Our top 10 Songs by The Prodigy list presents the music of an English ensemble best known for its enduring impact in the electropunk and electronic rock music scenes. The band was established in 1990, rising through the music scene to become one of the greatest influences in the underground rave genre. The Prodigy was formed in Essex by the legendary record producer and musician Liam Howlett. Howlett collaborated with the late vocalist and dancer Keith Flint in forming the band.
The two had initially met a year before the band’s initiation while Howlett was still a disc jockey. Howlett and Keith saw The Prodigy become a household name in electronic music. However, Keith’s input was not really noted until he was featured on the band’s third LP. During the band’s formative years, the electronic music genre was undergoing quick progression owing to the diversity of artists. Nevertheless, The Prodigy managed to remain afloat and relevant during the genre’s turbulent years.
The band hit the ground running, with its first releases making it big on the UK Charts. Amazingly, electropunk and electronic rock lovers gave The Prodigy a nod to its next releases. The band’s sophomore LP introduced The Prodigy to electropunk/rave music fans. However, the band achieved global success and breakthrough after the release of its third LP, The Fat of the Land. The album saw The Prodigy become one of the best-selling electronic/dance acts of all time.
The Prodigy’s Career Beginnings and Breakthrough
August 12, 1991, saw The Prodigy release its debut single, “Charly.” The song introduced the band as a promising UK rave ensemble. Later in December 1991, The Prodigy issued its sophomore official single, “Everybody in the Place.” “Charly” and “Everybody in the Place” helped the band gain a cult following in the UK even before it released its debut album, Experience.
Experience would later be issued in September 1992, featuring the hits “Charly” and “Everybody in the Place.” The album was warmly received in the UK, thanks to its rave influences. Experience peaked at number twelve on the UK Albums chart. Other great hits from Experience include “Out of Space” and “Wind It Up (Rewound).”
Experience led The Prodigy to mainstream acclaim in the UK, where the album received Platinum certification. The album has now sold more than three hundred and seventy thousand copies in the UK, making it the band’s third best-selling album of all time.
The Prodigy’s Album Releases over the Years
After its successful debut album, The Prodigy returned to the studio to work on a second album. In 1994, the band issued its sophomore LP, Music for the Jilted Generation. Music for the Jilted Generation asserted The Prodigy’s dominance in the rave scene in the UK. This followed after the album made it to the top of the UK Albums chart. “No Good (Start the Dance,” “Poison,” “Voodoo People,” and “One Love” are some of the best The Prodigy songs from the album,
Music for the Jilted Generation also topped the Finnish Albums chart, making it to the fourth spot on the UK Dance Albums chart. The album marked the band’s first LP to rise to the Billboard 200, peaking at number one hundred and ninety-eight. Music for the Jilted Generation was issued through XL Recordings in the UK and Mute Records in the US. Maxim Reality and Liam Howlett were the only band members whose efforts/contributions were notable.
In June 1997, The Prodigy released its overly successful third studio album, The Fat of the Land. The Fat of the Land managed to top the Billboard 200 and the UK Albums chart. The Prodigy’s sound on this recording saw the band take on a blend of electronica, neo-psychedelia, big beat, and techno sonic influences. By the end of 2019, the album had sold over ten million copies globally.
In the US alone, the album has sold over two million six hundred thousand copies. The Fat of the Land has been Platinum-certified four times in the UK. “Breathe” and “Firestarter” are some of the best songs from The Prodigy featured on this album. The album also topped the albums chart in fifteen other nations. Gene Simmons, Sepultura, and Jimmy Eat World have all covered the song “Firestarter” from The Fat of the Land. The Fat of the Land marked The Prodigy’s first recording to feature Keith Flint on the vocals.
Later in 2004, The Prodigy released its fourth LP, Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned. The album’s title was inspired by Walter Mosley’s book going by the same name. Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned also topped the UK Albums chart. However, the album failed to replicate The Fat of the Land’s performance on the Billboard 200, only managing position sixty-two.
Its sales were dismal compared to the band’s previous album, only managing a Gold certification in the UK. “Girls,” “Hot ride,” and Spitfire” are some of the biggest hits by the band from the album. This would eventually lead The Prodigy to be dropped by XL Recordings.
The Prodigy released its fifth LP, Invaders Must Die, in 2009 through Take Me to the Hospital label. The album managed to top the UK Albums chart, peaking at number fifty-eight on the Billboard 200. Invaders Must Die performed better commercially that the band’s previous LP, making about three times the sales achieved by Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned.
