THE PRODIGY: Raved about then, ignored now – whatever happened to the band’s incendiary 1997 album? Ed Power revisits its multiple controversies to find out


he crab snapping its claws on the cover of The Prodigy’s The Fat of the Land can justifiably claim to be the most famous crustacean in pop. It also has become a slightly unfortunate metaphor for a record that raised a huge, click-clacking ruckus when it first came out, but which has ultimately ended up a sideways shuffling oddity, buried slightly in the sands of history.

On its release in 1997, The Fat of the Land was heralded an instant masterpiece. “The album rools,” said the NME of this molten mash-up of rave and punk. “A thrilling, intoxicating nightmare of a record, an energy flash of supernova proportions,” said Rolling Stone, adding “There’s no telling how far The Prodigy’s marriage of man and machine could take them.” “Mozart at the wheel of a monster struck,” enthused The Guardian.

Yet in the decades since, The Fat of the Land has been stripped of its landmark, era-defining status. It turns 25 on 1 July – but ....


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