 10
weeks or something ridiculous, it also set up Fatboy as something of a
worldwide superstar, what with it being a bit of an international hit
and all that. Thanks mainly to the ridiculously expensive video we had
made, now for those who don't know the story, I'll fill you in. Now the
video you will have seen a billion times (heavy rotation - we can now
call it in the trade) was made by some chap called Doug Aitken we sort
of half liked it, the second half in the bar is very good but the
dancers in the first bit, hmmmm. We had originally wanted Spike Jonze to
do it but he was too busy, however he did have time to stand in front of
a cinema queue in LA, dance like a nutter and get a mate to film it for
him. He then sent it to Norman as a little present 'cos he liked the
track so much, which was very nice of him. Anyway, the track was first
given to me in fairly simple form- and here's were the genius of A&R
comes in- I said to Norman 'Oh I like that one, why don't you finish it²
. So he did, but there was another twist. Norman and Simon (His
engineer) had been gagging to try out this little trick of
timestretching the track - the slowing down and speeding up bit- so in
they came all excited one day and played us the completed track with
that fucking mental bit that my Dad reckons sounds like 'That racket of
a motorbike your brother used to have.' When it finished we high-fived,
hugged and wrestled each other in that way men do when they get all
excited. Then we all went down to Habitat to look at soft
furnishings....a hit was born.
3. IN HEAVEN
Featuring the incredible vocal talents of the excellent Freddy Fresh who
sent a tape of stuff to Norman. At the beginning of the tape he left a
little message saying something along the lines of 'If I could get a
Fatboy Slim remix I'd be fucking in heaven' which Norman chopped up in
his own inimitable style with a jaunty little beat underneath. This
track has warranted the 'Parental Advisory' sticker on the album which
we always think is quite cool even though swearing unneccesarily isn't cool.
4. GANGSTER TRIPPIN'
The second single to be released off the album and came in the first
batch of demos for the album, what with it following Rockafeller Skank
we nearly pre-empted talk of it not being quite as good as 'The Skank'
by basing all the advertising around the line 'Not quite as good as The
Rockafeller Skank' which we thought was really funny but some people
didn't get the joke. Anyway it's just different and as I write it's No 3
in the midweek chart, which, not wanting to sound like John Motson, bu
t thats 3 places higher than you know what. The 'Fatboy Trippin' sample
comes from a tune by the Dust Junkys and it nearly sparked concerns that
Fatboy was getting obsessed with putting his own name into tunes, then I
thought about it for a bit and realised that if found any references to
my name I'd whack them in straight away, so that was that.
5. BUILD IT UP TEAR IT DOWN
Now I getting a bit wary of these sixties groover tunes what with them
be a fair few dodgy ones around, but as usual Norman just manages to
keep the right side of the line that divides clever and stupid, in fact
thinking about it he just sort of smudges it with this track. The song
features the most ridiculous breakdown and build that will either piss
you off intensley or make you laugh, luckily for Norman we laughed - the
track was in.
This track is called Kalifornia and it suggests that California is druggy, druggy, druggy.
7. SOUL SURFING
Keen spotters may have noticed that the DJ Delite of this track was on
the b-side of 'Gangster Trippin'. Now a DJ Delite is Normans name for
the little 3 minute DJ mixing tools section that has often cropped up on
his records for some time now. In fact he even made an album of them on
Black Label Records about four years ago. The tracks would consist of
one element being looped while subtle elements from the rest of it would
come in, as I said purely a mixing tool for DJs but some people like to
know about this sort of thing.
8. YOU'RE NOT FROM BRIGHTON
Over the past couple of years whenever Norman and I have DJed together
muggins here always has to warm up the baying crowd for Mr High Bloody
Almightly Slim, no not really, well a bit really, I do always go first
but that's because I'm happier playing mid-tempo chuggers than having
it, which the Fatboy is better at, so anyway the purpose of this story
is that I said to Norman 'make a 'discoey mid-tempo chugger' and he did
and this is it. This track also features vocals from Norman which after
his traceotomy had to be used somewhere just for the novelty value.
