Fatboy Slim has announced the 25th anniversary reissue of You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, set to be released on October 13 via Astralwerks. The album has been remastered at half speed at Abbey Road Studios for the best available audio quality possible.
2023 marks twenty-five years since the release of the album that spawned era-defining singles “Rockafeller Skank,” “Gangster Trippin,” “Praise You,” and “Right Here Right Now.” You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby reached No.1 on the UK album charts, broke the US Billboard Top 40, created a global superstar, and put a new wave of UK dance music on the global map.
In the mid-to-late-1990s, Big Beat was dominating UK dance music, thanks to The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, and a Brighton-bred producer named Fatboy Slim who had begun tantalizing audiences with his sample-heavy, bombastic debut Better Living Through Chemistry. Each of these artists brought a little bit something different to Big Beat – a twist on acid house, techno, and rap breakbeats crammed into a traditional pop structure. But it was Fatboy Slim’s 1998 album, the massive, groundbreaking, discourse-shifting You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, that cemented the sound as the world’s most exciting party.
With You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, Fatboy Slim – born Norman Quentin Cook – blended ecstatic build-ups of the rave scene with the “guess the sample” playfulness of 90s rap. (At the time of the album’s release, websites like WhoSampled were still years away.) Some of the samples were relatively obvious. (“Praise You” nicked a guitar from “It’s a Small World” and an electric piano from Steve Miller Band.) Others were more obscure. (The iconic “funk soul brother” Lord Finesse sample was from the only release that ever bore the artist name Vinyl Dogs.) What united it all, however, was the overarching sense that Fatboy Slim was having tons of fun putting all this stuff together.
You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby was a hit in both the US and the UK, a huge step up in commercial success from Fatboy’s 1996 debut Better Living Through Chemistry. That 1996 album was more in thrall to dance music, with songs like “Everybody Needs a 303.” What made You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby such a different beast was the in-your-face vocal samples and a relentless focus on merging pop music and electronic music structures.
It became a turning point for Fatboy and electronic music as a whole, culminating a few years later with an iconic 2002 concert in Brighton Beach, in which an estimated 250,000 fans came to see him spin records. You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, though, is where everything started.