The Prodigy

Smack My Bitch Up

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Prodigy's third single off the double-platinum Fat of the Land album features their most controversial and confrontational track. Many feminist groups and conservatives have been rubbed the wrong way by the song title "Smack My Bitch Up," but the band has stated in the press that the title shouldn't be taken literally (Prodigy leader Liam Howlett described the title as a phrase that the band uses that means "to hit the concert stage"). The song, however, just happens to be one of Prodigy's finest, featuring swirling rhythms under the repeated title. The track is featured two times on the single, first as a radio edit (similar to the album version), and as a DJ Hype remix (reworked by the well-known U.K. DJ as a speedy jungle track). None other than Liam Howlett does the "Headrock" remix of "Mindfields," and replaces the original's slight Middle Eastern influence with straight-ahead dance beats. But the most interesting track on the "Smack My Bitch Up" single is a collaboration between Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and Howlett, titled "No Man Army." This non-album dance-rocker features repetitive Morello guitar riffs and fills, often compressed or filtered through a wah-wah pedal. This infectious single is another winner from the most imaginative and original electronic dance group today.

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