[[quoteright:345:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tpr.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:345:So, about that fire that needed starting...]]

TheProdigy are an ElectronicMusic band from the UK. Besides being popular in their own right, they were one of the most important bands of the "Big Beat" subgenre of TheNineties (the other were The Chemical Brothers, The Crystal Method and Music/FatboySlim, for starters).

The band were formed in 1990. Its membership since then has been relatively stable, comprising:
* Liam Howlett - [[IAmTheBand one man band]], handles all the keyboards, programming, [[RecordProducer producing]] and songwriting. Howlett got the band's name from his Moog Prodigy synthesizer.
* Keith Flint - vocalist, also known for his HornedHairdo and generally scary appearance
* Maxim Reality (real name Keith Andrew Palmer, confusingly) - vocalist/MC, contributes rapping

Their fourth member, Leeroy Thornhill, was a dancer who occasionally played keyboards live. He left in 2000 due to a CreatorBreakdown.

The Prodigy's early material was largely straightforward rave with humorous samples thrown in, as shown by their debut album ''Experience''. While this was a success in the early 1990s and spawned several singles like "Out of Space" and "Charly", it gave them a reputation as lightweights, attracting derisive nicknames like "kiddie ravers" or "Toytown techno". Inspired by the impending passage of the landmark Criminal Justice Act (which cracked down hard on the rave scene) Howlett [[NewSoundAlbum threw out all the bright and colourful rave]] for their follow-up ''Music for the Jilted Generation'', instead cultivating an angry, heavy sound drawing from techno, breakbeat and industrial rock. The track "Their Law" marked their first collaboration with a rock band, Music/PopWillEatItself, while "Voodoo People" kept them on the charts.

The band's landmark success finally came with ''Music/TheFatOfTheLand'' (1997). By this point, Howlett had managed to upgrade his equipment, making the beats heavier and giving the album an overall intense, creepy atmosphere. He also took the rock inclinations shown on ''Jilted'' one step further and openly aimed his music at the AlternativeRock audience, bringing Jim Davies (from the industrial rock band Pitchshifter) to add [[EpicRiff awesome guitar riffs]] all over the place, sampling from more rock songs, letting Keith and Maxim add more shouted vocals and including a straight CoverVersion of "Fuel My Fire" by [=L7=]. Howlett also put in more outside contributions, bringing in [[Music/{{Soundgarden}} Matt Cameron]], [[RageAgainstTheMachine Tom Morello]] (on the bonus track "No Man Army"), KoolKeith and others. His gambit worked: ''Fat'' became a massive success in the UK and USA (where it went to #1), spawned several hit singles with {{Nightmare Fuel}}lerrific videos ("Smack My Bitch Up", "Breathe" and "Firestarter") and brought them [[GatewaySeries an audience of rock fans that otherwise didn't really pay attention to electronic music]]. There was also controversy involved over the video to "Smack My Bitch Up" (which featured more nudity then any other video up to that point, as well as scenes of violence, drug use, and drunk driving), to the point that MTV refused to air it before midnight. But this turned out to be a case of NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity, as it won a VMA.

The band enjoyed their time in the spotlight and laid low for a few years. Howlett put out a mix album named ''The Dirtchamber Sessions Vol. 1'', Leeroy Thornhill left in 2000 and the band also parted ways with their live guitarist Gizz Butt, but nothing much was heard from their camp for a while. Their next single, "Baby's Got a Temper", was released in 2002 to critical disappointment, but warm fan reception. A new album, ''Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned'', followed two years later. It was greeted with general disappointment as well.

After another four-year pause, the band put out a new album, ''Invaders Must Die''. This was noticeably better received than ''Outnumbered''. A sixth album is on its way, and will be released some time later this year.

!!Discography
* ''Experience'' (1992)
** ''Experience: Expanded'' (2001) (an UpdatedRerelease)
* ''Music for the Jilted Generation'' (1994)
** ''More Music For The Jilted Generation'' (2008) (an UpdatedRerelease)
* ''Music/TheFatOfTheLand'' (1997)
* ''Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned'' (2004)
* ''Invaders Must Die'' (2009)

