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I always thought this was The Beatles' best song.
February 25, 2011 10:56 PM   Subscribe

"Smack My Bitch Up" performed by The Beatles
posted by scalefree (84 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't really even like the Beatles and yet I feel this is wrong.
posted by item at 11:01 PM on February 25, 2011


And on the receiving end:

He hit me and it felt like a kiss" performed by Hole
posted by chasing at 11:06 PM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Shit's just dumb, really, and not even done particularly well.

I had never seen that much footage of the delirious girls in the stands, though, so that was kind of interesting.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:07 PM on February 25, 2011 [13 favorites]


I'm the last one to pour the Hater-ade, but that sucked hard.
posted by Optamystic at 11:10 PM on February 25, 2011


I had never seen that much footage of the delirious girls in the stands, though, so that was kind of interesting.

Ditto. Fascinating. Like to see more.
posted by stbalbach at 11:13 PM on February 25, 2011


There are few groups of people of whom one can say that their general and total impact upon society has been negative, and that, if they had languished in obscurity, never known beyond a small local group of people, the world would have been an immeasurably better place.

The guys in The Prodigy are five such people. Liam Howlett may not be an idiot, but he's spent twenty years trying to prove to everybody that he can be one if he tries hard enough and surrounds himself with enough dullards. And if I hear this stupid, stupid song just one more time, I might just sink into a final reverie of pain and disgust at the wasted and desecrated potential of the human race.
posted by koeselitz at 11:14 PM on February 25, 2011 [11 favorites]


I had never seen that much footage of the delirious girls in the stands, though, so that was kind of interesting.

Likewise.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:17 PM on February 25, 2011


I didn't hate this - I thought the editing was kind of reserved, given the options. It's an awful excuse for a song, but I thought the juxtaposition was interesting.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 11:19 PM on February 25, 2011


this is so inappropriate, it's funny
posted by pyramid termite at 11:25 PM on February 25, 2011


The mashup is actually kind of interesting because it foregrounds the audience and backgrounds the band. Normally the band is the main character. Here the band has been subverted and the fans are center stage. It destroys Beatles iconography and lets you see it from a fresh perspective. That's what the best mashup's do, see the old in new ways.
posted by stbalbach at 11:35 PM on February 25, 2011 [7 favorites]


In a similar vein, I am far more partial to this and this.
posted by MillMan at 11:35 PM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd rather see John Wayne sing "Tiptoe Through the Tulips." I'd like to see him arm in arm with Tiny Tim, and with a big shit-eating grin.
posted by uraniumwilly at 11:39 PM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


It destroys Beatles iconography...

Really? The screaming girls have always figured pretty prominently in Beatles iconography, seems to me.

I happen to think that the only reason there are more fan shots here than onstage Beatles shots is that whoever put this clip together was to lazy to really get very much lip-synching going.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:44 PM on February 25, 2011 [7 favorites]


beatles at shea
posted by victors at 11:45 PM on February 25, 2011


Obviously fake. Ringo was never a good enough drummer to pull this song off.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:46 PM on February 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


King Curtis, opening act for the Beatles at Shea.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:49 PM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Holy shit flapjax, that guy's a rock star
posted by Hoopo at 11:54 PM on February 25, 2011


Yeah, Hoopo, King Curtis was really cool. Sorry to see that most of the YT links in my post on him are now dead. Such are the ways of Ye Olde You Tubes...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:58 PM on February 25, 2011


This just made me want to watch the original.
posted by Hey Dean Yeager! at 12:18 AM on February 26, 2011


The completely bored blond girl at about 3:57 is super awesome and excellent.
posted by Neofelis at 12:41 AM on February 26, 2011


The DJ Dangermouse mashup video for Encore is much better. Actually sympathetic to both.
posted by imperium at 12:45 AM on February 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here's some guy completely redoing Smack My Bitch Up from scratch using Ableton Live. The end result is nigh identical to Prodigy's version.
posted by inedible at 12:52 AM on February 26, 2011 [15 favorites]


Prodigy vs. Enya -- I actually rather liked this. I'm amazed, ten years later, the bootie scene is still this strong.
posted by effugas at 12:58 AM on February 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


An insult... to The Prodigy, obviously
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:20 AM on February 26, 2011


inedible, that's an incredible link. Thanks for posting it!
posted by effugas at 1:22 AM on February 26, 2011


absolutely, fascinating link - dude's got another one showing how Voodoo People was constructed.
posted by mannequito at 1:29 AM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Prodigy are pretty amazing live. Definitely one of the best live acts I've ever seen.
posted by empath at 2:17 AM on February 26, 2011


I find it interesting that, on one hand, there is typically an overwhelmingly negative response on Metafilter to anything that hints at misogony, yet on the other, if someone is only "singing" about abusing women it's often fairly widely accepted.

