|Norman "Jacker-Of-All-Genres" Cook, in addition to his former occupations as bassist for the Housemartins and one third of acid-house hitmakers Pizzaman, is also the man behind one of the most popular of the new flock of English "brit hop" producers, Fatboy Slim. Releasing his Fatboy material through club staple Skint, Cook's raucous blend of house, acid, funk, hip-hop, electro, and techno has added to his already formidable reputation as one of the foremost all-around producers on the U.K. club scene. Born in Bromley on July 13, 1963, Cook joined the Hull-based pop group the Housemartins in 1986, replacing founding member Ted Key. After the group split the following year, Cook became involved with the burgeoning acid-house scene, pairing with producers Tim Jeffery and JC Reid toward the end of the decade to form Pizzaman.
The trio nailed three Top 40 hits together ("Trippin' on Sunshine," "Sex on the Streets," and "Happiness") before Cook splintered off to record with similarly-styled outfits Freakpower and Beats International in the early '90s. He's shut most of his other production acitivities down in recent years to focus on his latest incarnation, Fatboy Slim, which to date includes a trio of singles and the full-length Better Living Through Chemistry. Cook was also called in to add his remixing skills to Jean-Jacques Perrey's proto-electronica classic "Eva," released as a 12-inch and CD single in 1997. In addition to his FBS work, Cook also recorded the Skip to My Loops sample CD, a popular studio tool sporting a melange of sample-ready drum loops, analog squelches, and assorted noises.
In early 1998, his remix of Cornershop's "Brimful of Asha" spent several weeks at number one in the British charts. Fatboy Slim's eagerly anticipated second LP You've Come a Long Way Baby followed later that year. The album went platinum in the US and spawned two international hits, "The Rockafeller Skank" and "Praise You," which also boasted a Spike Jonze-directed video that earned three MTV Video Music Awards as well as two Grammy nominations. "The Rockafeller Skank," "Praise You" and other songs from You've Come a Long Way, Baby ended up on countless soundtracks and commercials, cementing Fatboy Slim's unique position as a critically acclaimed and immensely popular act. Cook also recorded several mix albums, including the first disc of the Radio 1 compilation Essential Selection, Vol. 1 and his own On the Floor at the Boutique.
The latter was released domestically in the US in early 2000 to help fans withstand the wait for his third album, Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars, which arrived that fall. ~ Sean Cooper, All Music Guide