The album’s music was a blend of new rave, electronica, and big beat. “Omen” and “Warrior’s Dance” are some of the biggest hits by The Prodigy from the album. Keith Flint and Maxim Reality handled the vocals on this album, while Liam Howlett took on the instruments. The band was without the services of keyboardist Leeroy Thornhill on this recording.
The Prodigy went on to release its sixth LP, The Day Is My Enemy, in 2015. Once more, the band saw the album top the UK Albums chart. The album settled for position one hundred and twenty-six on the Billboard 200. Unfortunately, the album failed to sell big, only settling for a Gold certification in the UK. “World Frontier,” “Ibiza,” and “Nasty” are some of the best songs from The Prodigy’s sixth LP.
In 2018, The Prodigy came together once more for the release of its seventh LP, No Tourists. No Tourists marked the band’s last album to feature Keith Flint, who passed on in March 2019. The album also made it to the top of the UK Albums chart. However, it failed to make it to the Billboard 200, only settling for position seven on the Billboard Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Sales for the album were also poor, with No Tourists only managing Silver certification in the UK. “Need Some1,” “We Live Forever,” and “Light Up the Sky” are some of the greatest hits by The Prodigy from the album.
The Prodigy’s Accolades and Legacy
Since its debut album, The Prodigy has stood out in the electropunk/rave music genres. With over twenty-five million records sold globally, the band is without a doubt one of the most successful English electronic bands. The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, and The Chemical Brothers have all been regarded as the pioneers of the big beat genre. Other impactful artists in the big beat genre include Basement Jaxx, The Crystal Method, Groove Amanda, and Propellerheads.
The Prodigy has also bagged tons of awards in different award ceremonies, cementing the band’s glory on the music scene. Notable awards won by the band include five MTV Europe Music Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, and two Brit Awards. In addition, The Prodigy has also won two Kerrang! Awards received two nominations in Grammy Awards for its two LPs, The Fat of the Land in 1998 and Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned in 2005. Here we issue our ten best songs by The Prodigy, a band best known for its era-defining music.
#10 – Spitfire ft. Juliette Lewis
Opening our top 10 The Prodigy songs list is the phenomenal hit “Spitfire.” The song is featured on the band’s fourth LP, Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned. “Spitfire” featured the backing vocals of actress and singer Juliette Lewis. This opening track to The Prodigy’s fourth LP was once used as the intro to the Calgary Flames hockey team home games.
“Spitfire” has also been included in the soundtracks of several films, including The Unborn, House of Wax, Gotham, The Sopranos, and Freddy vs. Jason. The song topped the UK Dance chart, rising to number thirty-eight on the UK Indie Chart. “Spitfire” missed the UK Singles chart by seven spots only.
#9 – Voodoo People
“Voodoo People” is one of the biggest hits by The Prodigy from the band’s sophomore LP, Music for the Jilted Generation. Lance Riddler plays the guitar on this hit, interpolating the riffs from Nirvana’s “Very Ape.” “Voodoo People” also contains samples of Johnny Pate’s “You’re Starting Too Fast,” Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” and Simple Minds’ “Love Song.” The song has been featured on the soundtrack of several films, including Doberman, Hackers, and Wasabi.
“Voodoo People” rose to the thirteenth spot on the UK Singles Chart. The song also managed to rise to number six on the UK Dance Chart. The Prodigy’s British release of the song included a remix by The Chemical Brothers. “Voodoo People” has been covered by Pendulum, 2CELLOS, and Refused. The song won the 2006 Independent Music Awards’ Best Breaks/DnB Track accolade.
#8 – Nasty
Our number eight spot on the ten best songs by The Prodigy goes to the raving hit “Nasty.” The song is featured on the band’s sixth LP, The Day Is My Enemy. “Nasty” has its lyrics alluding to the widening gap between social classes in the UK. The song was issued three months before the general elections. “Nasty” features a music video that references the Conservative plans to legalize fox-hunting once more. The song made it to number twenty-three on the UK Dance chart, peaking at number ninety-eight on the UK Singles Chart.