That said, as a Beatles fan let me add, your favorite mashup sucks.
posted by tomswift at 2:26 AM on February 26, 2011


tomswift: As evidenced by the video (watch it the whole way through), the song is meant as a social commentary more than a literal encouragement to smack up bitches.
posted by inedible at 2:36 AM on February 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, NSFW, by the way.
posted by inedible at 2:37 AM on February 26, 2011


I wouldn't think it was about social commentary as much as it's just about how the words sound. I doubt they planned the video ahead of time.
posted by empath at 2:38 AM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not many people know that it was actually George Martin who suggested the lyric "Smack my Bitch Up". John originally wanted the lyric to read "Whack the Rich Out", because he was very much against the establishment. George wanted the lyric "Pack my Twitch In", because he was studying Kundalini Yoga at the time, and that phrase means something to somebody studying that. Paul thought "Slack my Britches Down" would be a good lyric, because at the time Paul was writing happy songs about ill-fitting pants. And Ringo wanted "Snack my Quiche Cup!"... I'm not sure why.

History often forgets the subtle influence a good producer can have on a band.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:48 AM on February 26, 2011 [16 favorites]


I'm amazed, ten years later, the bootie scene is still this strong.

No its always been strong. I used to think it wasn't strong either...then I went through puberty.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:51 AM on February 26, 2011


inedible, naw.. I'm not buying that a song where 50% of the lyrics are about hitting women is "social commentary"... sorry
posted by tomswift at 2:54 AM on February 26, 2011


Christ I hate that song. The Prodigy, and Liam Howlett in particular, have produced live and recorded stuff that is electrifying.

But this? Boorish, misogynistic, unpleasant, wigger-lite and musically dull to boot.
posted by MuffinMan at 3:00 AM on February 26, 2011


This just made me want to watch the original.
posted by Hey Dean Yeager!


And here it is in HQ
posted by Lanark at 3:17 AM on February 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Prodigy are boring.

The same clip over Chemical Brother's Leave Home- yeah -that works
posted by the noob at 3:27 AM on February 26, 2011


Awesome (the original footage that is). The unreasonable fear on the part of the older generation (in the form of police officers) is just so weird now. Well, so the is the completely insane adoration from the crowd...
posted by Harry at 3:29 AM on February 26, 2011


The Prodigy produced only one good song. This isn't it.
posted by Pendragon at 3:29 AM on February 26, 2011


Well, so the is the completely insane adoration from the crowd

If you had to grow up in the 50s you'd be pretty fucking excited, too.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:30 AM on February 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was expecting a cover of this song done in ca. 1964 Beatles style. Boo to this link.

Besides, everyone knows this is the best incongruous music/video mashup.
posted by dhens at 4:25 AM on February 26, 2011 [8 favorites]


I like the footage of the audience: healthy, happy (okay, going-batshit-crazy) rock fans, not a tattoo or lip ring in sight. And I like the music of the Beatles, generally... you know, I'd rather just watch the footage with the original soundtrack, thank you very much.
posted by spoobnooble at 5:28 AM on February 26, 2011


(yeah, Spoobnooble, as if someone further up the thread hasn't already posted links to the original footage... real slick, Slick...)
posted by spoobnooble at 5:32 AM on February 26, 2011


It's funny how people are interpreting this as some kind of subversion of the Beatles, because the whole time, I'm thinking "this isn't really that far from 'Run For Your Life,' is it?"

That Ableton video is really amazing, though.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 6:39 AM on February 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Prodigy album 'Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned' is really good, as is the recentish 'Invaders Must Die'. I don't know why music always has to bring out such extreme reactions in people. It's just music.
posted by Summer at 6:39 AM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nice dhens. But trumped (narrowly) by Hitler singing the spongebob theme.
posted by stonepharisee at 6:49 AM on February 26, 2011


This seems like a good place for a Weird Al Prodigy parody.
posted by TrialByMedia at 7:07 AM on February 26, 2011


My cat (on my lap) shot dirty looks at the screen during the Ableton Voodoo people video while he was working on the guitar. Must confess, that tune has always been a fave of mine.
posted by Samizdata at 7:18 AM on February 26, 2011


Yeah, as far as straight-up misogyny goes, Smack My Bitch Up doesn't hold a candle to Run For Your Life.

