The Prodigy are widely recognised as one of the greatest Big Beat artists ever, let alone their massive influence on dance music in general. After they released their sixth album over the last week, today we’re going back to their roots and focusing on their first ever single, Charly. Released 24 years ago in 1991, it became an extremely popular underground rave tune and eventually got so big that it went mainstream, to number 3 on the UK charts. It’s well known for the samples from a children’s program, with a child saying “Charly says always tell your mummy before you go off somewhere”. It’s got 80’s influences and a mind-bending synth that’s really catchy, as well as a beat that has the style that The Prodigy are so well known for.
On their debut album they released a different version that’s just as good – the Trip Into Drum and Bass version. It’s a lot faster than the original and doesn’t carry a typical drum and bass beat, but is a lot easier to dance to. There is more of a focus on the drums and bass than the synths, but the childrens’ TV samples are still there to make the song an obvious alternate version of Charly. The drum and bass solos in the middle of the song are very unique and extremely well played, and are a credit to The Prodigy’s skills – it’s amazing that they made something that good so long ago. Have a listen to both versions below and get down to their roots.