The Prodigy have been able to balance techno artistic merit and mainstream visibility for over a decade. Front man Keith Flint helped the group cross over to the mainstream of pop music with offering an exceptional live performance that copied the original atmosphere of the British rave scene while still throwing in some arena-rock showmanship and punk theatrics. Flint's spiky hairstyle and numerous piercing made the band seem more punk than techno, but producer Liam Howlett's studio work helped launch the Prodigy to the top of the charts. A mix of hard-hitting break beat techno with pop style hooks and unmistakable samples made the group marketable to pop/rock audiences as well as dance floor ones throughout the '90s. They began in '91 with Charley and recorded at least one album a year, sometimes two or three, ever since. They released Smack My Bitch Up and Firestarter, both in '97. Both albums brought on extreme popularity, videos, radio airplay, and American recognition for the band. They continued to tour and create music without taking a breather up to their latest releases, Hotride and Spitfire, in 2005.
Bringing a hardcore, rugged, pierced, tattooed persona to techno music, the Prodigy was able to de-wimp a genre that had been long considered the realm of skinny, dorky guys making music in their basements and never seeing the light of day. Lead singer Keith Flint gave American and UK fans a taste of bad-ass techno that still lingers today.