On 16 May 1994, 25 years ago today, THIS dropped…
No Good (Start The Dance), the second single from The Prodigy’s Music For The Jilted Generation, remains one of the Essex group’s biggest hits, breaking the top five in the pop charts and earning countless appearances in various ‘Top Songs of the 90s’ polls.
Backed by a stark, monochrome video directed by future Massive Attack, INXS and David Bowie collaborator Walter Stern – band member Keith Flint (RIP) is pictured in a straightjacket at one point, a potential nod to his emergence as the ‘Firestarter’ a couple of years later? – Prodigy mainman Liam Howlett admitted that the track was partly a response to the Eurodance takeover of the charts at the time.
“‘No Good’ was kind of my shot at the shit Euro stuff that was around at that time – it was my way of saying, ‘THIS is how we do it.’”
It’s also synonymous with the Kelly Charles vocal snippet that appears throughout the track – “You’re no good for me, I don’t need nobody / Don’t need no-one… that’s no good for me” – an addition that Howlett reportedly felt was ‘too pop’ for his tastes, but decided to leave in anyway.
Howlett may have been inspired to use the 1987 sample (or was it the other way around?) due to its inclusion in a piano-led breakbeat tune of the previous year, by hardcore artist N.R.G., otherwise known as Neil Gavin Rumney.
Under his Liquid Crystal guise, Runney released You’re No Good in 1993, which also uses the Kelly Charles vocal, as well as a snippet from Eric B and Rakim’s I Know You Got Soul.
The original release of The Prodigy’s No Good on XL Recordings also includes the impeccable CJ Bolland Museum Mix, an acid-soaked classic from the Belgian’s back catalogue.
It may be 25 years old. but if you ask us, No Good (Start The Dance) still stands up against anything released today… and no doubt will continue to do so.