Acclaimed Albums – Dig Your Own Hole by The Chemical Brothers

List item: Listen to the 250 greatest albums
Progress: 226/250Title: Dig Your Own Hole
Artist: The Chemical Brothers
Year: 1997
Position: #217

Well, since a not insubstantial number of people around the world have been spreading the virus via raves, I figured it was time for my own. By myself. At my desk as I work. Okay so it isn’t a rave, more waving my arms around in front my work laptop and collection of plush toys. Should still count for something as I spent a few hours listening to this landmark in electronic music.

Going into this I only really knew ‘Block Rockin’ Beats’ and so was expecting the whole album to keep up with that sort of energy, which might have been a bit much for a full hour. So I was pleasantly surprised every time a more downtempo song came on – such as ‘Where Do I Begin’ which features the recognisable vocals of Beth Orton (who sang one of my favourite songs of all time: ‘Stolen Car’).

‘Setting Sun’ is another clear highlight of the album, which was the first of two number ones that Dig Your Own Hole spawned, and is the loud and brash type of song that I was hoping to find on here. It’s great to have such contrast on an album that is big beat through and through, which will come down to The Chemical Brothers being DJs first and foremost.

Rather than a traditional album, Dig Your Own Hole plays like an excellent DJ set that has been tried and tested in clubs to get the ebbs and flows spot on. In this era of British music where big beat was, for a while, breaking through in a big way thanks to contemporary acts like The Prodigy and Fatboy Slim,  Dig Your Own Hole stands as the most critically acclaimed album. More will emerge when I complete this list and expand it further – but for now I’ll be content with playing this for a while longer.

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