Although his remix of Cornershop's Brimful of Asha topped the charts in 1997, this was Norman Cook's first solo No 1. Cook's earlier records were favourites at Big Beat's ground zero, London's Heavenly Social nightclub. Cook was its populist, his tunes evoking laddish hedonism. One live show attracted 250,000 people to a free show on Brighton beach in 2002.
Gareth Grundy is deputy editor of the Observer Food Monthly. A former deputy editor of the Observer Music Monthly, he also writes about pop for the New Review