July 5th 1997
Six years ago, at about the time when everyone was predicting the imminent demise of dance, the Prodigy were widely derided as a one-hit wonder joke. Despite their top-five success with kiddie-techno anthem Charly, the Prodigy were apparently too like a rock band to survive in an area dominated by faceless DJs, but too like a rave act to make any impact in the world of heavy guitars.
Since then, of course, this supposedly useless blend of screechy rock, bleepy dance tunes and chunky, techno beats has worked so well for the Prodigy that today their only serious rivals are Oasis and Radiohead. This blistering album - featuring crowd-pleasing stompers like Breathe and Firestarter - reminds us why. After OK Computer, the year's most essential purchase.