I can’t pretend I was much of a raver back in 1994. In fact, I was probably more concerned with avoiding P.E. at school. My first exposure to the work of The Prodigy came with 1991’s ‘Charly‘ that cleverly sampled the meowing cat from the animated public information films. Along with ‘Out of Space’, ‘No Good (Start the Dance)’ is my favourite single released by The Prodigy. ‘No Good’ lifted from the classic album ‘Music for a Jilted Generation‘ is what the kids of today would call a banger, that breached the top five in 1994: with insistent synth stabs and a cacophony of beats deftly genre spliced with a female vocal sample from Kelly Charles (1987). Apparently, Prodigy mastermind Liam Howlett initially had doubts whether to use the sample because he thought it was ‘too pop’ for his taste, good job he left it in because it’s what anchors this song and makes it particularly memorable and stands out from the crowded rave releases of that era.
By the time they released ‘Fat Of the Land’ and the visceral thrill of singles like ‘Firestarter’, and ‘Breath’, The Prodigy were a household name their exhilarating genre-blurring sound and Keith’s cartoonish vocals, united all of the 90s music scenes. But for me, this is the tune, and its black and white video featuring knocking down walls in a cellar and Keith’s memorable dancing reflects the period when ravers took up disused spaces and fields and created their own parties something which may be making a comeback with the closure of so many venues and clubs.