The Chemical Brothers

Block Rockin' Beats

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 9:53
Dig Your Own Hole 1997 Astralwerks 5:14
MTV's AMP 1997
Various Artists
Caroline Distribution 5:00
Electronica: Full On Big Beats 1997
Various Artists
Urbal Beats, Vol. 1 1997
Various Artists
Polygram 4:52
DJ Mix '98, Vol. 1 1997
Various Artists
Beast Records / Simitar Distribution 2:40
Ultimate Dance Party 1998 1997
Various Artists
Arista 2:50
Cream Anthems 97 1997 BMG / BMG International 5:09
Digital Empire: Electronica's Best 1998
Various Artists
Cold Front Records / K-Tel Distribution 4:58
Groove Radio International Presents: Elektronik 1998 Priority Records 3:40
Jock Rock 2000 1999
Various Artists
Tommy Boy 3:41
Now: 1997 1999
Various Artists
Virgin / EMI 3:24
Best Anthems...Ever! [2000] 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:59
Singles 93-03 [DVD] 2003 Astralwerks
Pulse Cuts, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Big Heavy World Records 3:26