on 27 July 2005
The Prodigy were always ahead of their time but just for once it's nice to see them look back over their shoulder and acknowledge some of the great music they've produced over the years.
Okay, so we all know Firestarter, a classic. But then there's Breathe which sold a million and also hit no 1. How about Voodoo People, No Good (Start The Dance), Out Of Space? All great great songs.
Then there's the newer stuff. Girls, Hotride and Spitfire are all included here from their last album Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned and sound as fresh and storming as their earlier stuff.
And if you're quick, you get another CD with all sorts of new stuff, b-sides, live tracks and more.
In short, buy this, put it on loud and freak out!
I've been a massive fan of the Prodigy since hearing Charly on London's Kiss FM as a teenager and have resolutely stuck by them, even through the lack-lustre 'comeback' that was Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned (AONO) and have every commercial release so far (inc. imports, etc.)
I was looking forward greatly to the prospect of a best of/singles collection, especially when I heard there was to be a bonus disc of rarities. The fact that it follows on only a year or so from the above-mentioned third album is telling indeed....
So, looking through the track listing once I had my copy, I noticed at least 2 singles missing: Wind It Up (Rewound) and Baby's Got A Temper. The latter is indeed best forgotten, but Wind It Up is classic Prodigy, even if Liam himself didn't like it at the time (a backwards step when he was moving on to the sound of Music For The Jilted Generation, he didn't even want it released).
It's absence is mystifying, as is Fire, which as someone has already rightly pointed out was a double-A side with Jericho and deserves to be here. Their Law, despite being the title track (and rather good), was unfortunately never a single though, and could have made way for these.
Now don't get me started on What Evil Lurks, which was I believe a single released by the Prodigy in 1990? Obviously this is their ultimate rarity and retirement fund, hence it's absence, but due to all these omissions, why is this CD called a 'singles collection'? Surely best of, greatest hits, etc. would have been more accurate and appropriate...
Right, enough moaning, now the good points. It's great to hear the full length version of One Love, previousyl vinyl-only, and Out Of Space, Charly and No Good all sound wonderful in their full versions too. I'm not a great lover of Fat Of The Land era-Prodigy, shockingly, though it's still got that spark of energy that's sorely missing from AONO. I've heard it all too much, and excess hype always puts me off, but the songs (Firestarter & Breathe) still shake the walls nicely when turned up loud! As for the latest 3 singles (AONO), the less said the better.... (though I do grudgingly like Hotride).
The bonus disc is predictable, in my opinion there are better non-album B-sides/rarities (Rip Up The Sound System, Rock & Roll, Rhythm Of Life, to name but three) and their earlier stuff has generally been looked-over in favour of Fat Of The Land-era material, but all is forgiven for the inclusion of the awesome Your Love.
Again, it would have been good to hear some earlier live stuff, but the new remixes of Voodoo People and Out Of Space are surprisingly good. A remix album would be a good next move for XL, collecting all the US-only mixes (Charly/Everybody.., Out Of Space, Wind It Up, Voodoo People) and other 12" only stuff.
My verdict? Could have been better, but could have been a lot worse......If you're a proper fan, only the 2 disc version will do, but casual listeners will be content with the single disc, as it has all the songs you'll know.