The creators of trip-hop, British band Massive Attack have a talent for slow grooves and sexy beats. This year they released a remastered edition of their landmark record Blue Lines.
Here’s the song “Protection” featuring Tracey Thorn from Blue Lines 2012.
Influenced by hip-hop, funk, dub and psych rock Massive Attack started out as a collective of producers, DJs and musicians in 1983.
They called themselves The Wild Bunch. Hosting parties and making new music, this group included future electronic music legends like Grant Marshall (Daddy G), Tricky, Mushroom (Andrew Vowles) and Nellee Hooper (Soul II Soul).
The first single from The Wild Bunch was a 1986 Burt Bacharach cover of “The Look of Love.” In 1987 3-D (Robert Del Naja) took Daddy G and Mushroom aside to become Massive Attack. Blue Lines was the band’s first full-length in 1991.
“Be Thankful for What You Got” is a song that’s always meant a lot to me. The title is one of the three life rules I set down for myself two decades ago.
1. Be your own safety and security.
2. Life is what you make it.
3. Be Thankful for What You’ve Got.
Here the original version of “Be Thankful for What You’ve Got” from Blue Lines.
After the remix collection No Protection the band released their second full-length Mezzanine in 1998.
This record hit the charts in the U.S. and the U.K. with its completely unique mix of psychedelic rock and electronics. For years I’ve recommended it to people who love rock and want to give electronic music a try. It’s a gateway album.
There are absolutely brilliant songs on Mezzanine: “Dissolved Girl”, “Inertia Creeps”, “Teardrop”, “Rising Son” and “Angel.”
Mushroom left the band after the box set Singles 90/98 came out. And Marshall (Daddy G) soon took leave to be with his family. 3-D (Del Naja) continued on by recruiting Neil Davidge. They released 100th Window in 2003 and started scoring films together.
The fifth full-length Heligoland was much more downtempo than the abrasive 100th Window.
Heligoland was also more melancholy than fans of Mezzanine were hoping for. Some gorgeous new songs were on the release. “Babel” featured Tricky vocalist Martina Topley-Bird.
The most compelling song was “Paradise Circus” with guest singer Hope Sandoval from Mazzy Star.
This November 19th Massive Attack release a 21st anniversary remix edition of their landmark album Blue Lines as well as a deluxe box set collection. More info at massiveattack.com.
Tune in to DJ Michele Myers Friday nights at 9pm on KEXP radio, kexp.org. Music historian and producer, Michele’s made over 200 radio stories for KEXP Documentaries. She’s also written scripts, lesson plans and features for Experience Music Project, University of Washington and NPR.