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Let Them Eat Bingo

music reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4

Artist: Beats International
Genre: Rock/Pop
Release Date: April 1990
Note(s): Japanese re-release featuring 3 bonus tracks

Review by DjBatman
3½ stars out of 4

Currently available as a japanese cd re-release with a few bonus tracks, this was the first Norman Cook (yep, Mr. Fatboy Slim!) album after his departure from UK group Housemartins (famous for their acapella number "Caravan of love").   Since then, Cook appeared under a s***load of different identities, and with this project he was oriented into melting dance beats with reggae/blues/funk/jazzy sounds. There are various covers or better interpolations of classic tracks, from Herman Kelly's "Dance to the drummer's beat", to the Jacksons-inspired "Blame it on the bassline" (rapping provided by MC Wildski). There is a impressive list of contributors, from Billy Bragg to Double Trouble, from Lester Noel to Lindy Layton, who was launched by Cook with the S.O.S. Band remake "Dub be good to me" which also appears here (Lindy had her solo album out a while later and recently resurfaced as one half of electronic duo Hardknox). This track also caused some legal troubles because it lifted the bassline from The Clash's "Guns of Brixton". But, not only Cook claims it was not a sample but a remake; he even had already used it on the b-side of a previously released single, "For spacious lies" (also featured here). In a subsequent album, Cook joked about this incident ("Is there hope / ahead of our time / Brother can you spare me a bassline?") By the way - "Dub be good to me" is still massive; while the most exotic moment is "The ragged trousered percussionists", in which a 4/4 beat is accompained by African vocals, flutes and -er- tango?!? Later, Cook would have explored more ragga stuff on "Excursion on the version", a wonderful follow-up album for the Beats International project (apparently deleted, now) that had lots of subliminal samples from Queen, Marvin Gaye and others and (curiously) some of these came from classic and recent film soundtracks like Twin Peaks, the 007 series and A Summer Place.



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