The Chemical Brothers

Block Rockin' Beats

Composed by Edmund Simmons / Jesse Weaver / Tom Rowlands

Song Review by

The breakout single that helped the Chemical Brothers' second album become one of the first electronica works to hit platinum in America, "Block Rockin' Beats" rides a Schooly D vocal sample, careening pitch-bent synth work, and depth-charge beats into a commercial, critical, and artistic home run of a single. Producers Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons, influenced equally by the streamlined futurism of techno, the bracing energy of hip-hop, and the wave-of-sound atmosphere of indie rock, fused all three with the first single and first track from 1997's Dig Your Own Hole. "Block Rockin' Beats" really set the template for the funky-breaks techno heard on dozens of car commercials during the few years after its production, and though Rowlands and Simons were by no means traditional poster boys, the single put a face on independent dance music that helped many acts cross over to the mainstream.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Block Rockin' Beats 1997 Astralwerks / Universal 3:47
Dig Your Own Hole 1997 Toshiba EMI / Virgin 5:13
MTV's AMP 1997
Various Artists
Caroline Distribution 5:00
Electronica: Full On Big Beats 1997
Various Artists
Virgin
Urbal Beats, Vol. 1 1997
Various Artists
URB 4:52
DJ Mix '98, Vol. 1 1997
Various Artists
Beast Records / Simitar Distribution 2:40
Ultimate Dance Party 1998 1997
Various Artists
BMG / Sony Music / Sony Music Entertainment
Now Dance '97 1997
Various Artists
Virgin
MTV Party to Go 1998 1997
Various Artists
Tommy Boy 4:52
The Best of the Best '97 1997
Various Artists
3:27
Digital Empire: Electronica's Best 1998
Various Artists
Cold Front Records 5:00
Big Shiny Tunes, Vol. 2 1998
Various Artists
WCU/Warner
Zip Mania, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Jock Rock 2000 1999
Various Artists
Tommy Boy 3:41
Now: 1997 1999
Various Artists
Virgin/EMI 3:24
Woodstock 1999 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:03
Woodstock 1999, Vol. 2: Blue Album 2000
Various Artists
Epic / Sony Music Distribution 4:03
Best Anthems...Ever! [2000] 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:59
Wild Gold 2003
Various Artists
Central Station Records 3:24
Singles 93-03 [DVD] 2003 Astralwerks
Dig Your Own Hole/Exit Planet Dust 2004 Freestyle Dust
In the Mix: Revival 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:50
Ultimate Grammy Collection: Contemporary Rock 2008
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 5:16
Brotherhood 2008 Astralwerks 4:54
Don't Think 2012 Virgin EMI
CMJ New Music, Vol. 116
Various Artists
CMJ
CMJ New Music, Vol. 44
Various Artists
College Media
Now That's What I Call Running 2015
Various Artists
Sony Music / Universal Music TV 3:24
Pulse Cuts, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Big Heavy World Records 3:26
The Fatboy Slim Collection
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:24
Torhout Werchter 21
Various Artists
Polygram TV
blue highlight denotes editor's pick