9. PRAISE YOU
Lovely tune and more than likely the 3rd single from the album, this is
a pianoey midtempo chugger with a superb piece of singing lifted from an
old soul record by Camilla Yarborough, It always handy to have an new
end of night tune and this does the business, as they say. Not really a
lot more to say as it'll probably get a bit wanky gush, as it's that
good a tune.
10. LOVE ISLAND
Love Island is of course the balearic island of Ibiza which every summer
gets invaded by the beautiful people and the British clubscene. A huge
playground for people to escape reality and let it all hang out for the
summer. The very nice people who run Manumission asked Norman to DJ at
their club last summer, he enjoyed himself so much that he went their
this summer for two weeks of well documented mayhem. And this chunky
thudder of a tune is his song for Manumission, indeed it was originally
recorded for the soundtrack of Manumission The Movie and indeed reflects
the mood of the beautiful island by fucking 'avining it right off.
11. ACID 8000
Does exactly what it does on the tin, yes indeed Acid 8000, is 8000
minutes of acid nightmare, well that's not strictly true but my God it
nearly was. You see the bit at the end of the track that goes on for a
while before fading out, well Norman wanted that to go on some sort of
continuous loop until infinity, But for some reason it didn't happen (I
was at the dentist that morning) so now you don't have to worry about
falling asleep with the CD on and waking up 8 hours later with that
fucking noise still coming out yer hi-fi.
The track is also Normans nod of respect to label mate 'Dr Bone' and his
track ³I Came To Get Ripped² although some might interpret 'nod of
respect' as 'nicking his idea'.
You've Come A Long Way, Baby
Release Date - 19 October 1998
Label - Skint
Cat. No. - BRASSIC11CD/MC/LP/MD
Distribution - 3MV/Pinnacle
'You've Come A Long Way, Baby' is the follow-up to the massive debut 'Better Living Through Chemistry', released in October '96. 'Better Living...' featured the singles 'Everybody Needs A 303', 'Going Out Of My Head' and 'Santa Cruz'.
'You've Come A Long Way, Baby' features the hit single 'The Rockafeller Skank' (which has sold in excess of 180,000 copies in the UK alone) and the massive new single 'Gangster Tripping' (out now).
Norman Cook's remixes of Wildchild and Cornershop are both classics. He is recently remixed the Beastie Boys 'Body Movin'' and Delakota's "C'mon Cinncinati".
It's simple really. It's one of the dance albums of the year. Scratch that. One of THE albums of the year.
'You've Come A Long Way, Baby' is the Fatboy Slim album we have all been waiting for. Norman Cook delivering the goods like only he can...
'The Rockafeller Skank' was the warning shot. THAT Lord Finesse vocal combined with THAT twangy surf guitar have sent crowds into disco oblivion since Norman first premiered the track way back in March. A track that still refuses to move its way to the back of the record box. A record that has now surfed to sales in excess of 180,000 in the UK alone.
'You've Come A Long Way, Baby' is Fatboy Slim personified. More than just a collection of disco dynamite, this is a real longplayer. Eleven tracks with their feet firmly on the dancefloor but with enough depth, width and mirth to make things a hell of a lot more interesting. From the omentous backward strings of 'Right Here Right Now' and the hilarious radio intro to 'The Rockafeller Skank' (no joke- this is a live US radio recording!), via the tongue in cheek vocoder nirvana of 'Kalifornia' and 'You're Not From Brighton', to the wonderous piano highs of 'Praise You' and the acid wig-out that is 'Acid 8000', 'You've Come A Long Way, Baby' is an un-believable album. Norman Cook and his little studio at Brighton's House Of Love producing the tracks that have helped put Skint on the global musical map. Tracks that have been forged from Norman's momentous DJing sessions at the Boutique and around the world. Right about now, one of the albums of the year...
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