Underworld – A hundred days off (The ’59) #268

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Underworld – A hundred days off (2002)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Today we’ve reached year 44 – 2002.

A Hundred Days Off was Underworld’s sixth, released in September 2002.

It produced two UK Singles Chart entries: “Two Months Off”, which reached no. 12 and “Dinosaur Adventure 3D”, which reached no. 34.

Although this was the first album since Darren Emerson’s departure from the group in 2001, the album is not a huge stylistic makeover as the main focus of the band is still trance, techno and house, although without the beats that defined 1999’s ‘Beaucoup Fish’.

Generally positive reviews from music critics followed its release. NME gave it 8/10 describing it as…

Their best album since their Dubnobasswithmyheadman debut, Karl and Rick have pulled off a comeback in fine style and laid some demons to rest. Underworld prove that you’re only as old as the technology you use”.

Stateside, Rolling Stone gave the album 3 out of 5 stars saying that…

The beauty of A Hundred Days Off is that it pumps and churns so suggestively; it somehow evokes the blues of the otherwise successful modern man, who goes out every night and dances alone in his head.

‘A Hundred Days Off’ rose to No.16 on the UK Albums Charts and No. 122 on the US Billboard 200.

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Moby – Play (The ’59) #252

The ’59 2018 #252: 180909

Moby – Play (1999)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 41 – 1999.

Play was Moby’s fifth studio album, released on May 17 1999 by Mute and V2.

Recording of the album began in 1998, following the 1996 release of ‘Animal Rights’ which had deviated from Moby’s electronica style; his goal for “Play” was to return to this.

The album was both a critical success and a commercial phenomenon, introducing Moby to a worldwide mainstream audience. This was helped no end through a large number of hit singles that helped the album to dominate worldwide charts for two years, and through unprecedented licensing of his music in films, television, and commercial advertisements. It eventually became the biggest-selling electronica album of all time, with over 12 million copies sold worldwide.

In 2003 and 2012, the album was ranked number 341 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It was nominated for both a Grammy Award and Brit Award, was the UK’s biggest-selling independent album of 2000.

Fatboy Slim – You’ve come a long way baby (The ’59) #248

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Fatboy Slim – You’ve come a long way baby (1998)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 40 – 1998.

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby was the second studio album by Shoreham based DJ/producer Fatboy Slim. It was released on 19 October 1998 in the UK on Skint and in the US by Astralwerks. The album was recorded and produced at Cook’s home studio , “The House of Love” in Brighton.

The album was a critical and commercial success, containing four top ten singles. It peaked at No.1 on the UK albums chart, No.1  in New Zealand, No.2  in Australia, and No.34 on the US Billboard 200.

The album’s singles were “The Rockafeller Skank”, “Gangster Tripping”, “Praise You”, and “Right Here, Right Now”, each of which reached the top 10 in the UK Singles Chart. “Build It Up – Tear It Down” was also released as a promo, but not as a commercial single.

‘You’ve come a long way baby’ earned Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) a Brit award in 1999.

Massive Attack – Mezzanine (The ’59) #247

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Massive Attack – Mezzanine (1998)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 40 – 1998.

Mezzanine was Massive Attack’s third studio, released on 20 April 1998 by Circa and Virgin Records. It was the first album produced by Neil Davidge.

For legal reasons. the album was first made available as a legal download from the band’s website prior to its hard copy release.

Mezzanine topped the charts in the UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand, becoming the group’s most commercially successful album to date. It spawned four singles: “Risingson”, “Teardrop”, “Angel”, and “Inertia Creeps”

Underworld – Beaucoup Fish (The ’59) #246

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Underworld – Beaucoup Fish (1998)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 40 – 1998.

Beaucoup Fish was the fifth album by Underworld, released in 1998 in the UK and 1999 in the US.

Following the huge success of the single “Born Slippy .NUXX” from its use in the film Trainspotting, ‘Beaucoup Fish’ was Underworld’s most anticipated release. It spawned several successful singles, including “Push Upstairs”, “Jumbo” and “Moaner”, which was used in the film ‘Batman & Robin’.

It is the last studio album to feature Darren Emerson, who departed in 2001, and the third album by the techno/house orientated version of Underworld which became active in 1991/1992 (tracks were being released around this time under the names Lemon Interrupt and Underworld).

The album was remastered and re-released on 25 August 2017 with deluxe and super-deluxe expanded editions.

Underworld – Second toughest in the infants (The ’59) #235

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Underworld – Second toughest in the infants (1996)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 38 – 1996.

Second Toughest in the Infants was Underworld’s fourth album and the second in their “MK2” line-up with Darren Emerson.

The album’s name derives from a comment made by member Rick Smith’s six-year-old nephew, Simon Prosser, when asked on his progress at school said…

Yeah, don’t worry about me, I’m second toughest in the infants now…

Second Toughest featured the single “Pearl’s Girl”. The re-issue featured the band’s best known single, “Born Slippy .NUXX”.

The album was remastered and re-released on 20 November 2015 with deluxe and super-deluxe expanded editions.

Leftfield – Leftism (The ’59) #230

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Leftfield – Leftism (1995)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 37 – 1995.

Robin Risk and I went to a Leftfield gig at Brighton’s “The Event” back in early 1995 when they were promoting the release of Leftism, released on 30 January. Preceded by a DJ set, the band didn’t get to the stage until two in the morning, but then gave us a blistering two hours of progressive house, techno dub electronica.

Apart from the early hours start (a first for us), what blew us away – quite literally – was the power-wind of the bass. I guess the two drum kits either side of the stage should have given us a clue; those and the massive stacks of driver bins.  But the pulse of the absolute depth of it was a living thing. It just grabbed you, gave you good shaking and didn’t let go. It still hasn’t 23 years on.

On 5 May 2017 Leftfield released Leftism 22. This re-release features a remastered album as well a bonus disc of remixes by current artists, including Adrian Sherwood.