“What evil lurks in the heart of men..?”
So begins the debut single for legendary rave outfit The Prodigy, What Evil Lurks, which was released on this day (25 February) in 1991.
Sampling Ultramagnetic MCs, ska group Madness and a 1930s US radio show, What Evil Lurks headed up what was in essence a mini album, also including rave cuts We Gonna Rock, Android and an early version of Prodigy staple Everybody In The Place.
XL Recordings snapped up the tracks (part of a 10-track sampler Prodigy composer Liam Howlett) in late 1990, however Howlett is reported to have originally offered the tracks to Tam Tam Records, on which he had released his first music, as part of rap crew Cut 2 Kill.
Tam Tam’s loss was XL’s gain, as The Prodigy emerged as arguably the biggest UK dance act of all.
Originally released on just 7,000 copies, What Evil Lurks was one of the most bootlegged EPs of the rave era, with the first batch famously misspelling the B-side as ‘Androids’.
Everybody in the Place would, of course, go on to receive its own release in December 1991, but the version presented here is a more stripped-down and noticeably slower version.
Happy birthday to a piece of rave history.