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Blue Lines

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Audio CD, June 29, 1992
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Their debut album, Blue Lines (1991), was co-produced by Jonny Dollar and Cameron McVey, who also became their first manager. Massive Attack went on to critical acclaim for their ever-changing line-up of distinctive, often 'ethereal' or whispery guest vocalists, interspersed with Del Naja and Marshall's (initially Tricky's) own,'and other eclectic references, musical and ... Read more in Amazon's Massive Attack Store

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Blue Lines + Mezzanine + Protection
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 29, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin Records
  • ASIN: B000000WHX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,613 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Safe From Harm
2. One Love
3. Blue Lines
4. Be Thankful For What You've Got
5. Five Man Army
6. Unfinished Sympathy
7. Daydreaming
8. Lately
9. Hymn Of The Big Wheel

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


The influence of Bristol, U.K.'s Massive crew on bringing trippy beats to the foreground is immeasurable. Not only were they the early test ground for other alterna-hop stars (ex-clansman Tricky, former songstresses Nicolette and Martina, and the lesser known productionists Smith & Mighty), they've spread their influence to everyone from fellow Bristol residents Portishead to Björk. Blue Lines is Massive's debut record and is the second musical union of Bristol's renowned collective, Wildbunch. The emotional purging and beat-driven orchestral movement of "Unfinished Sympathy" was among the first signs of life in contemporary English trip-hop culture. Other masterpieces, like "Daydreaming," which features Shara Nelson, Tricky, and other friends on the mic, throb with deep, dubby beats and soulful ambiance. Blue Lines marks the beginning of a musical legacy that is ever expanding. --Daniel Shumate

Customer Reviews

Ok, I will stop the praise..only if you buy this album now.
Massive Attack's debut album "Blue Lines" will amaze most any music fan.
Elliott Cobb
The music has kind of a jazzy, reggae, hip hop, techno kind of vibe.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 85 people found the following review helpful By C.F. Stewart on October 30, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Review: Perhaps the smoothest, most rythmic album extant. Hypnotic, controlled, patient...the deep beat gently rocks you; the vocalists sing to you, about you, with you. The timing is pure; the feel natural, organic.
History: With their roots in the Bristol, England, club scene of the early '80s, the members of Massive Attack originated trip-hop, one of the most influential sound sof the '90s, combining the rythmic urgency of hip-hop, the freewheeling samples of the DJ's craft, soul-rich melodies, and dub-reggae's hebty, intoxicating bottom end. The group began in 1983 as a loose collective of singers, rappers, DJs, and producers that stages parties under the name the Wild Bunch. Included in its ranks were Mushroom (Andrew Vowles) and Daddy G (Grant Marshall), as well as Nelleee Hooper (later of Soul II Soul, and a producer for Madonna, Bjork, and others), and Tricky. The Wild Bunch released a 1986 cover of Burt Bacharach's "The Look of Love," which became a European dance-club sensation, just as legal authorities began to clamp down on the Bristol party circuit. In 1987 graffiti artist 3-D (Robert Del Naja) joined Daddy G and Mushroom to form Massive Attack. A series of singles led to the 1991 release of Blue Lines, which featured an array of vocalists--including Shara Nelson, Tricky, and reggae singer Horace Andy--and promoted a somnambulatory beat that ran counter to the hyped-up dance rythms of techno.
Importance: As a revolutionary force in music, this album is in the highest circle--with The White Album, Exile on Main Street, Astral Weeks, The Bends, The Velvet Underground and Nico, and the new Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, by Wilco.
Further Listening: The only Massive Attack album which comes close to the pure form of Blue Lines is Mezzanine. Also, listen to Maxinquae, Tricky's best solo effort, and Dummy by Portishead, the other 'trip-hop' classic.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By "boy_with_the_thorn_in_his_side" on February 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The members (and producers) of Massive Attack will always be known as THE pioneers of the trip-hop genre. Blue Lines swirls with snare drum beats, soft bass guitar, and other instrumentation that flows through and through like a dream of peace and proserity. As one reviewer described the "positive" aspect of this album, Blue Lines is the kind of album that gives inner calm. I relaxed and meditated with this album for months. Massive Attack's debut produces a sedative effect on the listener, like soul food, and even brings back the spirit of the 1960's that everything within should promote your consciousness to being a peacemaker and peacegiver. Songs like "Hymn of the Big Wheel" describe the plight of man's short time on earth and how destiny shapes us all. "Be Thankful For What You've Got" is a motown remake set to a reggae sounding beat and soft record LP scratchin' (used in R&B and rap music), sounding much the same yet with modern vibe. "Unfinished Sympathy", a U.K. hit single from this album is painfully beautiful and lyrically stunning about the lover that hurt you, but yet you still want them back (which fades out with a piano solo) "Like a soul without a mind/ in a body without a heart/ I'm missin' every part" Every song on Blue Lines is a testament to the human existence (sex, love, for richer, for poorer, ecstasy, joy, remorse, jealousy, life...)
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Culver TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 23, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Released in 1990, BLUE LINES was the first LP by Massive Attack, a trio from Bristol that had colloborated together before, with others, as the Wild Bunch. The nine tracks of BLUE LINES hit contemporary music in the gut, creating a new style that was more melodic than hip-hop but still retaining a beat. Combining the soulful singing of Shara Nelson, the rapping of Grant Marshall and Robert Del Naja, and the reggae crooning of Horace Andy, this album was something new and exciting.
More than ten years later, it's still an surprisingly fresh album. "Safe From Harm" deserves radio play still. The dialogue rapping "Daydreaming" continually amazes me. "Unfinished Sympathy" has retained its excitement, and DJs like Sasha still spin it.
Massive Attack's first album, and just as good as the two since released.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By DB on September 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
...I might like it a little better.

There is a good chance you will recognize some of the songs on this disc and not realize it was Massive Attack. I have heard some of the songs on movie soundtracks to commercials. Blue Lines is what I would call "Trip Hop". Trip Hop was more of a result of the 12 inch single boom of the late 80s through the early 90s. Remixers would extend traditional singles and the Trip Hop genre basically came out of that. Massive Attack were one of the first to take this as their style.

Here's the problem, I purchased Mezzanine based on some outside reviews I read. I liked Mezzanine so much I had to get other Massive Attack discs. I was mildly let down, Blue Lines included. Its not because Blue Lines is bad, its because Mezzanine is that good.

If Mezzanine is your first Massive Attack disc and are debating whether to purchase others, my suggestion is to listen to the other Massive Attack discs and purchase the songs you like through download. Blue Lines is a solid effort in Trip Hop.
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