Fatboy Slim Biography

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Birth Name: Quentin Leo Cook
Born: 1963/07/31
Birth Place: Reigate, Surrey, England
Years Active: 1981–present
Genres: Big Beat, Trip-hop, Dance

Norman Quentin Cook (born Quentin Leo Cook on July 31, 1963 in Bromley, England) better known by his former stage name Fatboy Slim, is a British DJ, electronic dance music musician, and record producer. He is a pioneer of the big beat genre that achieved mainstream popularity in the 1990s. Cook has achieved considerable success on the U.K. charts, performing as Fatboy Slim and with The Housemartins, Beats International, and Freak Power. He currently performs as the Brighton Port Authority.

At 18, he went to the Brighton Polytechnic to study a BA in English, politics, and sociology. Although he had begun DJing some years before, it was at this time that he began to develop his skills on the thriving Brighton club scene. Known as DJ Quentox (The OX that Rocks), Cook and DJ Baptiste started putting on youth club hip hop jams in Brighton, sowing the seeds of the city's flourishing hip hop scene today. These primitive '80s block parties are recalled in the music documentary “South Coast,” which documents Brighton's cult hip hop scene from its grass roots to the present day.

In 1985, Cook's friend Paul Heaton had formed a guitar band called The Housemartins. Their bassist quit on the eve of their first national tour, so Cook agreed to move to Hull to join them. The band soon had a hit single with “Happy Hour.” They also reached #1 just before Christmas 1986 with a version of “Caravan of Love,” originally a hit the year before for Isley-Jasper-Isley. However, by 1988 they had split up.

Cook achieved his first solo hit in 1989, featuring his future Beats International member MC Wildski, called “Blame It on the Bassline.” Credited to “Norman Cook feat. MC Wildski,” the song followed the basic template of what was to come in the style of the music of Beats International. It became a modest hit on the U.K. Singles chart, reaching #29.

Cook formed Beats International, a loose confederation of studio musicians including vocalists Lindy Layton, Lester Noel, D.J. Baptiste, rapper MC Wildski, and keyboardist Andy Boucher. Their first album, “Let Them Eat Bingo,” included the #1 single “Dub Be Good to Me,” which caused a legal dispute revolving around allegations of infringement of copyright through the liberal use of unauthorised samples: the bassline was a note-for-note lift from “The Guns of Brixton” by The Clash and the lyrics borrowed heavily from “Just Be Good to Me” by The S.O.S. Band. The 1991 follow-up album “Excursion on the Version,” an exploration of dub and reggae music, failed to repeat the success of its predecessor, as it did not chart.

Cook then formed Freak Power with horn player Ashley Slater and singer Jesse Graham. They released their debut album “Drive Thru Booty” in 1994, which contained the single “Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out.” In 1996, Cook re-joined Freak Power for their second album, “More of Everything for Everybody.”

Cook enlisted help from producer friends Tim Jeffery and JC Reid to create a house music album under the name Pizzaman. The 1995 “Pizzamania” album spawned three U.K. Top 40 hits, “Trippin' on Sunshine,” “Sex on the Streets” and “Happiness.”

Cook adopted the new pseudonym Fatboy Slim in 1996. The Fatboy Slim album and Cook's second solo album “Better Living Through Chemistry,” released through Skint Records, contained the U.K. Top 40 hit, “Everybody Needs a 303.”

Fatboy Slim's next work was the single “The Rockafeller Skank,” released prior to the album “You've Come a Long Way, Baby,” both of which were released in 1998. The album’s second single, “Praise You,” was Cook's first U.K. solo #1 hit. Its music video directed by and starring Spike Jonze, won numerous awards.

“Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars” was his fourth solo album, released in 2000 and featured two collaborations with Macy Gray. The single, “Weapon of Choice,” was made into an award-winning video starring Christopher Walken.

In 2004, “Palookaville” was released, marking Cook's first studio album for four years. Fatboy Slim's greatest hits album “Why Try Harder” was released in 2006. It comprised 18 tracks, including ten Top 40 singles, two #1 hits and two exclusive new tracks, “Champion Sound” and “That Old Pair of Jeans.”

In 2006, Cook travelled to Cuba, and wrote and produced two original Cuban crossover tracks for the album “The Revolution Presents: Revolution,” which was released by Studio !K7 and Rapster Records in 2009. The tracks “Shelter” which featured long term collaborator Lateef, and “Siente Mi Ritmo, “featuring Cuba's top female vocal group Sexto Sentido were recorded in Cuba's legendary EGREM Studios, home of the Buena Vista Social Club, and featured a band made up of Cuba's top young musicians, including Harold Lopez Nussa.

Cook released a mix album in 2010 titled “The Legend Returns” as a cover mount album in the June 2010 issue of “Mixmag.”

The Brighton Port Authority debuted in 2008 with a collaboration with David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal titled “Toe Jam,” along with a music video featuring nude dancers with censor bars on them, making pictures and words with them. The band's first album, “I Think We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat,” was the first to be co-produced by Cook's longtime engineer Simon Thornton, who also sang on one track and was released in 2009.

Fatboy Slim teamed with David Byrne in 2010 for the album, “Here Lies Love,” a concept album and rock musical about the life of the former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos along with the woman who raised her, Estrella Cumpas, and follows Marcos until she and her family were forced to leave the Philippines. The album featured mostly guest female singers, including Florence Welch, Allison Moorer, Nellie McKay, Cyndi Lauper, Tori Amos, Martha Wainwright, Natalie Merchant, Sia Furler, Santigold, Charmaine Clamor, Nicole Atkins, and Kate Pierson among many others, alternately playing the roles of Imelda Marcos and Estrella Cumpas.





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