|Fatboy Slim – You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby (1998)|
It seems there’s been a trend “Classic Album Tuesday” posts lately, with the focus on more “indie” driven albums, ya know “less mainstream.” I couldn’t think of anything quite in that vein so I opted for the better known, but no less innovative sophomore release from Norman Cook aka “Fatboy Slim.”
Some albums feel so “of an era” for me, even if they are made up of snippets of other songs. Somehow these big beat mashups send me right back to a late 90s sock hop. I mean F.B.’s beats and catchy hooks are as the young people say “Off the mo’fucking chain.” The results are that of an energetic and exciting chain of toe tapping experiments, featuring some of his most infectious hits. “Right Here Right Now” still gets me pumped, even when played before a Mike Sweeney pop up. Hearing “The Rockafeller Skank” makes me want to play a snowboarding video game and “Praise You” what a joyous number that is.
The bulk of the album is mostly defined as “Big Beat” which I guess is basically what it sounds like. Big beats, some synths, and loops coming out the wahzoo are what make up this unpredictable sub genre. That’s what I love about Fatboy Slim what the hell is he up to? What will this next song be like? You can never tell, it’s suspsenful. Though I think he’s best when he finds that one “hook” to drive a song. Whether it’s that guy in “Rockafeller Skank” going “Right about now, the funk soul brother.” or the masterful use of the string sample from the James Gang’s “Ashes, the Rain and I”, those are his best moments.
I like that F.B. has never been shy about borrowing and sampling other artists work. Rather he celebrates it and always credits other artists for whatever he used. This is more or less his most popular and successful work and definitely my favorite F.B. work. Makes me appreciate the finer things in life, like playing Coolboarders and eating 3D Doritos.
P.S. Oh yeah all his videos, those are pretty great too.
Favorite Tracks: “Praise You”, “Right Here Right Now”, “The Rockafeller Skank”