Better Living Through Chemistry (album)

Better Living Through Chemistry is the debut studio album by English electronic music producer Fatboy Slim. It was released on 23 September 1996 in the United Kingdom by Skint Records and in the United States by Astralwerks. It was Fatboy Slim's first work to chart outside of the UK, with the single "Going Out of My Head" notably charting in the US,[1] and was certified gold by the BPI.[2]

Better Living Through Chemistry
Better Living Through Chemistry album cover.jpeg
Studio album by
Released23 September 1996
GenreBig beat
Length57:47 (UK version)
70:52 (US version)
Label
ProducerFatboy Slim
Fatboy Slim chronology
Better Living Through Chemistry
(1996)
You've Come a Long Way, Baby
(1998)
Singles from Better Living Through Chemistry
  1. "Everybody Needs a 303"
    Released: March 1996
  2. "Punk to Funk"
    Released: August 1996
  3. "Going Out of My Head"
    Released: 21 April 1997

BackgroundEdit

Skint Records founder Damian Harris has described the album as having been "more of a compilation than an album", as some of the tracks had been recorded some time before its release, due to Norman Cook's other musical projects. Three songs from the album were previously released in Skint's first volume of their Brassic Beats compilation album series, which is advertised in the album's booklet.

The album's cover features an image of a 3.5-inch floppy disk, paying homage to the cover of New Order's "Blue Monday" single, which featured a 5.25-inch disk. The album's title is a variation of a DuPont advertising slogan, "Better Things for Better Living...Through Chemistry".

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [3]
Christgau's Consumer Guide  [4]
Muzik4/5[5]
Pitchfork6.8/10[6]
Rolling Stone     [7]

The album received generally positive reviews from critics. A 1997 review from Rolling Stone claimed the album to be "of the most fun, shamelessly genrehopping dance albums of the year".[7] AllMusic rated it four stars out of five, recommending the album to "those who can't get enough of the popular technoid-sampled alternative dance style of the late '90s".[3]

LegacyEdit

The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[8]

In popular cultureEdit

The song "Give the Po' Man a Break" is featured in the 2000 film Traffic.[9]

The song "The Weekend Starts Here" is featured in the first episode of the British sitcom Spaced.[10]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Norman Cook, except where noted.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Song for Lindy" 4:50
2."Santa Cruz" 7:30
3."Going Out of My Head"5:14
4."The Weekend Starts Here"6:41
5."Everybody Needs a 303"5:49
6."Give the Po' Man a Break" 5:50
7."10th & Crenshaw" 4:20
8."First Down" 6:18
9."Punk to Funk"4:57
10."The Sound of Milwaukee" 6:18
US Astralwerks release bonus tracks
No.TitleLength
11."Michael Jackson"5:49
12."Next to Nothing"7:16
Japanese edition bonus track
No.TitleLength
11."Es Paradis"5:44
Vinyl edition bonus track
No.TitleLength
11."Crenshaw Siren Beats" (reprise of "10th & Crenshaw")2:50
20th anniversary edition disc 2
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Michael Jackson" 5:49
2."Next to Nothing" 7:16
3."Everybody Loves a Carnival"
  • Cook
  • Starr
4:04
4."Es Paradis" 5:43
5."First Down the Disco" 5:49
6."Sunset 303" 10:04
7."Neal Cassady Starts Here" 5:20
8."It's a Dream" 6:16
9."Knuf of Knup" 5:26
10."Big Beat Souffle" 4:44
11."Everybody Loves a Filter"
  • Cook
  • Starr
6:22
12."Weekend Bonus Beats" 3:27
13."Crenshaw Siren Beats" 3:00

ChartsEdit

Chart (1996–98) Peak
position
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[11] 50
UK Albums (OCC)[12] 69

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[2] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Fatboy Slim Chart History". Billboard Charts. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b "British album certifications – Fatboy Slim – Better Living Through Chemistry". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 11 April 2020. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Better Living Through Chemistry in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  3. ^ a b Prato, Greg. "Better Living Through Chemistry – Fatboy Slim". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "Fatboy Slim: Better Living Through Chemistry". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-24560-2. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  5. ^ Newsome, Rachel (October 1996). "Fatboy Slim: Better Living Through Chemistry (Skint)". Muzik (17): 128.
  6. ^ Wisdom, James P. "Fatboy Slim: Better Living Through Chemistry". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 9 October 2004. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  7. ^ a b Brackett, Nathan (7 October 1997). "Better Living Through Chemistry". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  8. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (23 March 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2.
  9. ^ Traffic (2000), retrieved 2018-08-27
  10. ^ "Spaced" Beginnings (TV Episode 1999), retrieved 2018-08-27
  11. ^ "Charts.nz – Fatboy Slim – Better Living Through Chemistry". Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 April 2020.

External linksEdit