Sunday, January 21, 2007

Randomiser #21: 21 January 2007

Today's song: Fatboy Slim, "Kalifornia"

The one with a vocoder repeating "California is druggy, druggy, druggy, druggy..." for six minutes. It's from You've Come a Long Way, Baby, which irritatingly insists on appearing on my iPod screen with its rather dull American cover (a shot of Norman Cook's record collection). The British cover, with a picture of a fat man wearing an "I'm #1 So Why Try Harder" T-shirt, was apparently unusable in America for legal reasons - it's a photo of a random guy in the street, and they didn't actually have a release form for him. Not a problem in the UK, but in the USA they have this thing called image rights.

I've always liked this track - it's one of the songs from Norman Cook's commercial peak that deviates a bit from the formula, even if only to drop in an Underworld pastiche at the three minute mark. He's gone off the boil since then, but at this point in his career, he was making fantastic dance music that even curmudgeons like me had to enjoy. This really should have been put out as a single, but I suppose the lyrics were probably a sticking point there.

Between his Fatboy Slim output, Freakpower and Beats International, Cook's actually had a surprisingly varied career. And that's without counting his incongruous time as a member of the Housemartins. I can still never quite get my head around the fact that this was his first ever number one: