gone from streaming. Time to buy CDs…

The Prodigy Experience is seared indelibly on to my brain. It was played relentlessly in my sixth form common room, when the upper sixth had control of The Ghetto Blaster Of Power. Every single day, we were regaled by tales of how someone was “gon’ send him to outta space” and “cruise at hyper speed”.

We heard Charly’s sagely advice: “Always tell your mummy before you go off somewhere”. And we were informed to “wind it up”. Repeatedly. Daily. Until those songs got stuck in our heads and invaded our every waking moment.

Surprisingly, this experience did not sour me to The Prodigy for life. When a track rocks up in surprise fashion when I’m streaming music, I’m transported back to relatively carefree days rather than having a Pavlovian reaction that makes me want to rip a non-existent tape from my HomePod and then smash it to pieces with an unreasonably large hammer.

In short, my Prodigy Experience experience did not wind me up. Which is ironic in a sense, given that Wind It Up is now MIA online.
The Pr di y Exp ri nce
Every day. For an entire school year.
I noticed this recently when noodling around on Apple Music, spotting The Prodigy Experience in the recommendations and giving it a click. The Hordes of Jericho’s head-bobbing breakbeats blasted forth. Then the thonk thonk thonk and mildly irritating “one, two, three, four” of Music Reach. Next, a very ’90s piano over the top of someone repeatedly singing “Your Love”, as if a lyrics machine had got stuck. And then— hang on! What happened to Wind It Up?
Having decided I was having a senior moment, I headed to a rip of my own The Prodigy Experience CD that I totally don’t have on my Mac, because bafflingly it’s still technically against the law to format-shift CDs in the UK. [Whew! – Legal Ed.] And there it was: Wind It Up. Hmmm.
I headed downstairs to the living room, where piles of CDs now sit dusty and unloved on the top shelf of our bookcases, because my wife doesn’t want to part with them. Sure enough, my digital copy wasn’t a glitch. Wind It Up was on the CD. I wasn’t going mad, which I decided at my age was a bonus, and in celebratory fashion danced around a bit to Out of Space, before slightly hurting my back.
To CD or not to CD
Not got the CD? There’s always this distorted mess from a live gig. ‘Yay.’
Duly chastised at having had the audacity to partake in physical movement rather than remain in front of my keyboard [Quite right, too – Ed.], I headed online for some top-notch detective work. Or, you know, searched online for what had happened to Wind It Up. And… found no answers. It’s just gone. Gone from Apple Music. Gone from Spotify. Presumably, there’s a licensing issue and it’ll return at some point, but, well, who knows?
For my wife, this was vindication: our CDs are always there, if we need them. For my elderly parents, a similar sense of satisfaction, in continuing to buy physical albums, which they also totally don’t then rip to their Macs, because that would clearly be wrong, in the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Stupid Law Stuck In The Previous Millennium.
As for me, it’s another lesson in the fragility of digital music. And with millions of tracks available on streaming, it’s harder to spot when something’s removed than it is on Xbox Cloud Gaming or Netflix. The Prodigy Experience experience I want is the full one, not one full of holes. So I’m now tempted to start buying CDs again. Although obviously not then putting them on my Mac, because I don’t want a knock on the door from the police. And I don’t mean the one featuring Sting.

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