And I'll always have a soft spot for Prodigy because of Experience and Music for the Jilted Generation. No Good always gets me in a good mood.
posted by Kattullus at 7:52 AM on February 26, 2011


Meh.
posted by rmmcclay at 8:00 AM on February 26, 2011


I've gotta call this out. I mean, there's "haters gonna hate", and theres's "HATER'S GONNA HATE", but this even goes past that. I really gotta know, man... outside of music you don't like, just what the hell did Liam do to put you in such a negative space about him?

Their "total impact upon society has been negative"? WTF? So you weren't into the rave or electronica scene, is that it? What is it about Liam's work that is so vile for you?
posted by cavalier at 8:21 AM on February 26, 2011


Re: He hit me and it felt like a kiss" performed by Hole.

Who the hell do you think you are, Courtney Love? Listen up, even if you completely discount the rest of her work like Valperga, Perkin Warbeck, and The Last Man, Frankenstein remains a landmark of gothic literature and the wellspring of a major philosophical and cultural trend that maintains its symbolic potency today.

You had a second-rate band that would be next to EMF in the dustbin of history if you hadn't married Kurt Cobain. Where do you get off telling her to go to hell? You go to hell!

So there.
posted by Naberius at 8:32 AM on February 26, 2011


I'm sorry, but when second rate talents decide to dump all over Mary Shelley, a great woman who can't even defend herself, well it just gets my goat, I tell you.
posted by Naberius at 8:33 AM on February 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I find it interesting how people hate on Prodigy so much, yet can praise Eminem so much for being worse, not only in song, but real life. In my eyes and ears, Eminem is the singing version of Andrew Dice Clay, except Andrew Dice Clay was clearly a parody while Eminem is exactly like he pretends to be. While Prodigy uses a clip form another song, and they are "totally negative". Makes no sense. The Prodigy is simply fun to dance to, and i have good memories of doing it too.

The video is neat, and would have been more funny if they had Prodigy performing instead of the Beetles (another band i just don't get the love for). The footage of the crowd is interesting, they seem to be so far away from the band and behind fences for the most part.

healthy, happy (okay, going-batshit-crazy) rock fans, not a tattoo or lip ring in sight.

Wow, that says more about you than them really, because there is no way someone with a tattoo or lip ring can be healthy and happy. :\
posted by usagizero at 8:37 AM on February 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


I thought the rule was if we didn't enjoy the music in the original post, we refrained from commenting?

At least that's how i've been playing it.

If I'm mistaken there's a whole lot of 90's nostalgia posts, landfill indie & stinky jam bands i forgot to diss.
posted by dydecker at 8:43 AM on February 26, 2011


Black Beatles
posted by phoque at 8:45 AM on February 26, 2011


Didn't they pay girls as audience plants to freak out like that?
posted by idiopath at 9:31 AM on February 26, 2011


I thought it was "snap my picture" when I first heard this song on the radio. Regarding the video? ...yeah, dumb.
posted by tamagogirl at 9:43 AM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I was kinda bored. The song is dull, for starters, and once you get the joke, about 30 seconds of this will suffice. There's no need for this to go on as long as it does; there's no punchline at the end.

I spent most of my time thinking that what The Beatles at Shea Stadium needs to be mashed with is Oprah giving away her favorite things...
posted by gern at 10:03 AM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of the interesting things about the video is the state of live music amplification at the time.

There's no way those girls could have even HEARD the band.
posted by empath at 10:08 AM on February 26, 2011


empath: I saw The Prodigy at Brixton in 2005 and it really felt like they were phoning it in: there was an awful lot of yelling into the microphone bigging up the Prodigy and how they were going to play an awesome song that everybody loved next, but everything else seemed a bit half-hearted. I figured they were probably better back in the day..
posted by doop at 11:29 AM on February 26, 2011


Obviously fake. Ringo was never a good enough drummer to pull this song off.

LOL
posted by Sys Rq at 12:17 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know why music always has to bring out such extreme reactions in people. It's just music.

There's some strong evidence that music triggers the brain's pleasure center in similar ways that sex does. It's only natural then, that lots of people will be just as emotionally judgmental, defensive, and just plain difficult regarding musical tastes as they are about sexual issues and sexual identity, even though logically music is quite a different thing.

