Exit Planet Dust

[ release details ]
Released 15th April 1995
[ cover ]

[ tracklisting ]
UK/US/Japan CD
Junior Boy's Own / Freestyle Dust / Virgin Records (UK/Europe/Japan), XDUSTCD1 (Japan catalogue number unknown)
Astralwerks ASW (US) 6157-2
 01 Leave Home (5:32)
 02 In Dust We Trust (5:17)
 03 Song To The Siren (3:16)
 04 Three Little Birdies Down Beats (5:38)
 05 Fuck Up Beats (1:25)
 06 Chemical Beats (4:50)
 07 Chico's Groove (4:48)
 08 One Too Many Mornings (4:13)
 09 Life Is Sweet (6:33)
 10 Playground For A Wedgeless Firm (2:31)
 11 Alive Alone (5:16)

Junior Boy's Own (UK), XDUSTLP1
Astralwerks ASW (US) 6157-6
 A1 Leave Home (5:32)
 A2 In Dust We Trust (5:17)
 B1 Song To The Siren (3:16)
 B2 Three Little Birdies Down Beats (5:38)
 B3 Fuck Up Beats (1:25)
 B4 Chemical Beats (4:50)
 C1 Life Is Sweet (6:33)
 C2 Playground For A Wedgeless Firm (2:31)
 D1 Chico's Groove (4:48)
 D2 One Too Many Mornings (4:13)
 D3 Alive Alone (5:16)

UK/Europe Cassette
Junior Boy's Own / Freestyle Dust / Virgin Records (UK/Europe), XDUSTMC 1

UK/Europe Minidisc
Junior Boy's Own / Freestyle Dust / Virgin Records (UK/Europe), XDUSTMD 1
 Mini disc released on 30th October 2000.

European Sampler CD also released to promote the album, called "Exit Planet Dust (CD sampler fete du disque)", by Virgin Records, Europe.
 01 If You Kling To Me I'll Klong You  (5:24)
 02 Chico's Groove (Mix 2)  (4:01)

[ information ]

"Alive Alone" featured Beth Orton on vocals. 

"Life Is Sweet" featured Tim Burgess from the Charlatans on vocals. According to Tom Rowlands, this is how the track with Burgess came about "We were at the Heavenly Sunday Social one time and Tim was about, and we were just sitting there talking to him. We did that mix of "Patrol" ages ago, and we knew he was really into us so we thought why not get him down to the studio. So he came down and had his cans of Guinness and came up with this surreal lyric about going shopping and walking his dog, over this funky weird music we'd already recorded."

"Leave Home" was named after a Ramones album, when a mate of the Chems said the tune captured the spirit of the punk classic.

The origin of the title of "Playground for a Wedgeless Firm" is described by Tom Rowlands "We were driving back from DJ'ing at Golden in Stoke at about seven in the morning once, in this old, falling apart car. We had no money cos we managed to spend everything we'd been paid as soon as we got it, so we were complaining that we were totally wedgeless. So this was our playground, in the back of a Renault 14".

"Song To The Siren" derives its title from This Mortals Coil's recording of Tim Buckley's song.

"One Too Many Mornings" takes its title from the Bob Dylan song of the same name.

The cover of the album was from a '70's fashion shoot reject box, according to Ed Simons. In a 1995 interview with Select Magazine, Ed says "we wanted something that just looked nice. A lot of techno albums just have fractals on them, and we wanted something a bit more romantic and otherworldly with soft, nice colours. Its the wrong way round as well - intentionally. If me and Tom are in that picture we're in the car going "Oh she's alright, I wish I had a guitar on my back with her." That would rank as one of the good things in life. Originally we had this pregnant woman in a field wearing this white see-though dress, like a flake advert gone wrong. But we couldn't use it because the unborn child could have sued us". Another image from the same fashion photoshoot was used as one of the images on the interior of the "Dig Your Own Hole" sleeve.

In January 2002, Muzik Magazine published what its writers defined as the 50 best dance albums of all time. DJ Shadow topped the list, with his seminal "Endtroducing" from 1996. Number 2 in the chart was The Chemical Brothers 1995 debut "Exit Planet Dust". Click here to read the accompanying article about "Exit Planet Dust".

