Blue Lines

Blue Lines

5.0 3
by Massive Attack
     
 

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With brooding, dub-inflected bass lines and a committee of distinctive voices, this 1991 recording established the template for what is often called trip-hop. The group is the dominant wing of the Wild Bunch, a DJ crew from which Soul II Soul sprang some years earlier. Massive Attack, however, favored slower tempos and an artfully mellow,See more details below

Overview

With brooding, dub-inflected bass lines and a committee of distinctive voices, this 1991 recording established the template for what is often called trip-hop. The group is the dominant wing of the Wild Bunch, a DJ crew from which Soul II Soul sprang some years earlier. Massive Attack, however, favored slower tempos and an artfully mellow, rather than pop-influenced, sound. This recording is hypnotic when Tricky raps or Horace Andy sings and cathartic when Shara Nelson breaks the mood on the up-tempo, piercing "Unfinished Sympathy." Both Nelson and Tricky went on to solo careers, and Blue Lines proved influential to groups like Portishead and Esthero as well as numerous deejays who discovered how much more less could be.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
The first masterpiece of what was only termed trip-hop much later, Blue Lines filtered American hip-hop through the lens of British club culture, a stylish, nocturnal sense of scene that encompassed music from rare groove to dub to dance. The album balances dark, diva-led club jams along the lines of Soul II Soul with some of the best British rap (vocals and production) heard up to that point, occasionally on the same track. The opener "Safe From Harm" is the best example, with diva vocalist Shara Nelson trading off lines with the group's own monotone (yet effective) rapping. Even more than hip-hop or dance, however, dub is the big touchstone on Blue Lines. Most of the productions aren't quite as earthy as you'd expect, but the influence is palpable in the atmospherics of the songs, like the faraway electric piano on "One Love" (with beautiful vocals from the near-legendary Horace Andy). One track, "Five Man Army," makes the dub inspiration explicit, with a clattering percussion line, moderate reverb on the guitar and drums, and Andy's exquisite falsetto flitting over the chorus. Blue Lines isn't all darkness, either -- "Be Thankful for What You've Got" is quite close to the smooth soul tune conjured by its title, and "Unfinished Sympathy" -- the group's first classic production -- is a tremendously moving fusion of up-tempo hip-hop and dancefloor jam with slow-moving, syrupy strings. Flaunting both their range and their tremendously evocative productions, Massive Attack recorded one of the best dance albums of all time.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/29/1992
Label:
Virgin Records Us
UPC:
0077778622826
catalogNumber:
86228
Rank:
6357

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Massive Attack   Primary Artist,Vocals
Horace Andy   Vocals
Tony Bryan   Vocals
Paul Johnson   Bass Guitar
Shara Nelson   Vocals
Tricky   Vocals
Gavyn Wright   Leader
Robert "3D" del Naja   Vocals
Grant "Daddy G" Marshall   Vocals
Andrew "Mushroom" Vowles   Keyboards
Mikey General   Background Vocals
Johnny Dollar   Keyboards
Wil Malone   Conductor

Technical Credits

Wally Badarou   Composer
James Brown   Composer
Massive Attack   Composer,Producer
Horace Andy   Composer
William DeVaughn   Composer
Neneh Cherry   Arranger,Composer
Shara Nelson   Composer
Kevin Petrie   Engineer
Robert "3D" del Naja   Composer
Andrew "Mushroom" Vowles   Composer
William E. Cobham   Composer
Clyde Williams   Composer
Mushroom   Composer
Horace Hinds   Composer
Grantley Marshall   Composer
Gus Redmond   Composer
Johnny Dollar   Producer
Jonathan Sharp   Composer
R. Del Naja   Composer
G. Marshall   Composer

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