Fatboy Slim Bio Essay, Research Paper
With Fatboy Slim albums, the clue is always in the title, and Norman Cook’s third outing is no exception. Norman was staying at LA’s Chateau Marmont hotel, when the title came to him. As the New Year dawned Norman ventured back into his home studio in Brighton, England to make the most emotional, innovative album of his career. Norman explains the progression by pointing out that “The Rockafeller Skank” was the first track he recorded for his last album, and “Right Here Right Now” was the last.
The first UK single, ‘Sunset (Bird Of Prey)’ is adapted from an ambient track that Norman wrote several years ago. So Norman Cook’s back, but he does not want to get any bigger, just better. Fatboy Slim is the newest alter ego of DJ Norman Cook. The Beats international album Let Them Eat Bingo (1990) was a dub filled sound-fest. Norman and others had succeeded in creating unique and original music almost completely out of the use of other records.
Beats international recorded another album “Excursion on the Version” (1991), where Norman’s musical songwriting talent shone through more than on the previous album. (The first three tracks on the album are damn fine tho).
Beats international toured for a while, where Norman met multitalented brass player, vocalist and all round ‘artistic entrepreneur’ Ashley Slater (previously from cult UK funk group Microgroove). Ashley arranged and played brass for the second Beats International album, but Beats was disbanded in favour of a new group – Freakpower.
In fact, Freakpower’s first album Drive Thru Booty (1994) was mainly made up from material that Norman had written for a third Beats International Album. This dub material sounds similar to the “Praise You – Original Version” remix which is found on the Right Here Right Now Fatboy Slim single. The track became a summer anthem, Launching Freakpower & Norman into the limelight once again.
Pizzaman / Mighty Dub Katz
Sometime after the first Freakpower album, Norman found time to create a new album under the pseudonym Pizzaman (1995), spawning such classics as Sex on the Streets, Trippin’ on Sunshine and Happiness. This album is classed as UK house – lots of housey organs & happy drum tracks. We hear Norman pioneer the big-beat phenomenon with Gottaman containing an early but poorly polished thumping big beat drum loop. Then Freakpower toured for a year, and recorded a second album made from original material written by both Cook and Slater together. Then Norman founded Skint records – with Skint top dog Damien Harris. Since Loaded-Records owned the name “Pizzaman”, Norman adopted yet another pseudonym – Fatboy Slim. Recorded in a week in his converted attic recording studio (the house of love), the album Better Living Thru Chemistry (1997) attracted a great deal of attention, breaking down the genre barrier with “phunky-phat-techno-rock-breakbeat-dance”.
Around the same time, Norman put Fatboy Slim (and or Pizzaman) to work on some Mighty Dub Katz tracks. Norman went on to produce another Freakpower Track No Way (1998) this time with a fresh record label (Deconstruction), leaving Island records to feel sorry for themselves.
However, the Freakpower album was shelved in the 11th hour. With the studio booked for session recordings, a Fatboy Slim fever began to simmer over in the states and the UK as his first album immense attention and his second album was in recording. Norman met BBC Radio One DJ Zoe Ball in Ibiza in 1998. Norman cut short his Ibizian stay and got back into the studio to finish the album But it was around that point that Norman’s relationship with Zoe began. The first single from Norman’s second Fatboy Slim album You’ve come a long way baby, was a smash hit the world over. Additional singles such as Gangsta Trippin’ and Right Here Right Now appeared after the album reached the number one slot in the UK.
Now Norman was in high demand, and would return to his home in Brighton to find messages on his answer machine such as “Hi Norman, this is Robbie Williams. You see, Norman Cook is not a typical pop star. Following his tenure with those bands, Norman leapt into the dance world, releasing a slew of singles under the names Freakpower, Mighty Dub Katz, Pizzaman, Norman Cook Presents Wildski, and Fried Funk Food. Then came a new alias, Fatboy Slim, and a new album, Better Living Through Chemistry. You’ve Come A Long Way; Baby is Fatboy Slim personified. Norman Cook and his little studio at his Brighton home producing the tracks that have helped put Big Beat on the global musical map. Tracks that have been forged from Norman’s momentous DJing sessions at the Big Beat Boutique and around the world. Right about now, one of the albums of the year…