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Dummy Import

4.6 out of 5 stars 363 customer reviews

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Dummy (Non UK Version)
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Audio CD, Import, October 18, 1994
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$10.22
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$10.22 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

11-track version includes 'It's a Fire' not featured on the 10-track version. Universal. 1994.

Amazon.com

The collaboration of studio whiz Geoff Barrow and singer Beth Gibbons, Dummy was made at the same time as a short film noir called "To Kill a Dead Man," and the same approach--gloomy, tormented, and wildly melodramatic--permeates the album. "Sour Times" (the hit in which Gibbons cries, again and again, "Nobody loves me, it's true") and the more cryptic "Glory Box" are the linchpins of the album, defining its sound: dark flashes of old soul and film music, dehumanized electronic bleeps, Gibbons emoting like she's consumed by shame, and a bass-and-beat pulse derived from the slow bump and grind of the Bristol scene that spawned Barrow's old collaborators, Massive Attack. --Douglas Wolk
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 18, 1994)
  • Original Release Date: October 18, 1994
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Go! Beat
  • ASIN: B000001FI7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (363 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,345 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is definitely another five-star item from me. Every time I listen to it, no matter how long it's sat in my CD shelf (forgotten, but only temporarily and never for too long), I am constantly surprised by how great it is...ahh the joy of "rediscovering" a favorite.
Dark and moody, much of the album sounds like a memory...of a place you've been once, or a movie you saw, or music you heard as you drove by an open window or door late one night in the city. Some of it is incredibly sexy (like "Numb," "Pedestal," and the awesome "Glory Box"), other parts are mournful (like "Biscuit," "Sour Times," "It's a Fire," and "It Could Be Sweet"), and still more are mysterious or just plain funky ("Mysterions" and "Strangers").
It's really hard to pick a favorite song on this album...almost all of them perfectly fit different moods I have at different times. They seem to encompass an incredibly vast range of modern urban sensitivities. "Sour Times" is, of course, wonderfully reminiscent of a moody classic spy flick while a song like "Strangers" bounces back and forth between an intense, pulsing beat like a walk through the club district of a large city and gentle, delicate interludes like the dawn over the Sea of Japan.
My least favorite is "Wandering Star," which I think is a bit too repetative, but even that I'm willing to listen to without much complaint.
Smoothly sexy, definitely modern, and particularly urban, *Dummy* is a classic and well worth your time and money.
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Format: Audio CD
If it wasn't for Portishead's vocalist Beth Gibbons, you could listen to Dummy all of the time. With tight, fresh hip-hop beats and a subtle jazz flavor, most of Dummy is danceable, although the band do have a knack for creating an especially eerie mood with moaning organs and swelling strings. But when Gibbons enters the scene, her clear delicate vibrato casts a shadow of isolation and absolute melancholy over the whole album.
Portishead easily draw you into their lonely world, and their ambient trip-hop entices you to stay. Songs like "Numb" and "Biscuit" are dark trances enduced by the combination of hip-hop, mellow guitars, and a variety of samples coated by Gibbon's desperate pleas for salvation. Hearing her cry, "Nobody loves me, it's true" (from the superhit "Sour Times") is enough to tear at anyone's heart.
On "Roads" - a track already enveloped in sorrowful elegant strings - Gibbon's soprano trembles with pain. However, the twisted lounge acts, "Strangers" and "Pedestal" feature very soulful and powerful vocals accompanied by some excellent jazz performances.
The last track, "Glory Box", is Portishead in full blow. Over a sample from Isaac Hayes' "Ike's Rap III" and a slinky blues guitar, Gibbons duels with herself as she tries to justify a relationship. She first comes off as a contemptuous Billie Holiday and then switches back to her sweet, sad self as she pleads, "Give me a reason to love you/ I just want to be a woman."
By all means, Dummy is an essential album for trip-hop fans and beginners. A definite keeper.
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Format: Audio CD
Portishead's miraculous debut, Dummy, is soul music in the truest sense of the word, a journey into the heart of darkness which leaves you emotionally exhausted and bewildered, but ultimately intoxicated. Beth Gibbons' voice is white light refracted through a shattered psyche: at times pure, resonant and beautiful, at others desperate, hysterical and bordering on the deranged. The music is often suffocating, the power of the bass seeping into the marrow of your bones, while the breakbeats attempt to destroy your eardrums: the sound of sanity disintegrating.
Mysterons steals into your consciousness like an electronic dream, but it is Sour Times that really kicks you awake, full-on John Barryesque orchestration attacks your senses, providing Beth with a backdrop to enchant you with her siren's song, "Nobody loves me, it's true - not like you do". The album descends into the depths for much of the middle period, Wandering Star and Numb darkly funereal shards of fear and despair. Then there is Roads, the album's masterpiece. As Beth croons "Can't anybody see, we've got a war to fight" the violins slowly build into an unbearably beautiful torchsong which tries to steal your heart, and very nearly succeeds. Pedestal and Biscuit are the comedown, the 3am stoned lullabies. Then, just as you're drifting off to another world, Glorybox glides into focus, Beth in full Eartha Kitt mode, imploring someone "Give me a reason to love you, give me a reason to be a woman". A fantastically drunken guitar solo then ushers in a change of pace, a crash of drums and a promise: "This is the beginning of forever and ever..." As Isaac Hayes' strings fade into the dawn and if you've been paying attention, I defy you not to feel a little fragile.
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Format: Audio CD
I am a recovering trip-hop addict. For about a 4 years I ate up just about anything with the words trip-hop or downbeat attached to it. Sure there was a lot of quality albums there from groups like Massive Attack, Portishead, and the first Tricky album, but there was also a lot of [stuff] like the Sneaker Pimps and every other Tricky album. Now I know better. Just because somethings slow and dark doesn't necessarily mean its brilliant.
Portishead is different though. Beth Gibbons backs up the dark music and lyrical gloom with the most beuatifully raspy alto I've ever heard. There are more samples than I can possibly count but they all seem to blend together so tightly that you could swear that this album was recorded by studio musicians (I meant that as a compliment). Theyre self titled album is great too, but i dont think that it or any other album in the genre could ever surpass Dummy.
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