/ eating food triggers similarly too, which might also explain why threads about dieting and eating disorders tend to be so full of rage.
posted by PsychoKick at 12:46 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't expect everybody to share my tastes & it is a controversial song but I gotta admit I was surprised at the visceral hatred being expressed here, especially since most of it doesn't seem to be aimed at the lyrics but the music, video editing & group as a whole. I think PsychoKick may be onto something here. Curious.
posted by scalefree at 1:19 PM on February 26, 2011


I saw The Prodigy at Brixton in 2005 and it really felt like they were phoning it in

I saw them at the HFStival in DC in 1997, and they were fantastic, saw them again at Ultra in Miami in 2006, and at the 930 club in DC in 2009. Pretty awesome every time.
posted by empath at 1:25 PM on February 26, 2011


The guys in The Prodigy are five such people. Liam Howlett may not be an idiot, but he's spent twenty years trying to prove to everybody that he can be one if he tries hard enough and surrounds himself with enough dullards. And if I hear this stupid, stupid song just one more time, I might just sink into a final reverie of pain and disgust at the wasted and desecrated potential of the human race.
posted by koeselitz at 7:14 AM on February 26


koeselitz, I like you a lot, but may I respectfully suggest that you are wholly impermeable to irony?
posted by Decani at 1:38 PM on February 26, 2011


Also, this. Come ON.
posted by Decani at 1:45 PM on February 26, 2011


doop: "I figured they were probably better back in the day."

I've seen Prodigy "back in the day" (Dublin 1992, in a tent, looking like crusties) and several times since. Their gigs later in the 1990s were better, then there was stasis, then it's been downhill. Would not bother again.

IMHO, of the electronic high-profile gigging bands of that era, rank order of "brilliant" stage shows is descending order is:

Leftfield - only time I've been afraid the sheer force of bass could liquefy my viscera
Daft Punk
Coldcut
Orbital
The Prodigy
Underworld
Fluke
...
Moby
Scooter

--------
As an aside, my Dad saw The Beatles at the Adelphi Cinema in Dublin in 1963. He said it was a good gig.
posted by meehawl at 2:29 PM on February 26, 2011


Makes no sense.

You are reading the hatred spawned from those who were youths in the 90s, now rejecting their childhood memories as infantile. Makes total sense. My generation did it with the 80s until they were, once again, cool as hell. Which most of us knew all along, but somehow felt too guilty to admit. The decade was too fresh in our memories.

The 90s are much the same. Some fantastic stuff, Prodigy included. But the kids lamenting Prodigy in this thread (and I bet 90% of them are under the age of 30) will be singing a different tune in a decade when the 90s are once again hip and cool.

The only thing you can really take away from this sad fact is that young people are stupid as fuck and don't deserve anything nice.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:13 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just so you know, there were a few social rejects like myself who never liked any of that stuff so much even when we were kids.
posted by idiopath at 4:09 PM on February 26, 2011


meehawl, you forgot Rabbit In the Moon.
posted by empath at 4:26 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


This song is going on 20 years old and still gets reactions like this when djs play it. A big chunk of these kids probably were just 2-3 years old when it came out.
posted by empath at 4:33 PM on February 26, 2011


Underworld below half of those bands? Murder!

Everything, Everything is my 'must seriously bang some work out' go to, every single time.
posted by cavalier at 4:40 PM on February 26, 2011


inedible: “As evidenced by the video (watch it the whole way through), the song is meant as a social commentary more than a literal encouragement to smack up bitches.”

Social commentary? Have you actually watched that video? The point of the video is that [OMFG SPOILER] it's a woman that gets trashed, shoots heroin, hits people with a car, has sex with a stripper, etc! Oh wow! So the social commentary is... what? That I was a sexist to assume that it was probably a man doing these things? Sexist against men. It's not only men who do heroin! It's not only men who crash cars and have sex with strippers! Women do stupid crap too! Don't be sexist!

If I wanted 'social commentary' like that, I'd listen to Rush Limbaugh.
posted by koeselitz at 5:01 PM on February 26, 2011


usagizero: “I find it interesting how people hate on Prodigy so much, yet can praise Eminem so much for being worse, not only in song, but real life. In my eyes and ears, Eminem is the singing version of Andrew Dice Clay, except Andrew Dice Clay was clearly a parody while Eminem is exactly like he pretends to be. While Prodigy uses a clip form another song, and they are "totally negative". Makes no sense. The Prodigy is simply fun to dance to, and i have good memories of doing it too... ”

You're totally ignoring the social implications that The Prodigy had as a band. Sure, Liam Howlett was dynamite at cutting and sequencing, and some of the things he does are really fantastic; but for no reason at all, he focused the band's entire career on this machismo nonsense that was huge with a generation of youth. The whole point of the hook is to shock; that's what annoys me. There are some tracks I really like of his, but gradually over time they just all ended up sounding exactly the damned same: that churning jungle thing of "look how awesome and angsty we are."

