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Fatboy Slim
concert reviews:

Aragon Ballroom
city: chicago, il
date: 05.
special guests: scanty sandwich, darren emerson

album reviews:
Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars
label: astralwerks
released: 11.07.00
our score: 3.5 out of 5.0
You've Come a Long Way Baby
label: astralwerks / skint
released: 10.20.98
our score: 4.0 out of 5.0
Better Living Through Chemistry
label: astralwerks / skint
released: 09.23.97
our score: 4.0 out of 5.0

Artist Info:
Fatboy Slim, Pizzaman, Mighty Dub Katz, Beats International, Norman Cook.... call him what you want, nobody has been a bigger influence on big-beat music than he.

Originating from Brighton, Norman Cook first entered the recording scene in 1985 when he became basist for the Housemartins, a mid-80's pop group from the U.K. After a successfull three year stint, the Housemartins disbanded at the height of their popularity. Norman moved on, into a style of music that better fit his bill, forming Beats International. A dub-infused collection of artists, Beats International released two albums, Let Them Eat Bingo, which included the number one hit "Dub Be Good To Me," and Excursion on the Version.

Next up for Norman was a new group, Freakpower. Under Freakpower, Norman released Drive Thru Booty, which consisted mostly of material written for what would have been the third Beats International album. A limited edition verson of the album included a dub cd produced by Norman, containing a song that is very similar to the "Praise You - Original Version" remix. Songs like this sprouted the start of a number of aliases eventually becoming Fatboy Slim.

First was Pizzaman in 1995. The self-titled album contained housey hits "Trippin' On Sunshine" and "Happiness," and predicted Norman's future niche in big beat on "Gotttaman." This was all in between the first and second albums from Freakpower. The second album contained a couple of dancefloor hits, but the Island records wasn't feeling the vibe. So Norman turned around and founded Skint records.

Unable to use the Pizzaman psuedonym, Fatboy Slim was born. Norman Cook and the big beat genre had its "big boom." In one week in 1997, Better Living Thru Chemistry was recorded. Upon its release to the masses in the UK via Skint and the US via Astralwerks, Fatboy Slim became a favorite among dance fans.

Mighty Dub Katz was also a current psuedonym for Norman, from which "Magic Carpet" was produced. As popularity for the Fatboy Slim moniker grew, Mighty Dub Katz died off.

With the release of You've Come A Long Way Baby, Fatboy's second album, Fatboy Slim became a household and dancefloor name, much to the chegrin of Norman Cook, however. Hits like "Praise You" and "Rockafeller Skank" helped secure Norman's status as king of big beat.

Norman then proceeded to do remixes of countless songs, some dance, some not. These songs helped enourage the MP3 phenomena, being very popular download, along with live recorded DJ sets unavailble to the US. Even with all this going on, Norman managed to meet and marry Zoe Ball, with whom he now has a child.

Disturbed by the unwelcomed pop status, Norman returned to his roots as a DJ. He concentrated on DJ'ing in clubs, including some appearances in the States. He eventually returned to the studio to record his current album, Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars. It already has top 10 releases, "Star 69," a deep house track, and "Weapon of Choice," which is one of the only big beat style tracks. The album also contains "Bird of Prey," a track recorded and released originally as Pizziaman.

Norman continues to DJ as Fatboy Slim while his current album continues to produce dancefloor bliss.

On The Web:
Official Fatboy Slim Site