When I first got into the electronic music culture back in the 90s, one of my gateway DJs was Norman Cook – aka – Fatboy Slim. This master producer and performer used samples and sounds like no one I had ever heard or seen before. He had a really distinct understanding of string instrument chords and keyboard sounds that mixed with the creativity that Norman possessed behind the decks. He was a performance DJ and an all round musician which led to some great success in the 90s. He broke through the wall of conventional music happening at the time and hit the Billboard charts with this catchy dance anthems of the era. The album that got me looking for more from this artist was his original album – ‘BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY’- From there he became part of my soundtrack as well as for an entire generation known as X.

Norman Cook was one of the major pioneers of big beat; he ranks second only to the Chemical Brothers in terms of breaking the genre in the States. Cook samples from a wide range of music—house, funk, even rock—to create electronic music specifically designed for dancing. This emphasis on hedonism over experimentalism caused many techno purists to scorn Fatboy Slim, though it granted him immense success both at home and in America.

Cook, who was christened Quentin, started DJ’ing at age 15. In 1985 he changed his name to Norman and joined the British pop band the Housemartins, replacing departing bassist and founding member Ted Key. The Housemartins were known for their socially conscious, no-frills image and scathing sarcasm. Their 1986 and 1987 albums yielded several Top 20 pop hits, including “Caravan of Love” (Number One U.K., 1986) and “Happy Hour” (Number Three U.K., 1986).

Following the band’s split in 1988, Housemartins frontman Paul Heaton and drummer Dave Hemingway formed the Beautiful South; Cook, meanwhile, returned to his dance-music roots with Beats International, which scored a Number One hit in the U.K. with its 1990 single “Dub Be Good to Me.” Cook also recorded under numerous other monikers, including Pizzaman, Freakpower, and Mighty Dub Katz — who all charted in the U.K. — before embarking on his Fatboy Slim project. He made a minor splash in America with 1996′s Better Living Through Chemistry and its single, “Going Out of My Head,” which drew its defining guitar sample from Yvonne Elliman’s remake of the Who’s “I Can’t Explain.” But it was 1998′s You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby that transformed Cook into an international star with its inescapable hits “The Rockafeller Skank” and “Praise You,” the latter of which stayed on the U.S. pop chart for 20 weeks in 1999. Cook veered away from big beat for his next venture, Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars, on which he worked with live vocalists (including R&B singer Macy Gray) for the first time. The single “Weapon of Choice” went on to hit Number 33 on the Modern Rock charts, and drew attention for its music video featuring a dancing (and flying) Christopher Walken, which won six MTV video awards in 2001.

For more info Norman please check out his website below.. Take a listen to the album that started my Fatboy experience – BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY – Click Here