That's not something that happened in a vacuum, either. The Prodigy were hugely influential, in ways that people haven't really taken account of yet. For example, note that everything bad about so-called "nu metal" came from The Prodigy: the angsty bravado, the joy in being "fucked up," the angry churning about nothing at all. This is The Prodigy's legacy. It's all around us now.
posted by koeselitz at 5:08 PM on February 26, 2011


I wasn't a fan of Prodigy, in fact I used to hate when people threw tracks of theirs on at parties, but that changed after I saw them live. Could have been time/context thing though. They closed out the main stage on Sunday night of the Reading fest (think this was in '02).
Earlier in the day I was crowd surfing and some asshole pulled one of my shoes off and tossed it into the crowd. So I'd spent all afternoon walking around barefoot with my other shoe in my hand, feeling depressed. Around dusk I sat down around a small fire and started talking to a middle-aged married couple who were so amazingly nice. When I told them my shoe sob story the guy apologized for his fellow Brit's actions and insisted on buying me beers. Eventually a drug-dealer wandered by the fire and this guy bought three hits of E, offering me the third. And right about the time that was kicking in, Prodigy took the stage, and I proceed to say fuck it and go dance barefoot in the mud at the bottom of the hill. But they really did put on an energetic show; they were playing with a full band too, not just spinning and sampling.
I even got to have the fun experience of going backstage after the show had ended and digging through a mountain of literally hundreds of shoes that had been flying around all weekend, and found mine at the very bottom.
posted by mannequito at 5:14 PM on February 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


You're totally ignoring the social implications that The Prodigy had as a band. Sure, Liam Howlett was dynamite at cutting and sequencing, and some of the things he does are really fantastic; but for no reason at all, he focused the band's entire career on this machismo nonsense that was huge with a generation of youth. The whole point of the hook is to shock; that's what annoys me. There are some tracks I really like of his, but gradually over time they just all ended up sounding exactly the damned same: that churning jungle thing of "look how awesome and angsty we are."

You're completely taking Prodigy out of its context (raves) and making it into the opposite of what it was.
posted by empath at 5:35 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


the angsty bravado, the joy in being "fucked up," the angry churning about nothing at all.

Uh... You know who else did that? Every other band that ever played a song in the 1990s.

Hell, if you want to point to something insidious with a helluva lot more influence than the Prodigy, how about Oasis for a start?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:05 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: angry churning about nothing at all
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:07 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


empath: "You're completely taking Prodigy out of its context (raves) and making it into the opposite of what it was"

Yeah, that's a good point. Prodigy as a stadium band is one kind of thing, Prodigy in a smaller venue is another. Howlett mixing himself is a whole different and quite sublime thing. I saw him quite literally blow up an entire crowd by running through a bunch of EQ sweeps and malarky then jacking up the output tremendously as he slammed into the Sex Pistols' Pretty Vacant. It was a tremendously accomplished segue. He's really quite a good DJ and knows how to work a crowd.
posted by meehawl at 8:48 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hahaha, HFStival. I was like, "wow, haven't thought about that in years" and then I realized I'm wearing my HFStival 2000 t-shirt. True story.

*looks at shirt* wtf, bloodhound gang? staind? eve 6? I thought I *liked* the music at these concerts...
posted by Riki tiki at 9:29 PM on February 26, 2011


I would urge everyone again to try the much-ignored 'Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned'. It's a whole other side to the Prodigy. Well, Liam.
posted by Summer at 5:50 AM on February 27, 2011


meehawl: "I've seen Prodigy "back in the day" (Dublin 1992, in a tent, looking like crusties) and several times since. Their gigs later in the 1990s were better, then there was stasis, then it's been downhill. Would not bother again."

The Prodigy changed musically quite a lot over that period - they went from loved-up silly happy raviness in Experience through being angry and pissed off post-CJA in MFTJJ, and then wound up doing this whole adolescent punky in-your-face thing from Fat Of The Land onwards: I think it's the latter bit that's not aged well, and it's never been something I've particularly associated with raves, either. I've enjoyed relatively recent Orbital/Underworld/Leftfield gigs in large part because they still have the ability to take me somewhere else - Orbital brought Real Actual Doctor Who onstage for an extra dose of awesome during a set last year and I squealed like a teenage girl in the Beatles video (but with extra glowsticks). When the Prodigy played Out Of Space, it felt like they'd been telegraphing it for the last ten minutes (by yelling into the mike that they were about to do so), as opposed to creating any sort of musical buildup.

I could easily believe they'd be way better in a smaller venue.
posted by doop at 10:04 AM on February 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Smack My Bitch Up is an awesome, melodramatic cock-waggle of a song. It struts.

However, live, Keith Fuckface annoys the lymph out of me, so I hold no brief for this version. And this mash up is a brimming bucket of meh.
posted by Sebmojo at 12:22 PM on February 27, 2011


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