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Music / The Chemical Brothers

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The Brothers gonna work it out.

The Chemical Brothers are a British Electronic Music duo, consisting of Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands. Active since 1991, they are credited with bringing the "Big Beat" subgenre to the mainstream, alongside The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, The Crystal Method, and associated acts.

From 1992 to 1995, Simons and Rowlands called themselves The Dust Brothers, after the US production duo known for their work with Beastie Boys. While it was chosen as homage to the latter, the original Dust Brothers threatened legal action over the name. From then on, Simons and Rowlands were known as The Chemical Brothers, starting with their debut album, Exit Planet Dust.

They are notable in being one of the few truly arena-sized electronic acts in the world. Their live acts comprise large screens displaying psychedelic images, strobe lights, and lasers that project over the crowd.

They have also played at many major festivals, including Glastonbury, Fuji Rock, Reading, the HFStival, and Leeds festival. They currently hold the record for most gigs performed in a year at the Brixton Academy.


Studio Albums

  • Exit Planet Dust (1995)
  • Dig Your Own Hole (1997)
  • Surrender (1999)
  • Come with Us (2002)
  • Push the Button (2005)
  • We Are the Night (2007)
  • Further (2010)
  • Born in the Echoes (2015)
  • No Geography (2019)
  • For That Beautiful Feeling (2023)


Live Albums

  • Don't Think (2012)


  • Brothers Gonna Work It Out (1998)
  • Singles 93–03 (2003)
  • Brotherhood (2008)


  • Fourteenth Century Sky (1994)
  • My Mercury Mouth E.P. (1994)
  • Loops of Fury (1996)
  • Come with Us/Japan Only EP (2002)
  • AmericanEP (2002)
  • Live 05 (2005)

Tropes appearing in The Chemical Brothers' music:

  • Album Title Drop: The name of album Push The Button comes from a line in "Galvanize". ("The time has come to (push the button..)")
  • Band of Relatives: Averted. They aren't actually brothers, though they've run continuously with the same lineup for over twenty years.
  • Busby Berkeley Number: The music video for "Let Forever Be", directed by Michel Gondry, features a woman constantly moving through sets via bizarre transitions and choreographed movement between the woman and her countless duplicates. Probably the only one to involve a drumming hobo.
  • By Wall That Is Holey: Seen in the music video for "The Test", with a barn house falling onto the protagonist.
  • Centipede's Dilemma: Q-Tip's lyrics in "Galvanize" reference this:
    If you think about it too much, you may stumble trip up,
    Fall on your face
    (Don't hold back!)
  • Chekhov's Gag: The "Live Again" video begins with the camera panning around a woman's caravan, including the absurd detail of a lone tentacle protruding from her sink. It's not seen again until the climax of the video, when an imposing-looking UFO hovers over the woman, and the tentacle emerges from her caravan door and ominously wraps around her. The scene cuts away before we can see what happens next, and we never do find out what exactly the tentacle belongs to.
  • Continuity Nod: Exit Planet Dust refers to their time when they recorded under The Dust Brothers.
  • Creator Cameo: According to The Other Wiki, they have played cameo roles in many of their music videos.
  • Dance Sensation: "The Salmon Dance": tells the listener how to do the titular dance, lists facts about salmon, and has a verse where Fatlip describes other people's reaction to the dance.
  • Epic Rocking: Some songs of theirs can get pretty long, such as "The Private Psychedelic Reel", which is 9 minutes and 22 seconds long.
  • Fading into the Next Song: The band made use of this on a few occasions:
    • The first six tracks on Exit Planet Dust are entirely gapless. Also, on the same album, "Life Is Sweet" → "Playground for a Wedgeless Firm".
    • Dig Your Own Hole has "Elektrobank" → "Piku" and "It Doesn't Matter" → "Don't Stop the Rock" → "Get Up on It Like This".
    • Surrender has "Under the Influence" → "Out of Control" and "Got Glint?" → "Hey Boy Hey Girl" → "Surrender" → "Dream On".
    • Further starts off with "Snow" → "Escape Velocity" → "Another World".
  • Foreign-Looking Font: The band logo uses an Arabic-styled font.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Singles 93–03, consisting of singles released from 1993 to 2003, and Brotherhood, which contains various hit songs and two new ones on the first disc.
  • Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: The main focus of "The Boxer" music video is a basketball that bursts out of a boy's bag and rebounds everywhere, making a mess and causing chaos wherever it bounces. Good grief, that thing just will not die.
  • I Am the Noun: We Are the Night follows the plural form of this sentence structure.
  • The Invisible Band: The duo make brief cameos while remaining otherwise absent from their music videos. They're the skeletons exiting the car at the end of the "Hey Boy Hey Girl" video, for example.
  • Involuntary Dance: The "Do It Again" music video, where two brothers use the hypnotic music to help them acquire money from a bank.
  • Looped Lyrics: "Star Guitar" combines this with Single Stanza Song, due to the following being the only lyrics in the song:
    "You should feel what I feel, you should take what I take."
    • Plenty of their songs with sampled vocals do this, like "Block Rockin' Beats" note , "Hey Boy Hey Girl" note , and "Elektrobank" note .
  • Longest Song Goes Last:
    • Dig Your Own Hole closes with "The Private Psychedelic Reel" (9:22).
    • Come with Us closes with "The Test" (7:47).
    • Push the Button closes with "Surface to Air" (7:23).
  • Mickey Mousing: The music video "Star Guitar", directed by Michel Gondry, is a simple but very effective version of this: footage from seven trips on the same train was spliced together and meticulously edited so that every passing building appears on beat, the sun rises and sets with the synth swells, and the train slows down and speeds up with the intensity of the song.
  • The Oner: The "Star Guitar" music video, despite being obviously CGI. The various components of the song are displayed as objects passing by when looking out of a train window.
  • Punny Name: We Are The Night has a song named "All Rights Reversed", a play on the phrase "All rights reserved".
  • Swallowed Whole: The song "Come with Us/The Test" features Weston being approached by a curious blue whale, which she then swims into the open mouth of.
  • Unrelated Brothers: They aren't real brothers.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: "Elektrobank":
    "Who's this, doing this type of synthetic alpha beta psychedelic funkin'?"