Fatboy Slim Biography
Last updated: 05/29/2013 06:26:10 PM
Fatboy Slim otherwise known as Norman Cook was born Quentin 'Norman' Cook in Bromley, England 13 July 1963, but grew up in Redhill, England. He moved to Brighton to attend college where he started DJing around town. When he got a call from old school mate Paul Heaton he moved to Hull to play bass in Heaton's band, the Housemartins.
After supporting Billy Bragg on tour, they signed to Go! Discs with a little recommendation from Bragg. Their first single 'Flag Day' made it into the top 120. The second single 'Sheep' reached 56, but their third single 'Happy Hour' crashed it's way to 3 in the charts. The album " London 0 Hull 4" was also a top 10 hit. When they released 'Caravan Of Love', a cover of the Isley Brothers tune in 1986, they finally had a British Number One. After replacing a band member they released a second album 'The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death.' This album spawned a few top 20 singles, but soon after the albums release the band spilt up.
Norman returned to Brighton and forged a career as a remixer with a mix of Eric B. and Rakim's 'I Know You Got Soul.' He then formed Beats International, which was more of a collaboration of musical artists than a band. They had a number one in 1989 with 'Dub Be Good To Me,' a cover of 'Just Be God To Me.' Their first album "Let Them Eat Bingo" was a dub filled sound-fest. In 1991 they released their second album "Excursion On The Version." Sometime after this Norman got divorced and had a nervous breakdown and chose not to make music for two years. After some inspiration from a song by Robert Owens and a little ecstasy he found a new light.
He formed Freakpower with multi-talented brass player and vocalist Ashley Slater ( from the cult UK funk band Microgroove) who was also a member of the Beats tour brass section and played brass on the Beats second album. The first album from Freakpower "Drive Thru Booty" in 1994 was mainly made from material Norman had written for a third Beats International album. They almost had a number one with 'Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out', after Levi's Jeans picked it up to launch a multimillion dollar advertising campaign.
Sometime after the first Freakpower album, Norman found time to create a new album in 1995 under the pseudonym Pizzaman, creating such hits as 'Sex On The Streets' and 'Happiness'. Freakpower toured for a year then Norman and Slater made a second album "More Of Everything...For Everybody" in 1996. Two singles cruised onto the dance floors, but the record company holding Freakpower, Island, cast a shadow over the album and so Freakpower was no more. Sometime during this period Norman recorded under a variety of aliases including Fried Funk Food and Mighty Dub Kats, plus he help found Skint records with Damien Harris. And since Loaded-Records owned the name "Pizzaman", Norman adopted yet another pseudonym...Fatboy Slim.
According to Norman, the name comes from a " Louisiana blues singer from the 40's, famed for a song called 'Baby, I Want A Piece Of Your Pie.' " Retreating to his attic dubbed "The House Of Love", Norman recorded "Better Living Through Chemistry" over the course of a week in early 1996. The album's title refers to a slogan used in America in the 50's, advocating that hyperactive children should be quieted down with large doses of valium. The title is also a nod to his pals, the Chemical Brothers, who helped convince him to put the album together. The album attracted a great deal of attention.
There were clubs in London...The Sunday Social ( home to the Chemical Brothers) and Big Kahuna Burger that played the albums first single 'Santa Cruz.' Both clubs asked him to DJ...so he did. Tired of driving to DJ in London's clubs, Norman, Damien and friend G Money decided to start their own night club in Brighton. So thus the Big Beat Boutique was born with Cook as the house DJ. Norman attracted so much attention that Caroline/Astralwerks took the job of campaigning for Fatboy Slim in the US, because Skint could only reach Europe. This meant that Skint could spend more time promoting Norman and other artists on the Skint label than simply promoting Norman in the US.
Still due to the overwhelming success of Fatboy Slim, Norman churned out hit songs under his other aliases. Mighty Dub Kats found a dancefloor classic with 'Magic Carpet Ride' in 1997 and another Freakpower track 'NoWay' in 1998. He has also had a slew of remixes...for Cornershop, Wildchild, Beastie Boys and Fluke just to name a few. He has also turned down remix opprotunities for U2 and Modonna among others.
Finally, deciding to leave another Freakpower album until next year, Norman started work on his next Fatboy Slim album "You've Come A Long Way, Baby" ( the slogan for Virginia Slims cigarettes). The first single from the now gold album 'The Rockafeller Skank' was without a doubt the summer anthem of 1998. You still hear this track on radio and tv adds plus numerous movie trailers along with his other singles 'Gangster Trippin' and 'Prasie You.' It seems where ever you listen...you hear a Fatboy song.
For a man who has been in the music buisness for 15 years you can look for him not to quit or slow down. And so Norman Cook and his 'House Of Love' have helped put Big Beat on the musical map and turn him into an international superstar. He was engaged to Zoe Ball of BBC Radio 1 fame on Valentine's Day '99 and married to her on 8.22.99. He recieved an award for Best Dance Act 1999 from the Brits and recently recieved four MTV Video Award nominations for his video 'Praise You'. All this from a guy that said...