Recollection Collection......musical memories recalled with affection!
Massive Attack - 'Lately' (1991)
My dad came back from a business trip sometime in 1991 and instead of a lousy t-shirt he got me Massive Attack's Blue Lines.
Living in Saudi Arabia you were always a good few months behind on the latest music, so I couldn't wait to hear it as I had read so much about it. And it absolutely blew my mind....it changed everything for me, Hip Hop, Soul, Reggae, Dub, capturing for the first time, all the forms of music I loved. There's this underlying gloom throughout the album yet it still remains hopeful and the songs are perfectly crafted together one after another. From the rumbling bass of 'Safe From Harm' to the hopeful 'Hymn of the Big Wheel' and not to mention the goose pimple inducing classic of 'Unfinished Sympathy'.
|Blue Lines, Bristol's finest!|
At the time my copy of Blue Lines, Massive Attack were called only Massive, this was apparently due to the 1st Gulf War coinciding with the album's release (how inconvenient). It certainly wasn't helped by the fact that Saddam Hussein had billed his war as 'the mother of all battles' with the 'Coalition of the Willing's' military juggernaut building up on his doorstep, there was indeed a very good chance of a 'Massive Attack'. A tad inappropriate then, so probably a wise move dropping the 'Attack' bit until everyone cooled off.
For a 16 year old red blooded boy however, it was a pretty exciting time. Our school was adjacent to Jeddah airport and every morning we would see positioning B52's, tankers and Stealth Bombers take off and land. The bus ride into school would be dominated with conversations on contingency plans to thwart the advance of an Iraqi mechanised division. At home we were advised to purchase gas masks and tape our windows in case Sudan (across the Red Sea) would deliver a Scud surprise. Then there was the merchandise, you couldn't be seen without your Operation Desert Shield cups, hats, t-shirts, and even having to upgrade to Operation Desert Storm when the war began and because it sounded better. When it finally all kicked off, school was cancelled for a week, which was an absolute bonus. It meant we could all stay at home and gather round the television to see, for the first time, 'live war' with CNN's 24 hour coverage. Including the Saudi fighter pilot who was welcomed back to base with a jet shaped cake, for shooting down a couple of fleeing Iraqi Migs, the country's first 'Kill', treated like a sporting event. Oh, what a lovely war! All a bit gruesome in hindsight I suppose, considering the amount of devastation unleashed but it was a remarkable time that will always live with me.
Massive Attack - 'Daydreaming' (1991)
Nov 20th 2012 saw the re-release of that vintage album which, in my eyes, the Bristol sound was the blueprint for UK dance music. With no bum track on the album, it was never an easy choice to pick a favourite but I have a real soft spot for 'Lately', with Shara Nelson's dulcet tones on a relationship turned sour. And 'Daydreaming' with 3D, Daddy G and Tricky's hushed rhyming, a trademark Massive Attack sound. They are currently in the studio recording the follow up to 2010's excellent Heliogoland.
Official site here....
Massive Attack - Daydreaming / Lately
4/ 5Oleh flycasual