We have a look back at the fascinating tales behind some of our favourite album covers. This time it’s The Fat Of The Land (1997), by The Prodigy.
In a screaming cinder-shower of rave punk fury, The Fat Of The Land was Essex electronic band The Prodigy’s headbutt into mainstream music’s tea party, and catapulted the group to international stardom. The band’s founder Liam Howlett initially asked Alex Jenkins – Art Director at The Prodigy’s label XL Recordings – to design and photograph the cover art as a doner kebab branded with the album’s title. Jenkins submitted the image (see right – detail) to the band for approval but at the eleventh hour Howlett rejected it.
Jenkins scrambled to find a replacement photograph. He ended up sourcing an image of a Gecarcinus lateralis (commonly called a blackback land crab, Bermuda land crab, red land crab or moon crab), shot by German freelance nature photographer Konrad Wothe in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica. The crab is holding its arms up in a ‘threatening’ posture, but Jenkins also digitally enlarged its left claw, giving the impression the crustacean is throwing the English ‘up the establishment’ sign.