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Audio CD, September 30, 1997
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Cowboys 4:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. All Mine 4:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Undenied 4:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Half Day Closing 3:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Over 3:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Humming 6:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Mourning Air 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Seven Months 4:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Only You 4:59$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Elysium 5:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Western Eyes 3:59$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Portishead Store


Image of album by Portishead


Image of Portishead


Portishead are a band from Bristol, England, named after the nearby town of the same name, 12 miles (19 km) west of Bristol.
The band was formed in Bristol, UK in 1991, by Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons and Adrian Utley. After releasing a short film (To Kill a Dead Man) and its accompanying music, Portishead signed a record deal with Go! Beat Records.
Dummy ... Read more in Amazon's Portishead Store

Visit Amazon's Portishead Store
for 18 albums, 12 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Portishead + Dummy + Third
Price for all three: $32.56

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 30, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: September 30, 1997
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Go! Beat / London
  • ASIN: B000003TSP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,755 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The bad news is that there is no "Sour Times" to equal the first album's greatness. Lead single "Cowboys" doesn't do the trick, not with its '50s sci-fi dub vibe and the Yma Sumac stylings of Beth Gibbons. The upside is that this bold sophomore release is, even at this late date in trip-hop's evolution, still startling, thanks to the mix of Geoff Barrow's soundscapes and Gibbons's haunting wail. --Jeff Bateman

Customer Reviews

The whole album is just tight but, the best song to me is Only You.
The Tech Wizard
Definately worth a listen, and if you love Portishead as I do, definately worth the buy.
The music is mystical and dark, with Beth Gibbons emoted vocals, very layered.
Jake Z

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Portishead created a unique sound in their debut "Dummy," combining smoky jazz and trip-hop. So an equally good follow-up was a pretty tall order. Enter the self-titled "Portishead," which ups the eerie noir feel while not abandoning the cool electronic edge. In the months before their return, it seems appropriate to revisit their older material.

"Did you feed us tales of deceit,/Conceal the tongues who need to speak?/Subtle lies and a soiled coin,/The truth is sold, the deal is done," Beth Gibbons intones, sounding like a slightly gleeful robot. That sets the tone for "Portishead," giving it a darker tone than its predecessor -- darker songs, darker vocals, darker music.

The jazz overtones are still there, bubbling up in songs like the distant "Over" and "Seven Months," which sounds strangely like fellow trip-hop artist Emiliana Torrini. Only the downtempo "Over" and softly poppy "Western Eyes" break from this cooler sound, sounding warm and unaltered. The rest of the album is a different story.

Somehow it adds to the noir atmosphere to have darker, colder sounds woven in with the jazzy trip-hop. "Humming" includes a strange background beat that sounds exactly as you would imagine a UFO. This dark, experimental edge makes it a bit harder to get into than their debut album, but when you do get into it, it's almost frighteningly intense.

The jazzy percussion is one of the first things you notice about this, paired with horns and thick synth. It's surprisingly heady to listen to. Also cold and distant -- which seems appropriate, since the simple lyrics focus on loneliness, melancholy, sadness and loss ("Why should I forgive you,/After all that I've seen,/Quietly whisper,/When my heart wants to scream?").
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Jordan Hyman on September 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD
It is pretty widely said that Portishead's self-titled second album is okay but not as good as Dummy. Let me say that my point of view tends not to be so wide.

If you were a lover of Dummy tracks like "Sour Times" and "Roads", you will be disappointed with this album. But if you dug the styles of tunes like "Wandering Star" and "Pedestal", then you should do yourself a big favor and buy this album if you haven't yet. There's absolutely no way you'll regret it. Because, for me, Portishead's Portishead is one of the greatest albums ever released.

Dummy was filled with creative "songs". You know, song-like structures and things you can listen to out of context of the rest of the album. But what separates this from Dummy is that you won't find "songs". What you'll find is about an hour of beautiful, haunting, mind-altering MUSIC. There's no better fuel for meditation, creativity, conversation or even tripping than "Portishead". This music puts you into another world against your will to have you chewed up and spit out. Listening to this album in its entirity is more of an experience than you'll be able to find in most places. And those who have not had this experience are sad, sad people who stare at the floor when they walk and pass you with an aura of uncoolness.

The eclectic beat (changing from pure trip-hop in Undenied to an indie garage flavor in Half Day Closing) keeps you moving through its swaying motion into its abyss of uniquely layered melodies and sounds (oddly distorted guitars, a heart-rumbling bass, morbid pianos, and effects lifted straight from old noir flicks and 50's sci-fi vibes) with the great icing of Beth Gibbons vocals that you'll swear is a ghost living inside of your head.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Metalgazer on April 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD
There's nothing like Portishead and nothing like their 2nd album. Its darker, creepier, and more haunting than the first. The entire album has an overal similar sound which makes for a more themed and theatrical sonic experience. I like this better than the first album which had the obvious singles and dabblings in various spectrums of trip-hop which now resembles everyone from tricky to morcheeba. However on this 2nd release, Portishead holds their own, establishing their own trademarked sound: an eerie, slow-paced death-orchestra led by a sultry singer with a heart of black-gold. This music will get into your brain and eat away like bad acid. Exquisite production and smart use of turntables. From the intro of eerie high pitched twinklings over a heartbeat that lead into twangy strums of electric guitar and record scratching, to the last song which ends with the sampled vocals of an old bluesman pining about hookers and gin, this is a masterpiece recording. Goes well with a late-night martini and captures the dreary mood of a cool, misty morning in Autumn just after it has rained and the fog is still hanging in the air...
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Murena Jr. on February 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Portishead is classic musique-noir album that is beyond description. Its hauntingly fractured beats with "loungey" inspiration and Gibbon's emotive vocals which range from despair to mocking to exhilaration form into one of the most unique sounds. Though arguably theatrical at times, this is an album that has and will continue to amaze. I was a casual listener to "Dummy", Portishead's first, but upon buying this album in 1998 I was in rapture: this music is moving. Sounding like a 1940's nightclub or 1960's lounge at times and then quickly moving to sounds that sound like a SoHo art club and then switching to a mood like that 4 AM telephone call with some girl who is just too close to the edge, the sheer range and feel of this album is fantastic.

One thing that is terrific about this album is that it can be played the whole way through making it a great soundtrack to a cool party or a long drive to nowhere. Its jazzy smooth yet jarring sound is good morning noon and night. If you don't own this album yet you are years late but don't worry, its not dated and it will provide great enjoyment for years to come.

-- Ted Murena
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