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Into The Groove with Fatboy Slim

Slim's real name is Norman Cook.
Courtesy of Virgin Records
Album cover for Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars
Courtesy of Virgin Records

Some DJ's work for years spinning records in clubs and puttin' out their own releases - yet they go unnoticed. Not the case for Fatboy Slim. He's one of the most successful DJ/musicians in the world - right up there with The Chemical Brothers and Moby.

Fatboy Slim, whose real name is Norman Cook, grew up in a small town outside of London, England. His first musical influences were from his parents' vinyl collection which included artists like the Beatles and the Carpenters. When Norman was 16 he fell in love with dance rhythms after stumbling onto the music of black artists.

Back in the '80s he headed to Brighton, England to go to college and supported himself by DJ'ing at weddings and parties. From there he ended up playing the bass in a band called the Housemartins. He left the band two years later cuz he was uncomfortable with their style and wanted to go in a different direction. In the late '80s/early '90s he was doing remixes for other artists and formed Freakpower with singer/horn player Ashley Slater.

It wasn't until 1996 that he chose to go by the name of Fatboy Slim. He chose the name cuz he liked the way it sounded. Fatboy Slim landed a weekly gig spinning at the Big Beat Boutique. While at the club he became buds with The Chemical Brothers who encouraged him to use his skills and create songs that were more his own.

In 1997 he released Better Living Through Chemistry. This CD, made up of samples and funk music, snagged a Top 10 UK hit with Everybody Needs a 303. Word spread about his mixing talents and nearly 150 artists wanted his services - including Madonna and U2.

In 1998 Fatboy Slim's popularity spun out of control with his CD, You've Come A Long Way, Baby. The two mega hits - The Rockafeller Skank and Praise You catapulted Fatboy to the top of the electronica world. His tunes even ended up in films like Cruel Intentions and She's All That, TV shows (Friends) and an ad for Adidas. Spin magazine named The Rockafeller Skank the best single of '98 and You've Come A Long Way, Baby was named one of the top 100 albums of the '90s.

Still riding the groove of his last album - he released Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars in 2000. The video for the song Weapon of Choice stars Christopher Walken dancing a la Fred Astaire down staircases, through hotel lobbies and on tables. It's really funny and Christopher can move!

If you aren't familiar with Fatboy Slim's grooves then I recommend you become acquainted. You've Come A Long Way, Baby is an amazing album and On The Floor At The Boutique is one of my favorite continuous mix albums. Did you know that Brad Pitt wanted Fatboy to DJ a private party? Yup. One day Fatboy Slim could be considered the "Elvis" of electronica.

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