[ reviews ]

select [ "Dust's the way we like it"]

In the name of all that which does not suck...You might not know it, but in the last six months The Chemical (ne Dust) Brothers have had a rough time. Their star ascended last year via a DJ residency at Heavenly's pub beano, the Sunday Social, and via apocalyptically-noisy remixes of stuff like Primal Scream's "Jailbird" and The Prodigy's "Voodoo People". By the end of the summer the duo had completed their debut album. Then the shit hit the fan.
First off, this unlikely, Beavis and Butthead-esque pair - speccy Tom Rowlands and the heroically AC/DC T-shirt sporting Ed Simons - were getting bugged by all these suits flashing about densely-printed contracts. Whose wedge should they take? It dragged on. Then the American hip hop producers whose name they borrowed as a homage started leaning on them to return it, pronto. Legal hassle, man, this wasn't what it was all about.
So, this debut LP has been sitting around, gathering what-we-can't-say-anymore for some months now. In such an onward thrusting area of pop as theirs, it could easily sounded passe by now, but it's equally easy to be taken in by Tom n' Ed's regular-geezer attitude and claims of incompetence on the decks. By the end of side one of "Exit Planet Dust", you can see why even David Bowie is queing up for a remix. 
"Leave Home" kicks it off with a  (perhaps ironic) "Bothers Gonna Work It Out" sample. From there, its a continuously-mixed, exhibition display of Schooly-D-meets-Dave Clarke mayhem - juggernaut hip hop beats, thrumming basslines, Kojak sirens, guitar noize and, well, indie samples - including the Liz Cocteau-appropriating "Song to the Siren" and the mightly "Chemical Beats".
The Brothers' genre-defying feats have seen them linked with the beardy Mo'Wax crew, but there's no abstraction here. The Chemical's peculiar talent is to make technologically-generated music sound like it was played live by a bunch of pissed musicians.
It's the sort of dirty, funky stuff you can play air guitar to, but then on side two the Brothers suddenly come all over like a pair of girl's blouses. The pace slows right down with "Chico's Groove" and "One Too Many Mornings", and then - a real pop song, as "Life Is Sweet" features the oddly muffled vocal powers of The Charlatans' Tim Burgess.
"Alive Alone", meanwhile, sung by Beth Orton of Red Snapper, is adjacent to Massive Attack's "Hymn To The Big Wheel" in its sweet mood and epic scale, but with a snide twist - "I'm alive, I'm alone" Beth coos, "and I never wanted to be either of those." Yikes.
So whether it's a case of dance finally having its perfect indie band, or vice versa, who cares - the chancers have got away with it. Cool, uh-huh-huh...


Having established a cultish DJ-ing, remixing and singles-releasing reputation, Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons generated as many column inches when The Dust Brothers in America wanted their name back. The re-christened Chemical Brothers now find themselves bona fide Top 20 chart stars with Leave Home, although their debut album is still too much of a technohead's wet dream to convert the masses just yet. The opening seven tracks are mixed together to form a seamless, electro-gliding whole, the Brothers showing their ability to weave hip hop breakbeats and techno thumping, before everything subsides for the lush, chilled-out One Too Many Mornings. Thereafter Life Is Sweet and Alive Alone show off the boys' rock roots, built as they are around proper melodies and suitably starry-eyed guest vocals from The Charlatans' Tim Burgess and William Orbit's associate, Beth Orton respectively. But rest assured the Brothers didn't choose a drug-related appendage so that they could be the next Pet Shop Boys.

darkshadow (Australian music website)

While we're here on the dance thang here at Chester it's time to ponder The Chemical's 'Exit Planet Dust' much praised debut LP. Yes, yes it's been out for over a year but it's been re-issued here in Australia because of a label swap and 'Leave Home' being used in Coke and breakfast cereal commercials (erm, Nutra Grain to be precise). Dubious endorsements aside that track is fairly typical of what's on offer here - heavy bass, brain throbbingly loud drums, plus plenty of in your face scratching, sampling and riffing. It's not until track seven that the pace lessons with 'Chico's Groove', and then 'One to Many Mornings' with the delightful Berth Orton lending a voice. Next is the album's most memorable, and conventional (in a pop song sense) moment - Life is Sweet - with Tim Burgess from the Charlatans lending his low key vocals. The Chemical Brothers have obviously come a long way; from their debut single 'Song to the Siren' (included here), DJ'ing at the Heavenly Social, name changes (they used to be called the Dust Brothers, until threats from the US act) and being remixes to the stars. Now the boys are stars themselves, as their new single and UK #1 'Setting Sun' proved. How they've done it is anyone's guess, but the brothers have definitely worked it out.