#7 – Poison
“Poison” is one of the magical hits from the band’s LP, Music for the Jilted Generation. The song was penned by Liam Howlett and Keith Palmer. Liam Howlett revealed that “Poison” was the band’s turning point after it featured freestyling over the music. Maxim Reality offers his vocals on this song. The drums in “Poison” sample The Winstons’ “Amen, Brother,” Skull Snaps’ “It’s a New Day,” and Bernard Purdie’s “Heavy Soul Slinger.” The song is featured on the soundtrack of the 199 movie End of Days. “Poison” made it to number fifteen on the UK Singles Chart.
#6- Warrior’s Dance
Number six on our top 10 songs by The Prodigy is the dazzling hit “Warrior’s Dance.” The song is featured on the band’s fifth LP, Invaders Must Die. “Warrior’s Dance” features vocal samples of “Take Me Away” by True Faith and Final Cut and “Masters of the Scratch” by Master O.C. and Krazy Eddie.
The song also features a drum sample of Addis Posse’s hit “Let the Warriors Dance” and a hook sample from “Sweet Dreams Nightmare Re-mix” by Dave Angel. “Warrior’s Dance” is featured on the soundtrack of the 2009 video game Colin McRae: Dirt 2. The song topped the UK Dance chart, peaking at number nine on the UK Singles Chart. “Warrior’s Dance” was Gold-certified in the UK.
#5- Out of Space
After a great start with its singles “Charly” and “Everybody in the Place,” The Prodigy released its debut LP, Experience, home to our number five hit “Out of Space.” The song was penned and produced by Liam Howlett. “Out of Space” samples “Chase the Devil” by Max Romeo featuring The Upsetters and “Hyperreal Selector” by The Shamen. It also samples “Critical Beatdown” by Ultramagnetic MCs and Bob James’ hit “Take Me to the Mardi Gras.”
The song was released as a remix by the electronic music project Audio Bullys in “Voodoo People/Out of Space.” “Out of Space” peaked at number five on the UK Singles Chart. The song was commercially successful, earning Gold certification in the UK.
#4- No Good (Start the Dance)
“No Good (Start the Dance)” is yet another stunning release from the band’s sophomore LP, Music for the Jilted Generation. The song is structured around a vocal sample of Kelly Charles’ 1987 hit “You’re No Good for Me.” “No Good (Start the Dance)” samples “Funky Nassau” by the Beginning of the End. The song was a success rising to number four on the UK Singles Chart. “No Good (Start the Dance)” was covered by Fedde Le Grand and Sultan & Ned Shepard.
#3 – Omen
Our number three pick for our ten best songs from The Prodigy is the hit “Omen.” The song is featured on the band’s LP, Invaders Must Die. “Omen” was penned by Liam Howlett, Keith Palmer, and Tim Hutton. Liam Howlett teamed with James Rushent to produce this hit. “Omen” was a success on the charts, rising to the top of the UK Dance chart.
The song also managed to peak at number four on the UK Singles Chart. “Omen” has been covered by Crossfaith and Mt Eden. The song won the 2009 Kerrang! Award for Best Single. “Omen” was Gold-certified in the UK, selling over four hundred thousand copies in the UK.
“Breathe” is one of the smashing hits from the band’s most successful LP, The Fat of the Land. The song was penned by Liam Howlett, Keith Flint, and Maxim Reality. This electronic rock hit samples sound effects from Wu-Tang Clan’s song “Da Mystery of Chessboxin.” Maxim reality cited the hit “Breathe” to be a representation of the vibe The Prodigy created on stage.
“Breathe” topped several music charts, including the UK Singles chart and the Eurochart Hot 100. The song managed to rise to number eighteen on the Billboard Alternative Airplay. “Breathe” had its music video awarded the 1997 MTV Europe Music Award for Best Video. The song achieved Platinum certification in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, and Sweden. Leo Moracchioli released a cover of “Breathe” in 2017.
Number one on our top 10 songs by The Prodigy is the alluring hit “Firestarter.” The song is the brightest of all tracks featured on the band’s third LP, The Fat of the Land. “Firestarter” had its lyrics majorly penned by the late Keith Flint, using it to describe him as a ‘flint.’ Liam Howlett is credited with composing the instrumental of the song.
“Firestarter” samples the guitar riff of “S.O.S.” by The Breeders. The song became The Prodigy’s first number one song on the UK Singles Chart. “Firestarter” also peaked at number thirty on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the most successful release by The Prodigy in the US. The song has been covered by Sepultura, Jimmy Eat World, Papa Roach, and Torre Florim of De Staat.
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