!!Tropes associated with TheProdigy

* AndThenJohnWasAZombie: "'''You're''' the firestarter, twisted firestarter."
* BrokenRecord: "Spitfire" has only one line: "If I was in World War II they'd call me '''SPITFIRE!!!!!'''". Another line, "'Cuz you know that I can", is occasionally heard.
** Also, "Smack My Bitch Up": "''Change my pitch up/[[TitleDrop Smack my bitch up]]''"
* CoverVersion: "Fuel My Fire" was originally by {{L7}}.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Music For The Jilted Generation,'' and how.
* FadingIntoTheNextSong: Used extensively on ''Experienc''e. It was used more sparingly on ''Music for the Jilted Generation'' and ''The Fat of the Land''.
** "Jericho" → "Music Reach (1/2/3/4)" → "Wind It Up" → "Your Love" → "Hyperspeed" → "Charly" "Out of Space" → "Everybody in the Place" "Weather Experience" → "Fire" → "Ruff in the Jungle Bizness"
** "Intro" → "Break and Enter" "Speedway (Theme from Fastlane)" → "The Heat (The Energy)"
** "Funky Shit" → "Serial Thrilla" → "Mindfields" → "Narayan"
* HornedHairdo: Keith Flint
* LargeHam: Maxim ''and'' Keith.
* {{Mondegreen}}: "Change my picture, snap my picture".
** "Super girls like free", "Make me buy a shirt!"
* MisogynySong: "Smack My Bitch Up" [[WildMassGuessing has been speculated to be this.]] In the end, per WordOfGod, it isn't.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Surprisingly high for a band of this nature. Most of their songs are in the 4 to 6 range, with a few even bordering on a 7.
** 4 - "Voodoo People"
** 5 - Most of the songs from ''Invaders Must Die''
** 6 - "Their Law", "Firestarter"
** 7 - "Serial Thrilla", "Fuel My Fire", "Spitfire"
* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly: To the part they created [[TropeMaker a whole new genre]] known as big beat, with Music/TheChemicalBrothers, The Crystal Method, and Music/FatboySlim. Together, all of these artists create "the Big Four of big beat".
* NewSoundAlbum: ''Music for the Jilted Generation'', arguably ''The Fat of the Land'' and ''Invaders Must Die''.
* TheNineties
* [[OminousLatinChanting Ominous Hindi Chanting]]: "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaWXIyZgBkg#t=4m42s Om namah, Naryana]]"
* [[OminousMusicBoxTune Ominous Xylophone Tune]]: In "Omen". The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bq46OY-FHIc music video]] even comes complete with a CreepyChild to play it.
* OneWomanWail: "Spitfire".
* [[PlanetOfSteves Planet of Keiths]]: Once Leeroy left, this meant two out of three of the band's members were named Keith. And because two Keiths wasn't enough, Diesel Power and You'll Be Under My Wheels featured vocals from rapper, KoolKeith.[[note]]KoolKeith had been sampled previously on Out of Space and Smack My Bitch Up.[[/note]]
* PrecisionFStrike: "'''Fuck''' 'em and their law!"[[note]]The song and the album were specifically protests against the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which was introduced by the Conservative government to crack down on the popular rave scene.[[/note]]
* PunnyName: "Mindfields".
* RunningGag: A few from the ''Jilted Generation'' videos, excluding "One Love."
** Keith getting himself into trouble (caught in a vine trap at the beginning of "Voodoo People," then having to be rescued later in the same video, getting trapped in a box with no air at the end of "No Good," and getting into a fight with Liam in "Poison")
** Liam getting angry and hitting something (he takes a sledgehammer to a wall in "No Good," then wrestling Keith to the ground for smashing the drumkit in "Poison")
** Maxim's eyes briefly turning to yellow cat eyes (happens in all three videos, most notably in "No Good")
* {{Sampling}}: From varied sources given the band's [[NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly unusual mixture of genres]], including Music/JohnBarry's score for ''Film/TheManWithTheGoldenGun''.
* ScaryBlackMan: Maxim, especially during live performances when he's incoherently yelling [[ClusterFBomb vulgarities]] and growling at the audience.
* SingerNamedrop: On "Invaders Must Die". "'''We are... The Prodigy.'''"
* StudioChatter: "Poison" begins with a phone ringing and someone saying "Liam, someone on the phone for you", to which Liam replies "Fuck's sake, I'm tryna write this fuckin' tune, man".
* SubliminalSeduction: "Full Throttle" has its titular vocal sample[[note]][-"We're going at full throttle"-][[/note]] reversed.
* SwordFight: Sound effects used as [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome percussion on "Breathe"]].
* TomatoSurprise: The music video for "Smack My Bitch Up".
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