Artist Spotlight: Norman Cook

Tank fly boss walk jam nitty gritty, You’re listening to the
boy from the big bad city pleasant coastal town this is jam hot.

Welcome to the Artist Spotlight for Norman Cook AKA Fatboy
Slim, AKA Pizzaman, AKA…..well a lot of acts. Thirty plus in fact. Starting in
1985 with The Housemartins.

The Housemartins had 2 UK top 10 albums and a number 1 with their accapela cover of Caravan Of Love. They Split in 1988 with Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway forming The Beautiful South and Cook returning to his home town of Brighton and began working with the studio engineer Simon Thornton. Thornton has worked on every Cook reléase since, often credited as ‘executive producer’.

His first solo hit came in 1989 as ‘Norman Cook Featuring MC Wildski’

The pair then formed Beats International with Vocalist Lindy Layton ( Who 12 year old me is going to be very disappointed about when he finds out I didn’t marry her.) Their first álbum Let Them Eat Bingo featured the massive number 1 Dub Be Good To Me which is in the top 5 weaponised dancefloor attractants of all time.

Unfortunately for Cook, while it was brilliant, it wasn’t cleared sample-wise. The resulting court case bankrupted him as he was ordered to pay back doublé the royalties from it.

Beats International’s second álbum failed to chart and they split shortly after it’s reléase.

Cook then formed the Acid Jazz act Freakpower, who again were kind of a one hit wonder but it is an excellent hit.

Next up on the alter ego express came Pizzaman, formed with Tim Jeffery and JC Reid.

At this time , he also formed The Mighty Dub Katz with his friend Gareth Hansome. The two also opened The Big Beat Boutique nightclub in Brighton. ( His ‘Live at The Big Beat Boutique’ is a fantastic mix álbum)
The ‘Big Beat’ scene was very successful at this time , lead by acts on Brighton’s Skint records, including Midfield General, Lo Fidelity Allstars and Indian Ropeman.
Cook signed with Skint for his first reléase as the act he’s probably most well known for – Fatboy Slim. Better Living Through Chemistry This did reasonably well and was followed by the hugely successful You’ve Come A Long Way BabyThe song Praise You becoming his first video from Spike Jonze.
I’ll try and keep the number of embeds down so I’ll go with another Spike Jonze vid- the best music video anybody has ever made- Weapon Of Choice

He’s worked hugely successfully as a remixer (The remix of Cornershop’s Brimful Of Asha was a UK number one having originally failed to make the top 40.) Produced songs for Blur and Rizzle Kicks, Was the first DJ to play the UK houses of parliament for the Last Night A DJ saved my life charity foundation and released a record with his latest act, The Brighton Port Authority which has the unlikely sentece ‘Featuring David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal.’

(This video is slightly NSFW as it has nudity covered by strategicallly placed censor bars)
Basically if you’ve been in a nightclub in the last 20 years you’ve danced to his stuff, even if you didn’t know it was him. I’m a big fan.