Thursday, 6 December 2012

Massive Attack - Daydreaming / Lately

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 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....

Related Posts

Massive Attack - Daydreaming / Lately
4/ 5


6 December 2012 at 07:57

Simply one of the best albums of all time and definitely in my personal top ten with every track hitting the proverbial spot. Made me very proud to be a Bristolian.

Sounds like you were a little close for comfort during the first Iraq war. Your mention of the stealth bombers reminds me of the unforgettable day one flew right over our house here in the Welsh valleys during the second conflict, even though the government were denying the things were even in the country at the time. Good times, eh?

'Underlying gloom' sounds like Bristol!

6 December 2012 at 09:11

A fabulous fulled goose bump post!!!...I brought the CD back for me by the way..I kept the T-shirt. But it's yours in every way as it was so more important too you than me. What an album I still think 'Unfinished' is worthy of a place in any top 20 all time greats.

6 December 2012 at 11:46

Yeah SB, too close for comfort indeed. It was full of uncertainties like did Sudan have the balls to unleash mustard gas on Jeddah with a US carrier fleet in the Red Sea. Where there any Iraqi agents already imbedded ready to cause havoc once Operation Desert Storm kicked off. Of course that never happened.

Simply put, the best album of my lifetime! I'll stick by that too.

6 December 2012 at 11:48

Whatevs, perhaps you did get it for yourself but I soon claimed it. Where's the original? Definitely my Highway 61.

6 December 2012 at 11:52

I'm going with Blonde on Blonde followed closely by Forever Changes and Astral Weeks...but that today.
I believe you should have it I remember saying to keep it because of the Massive.

6 December 2012 at 19:45

What a fantastic album and a true soundtrack to my life growing up! I was only a little 'un but I also have vivid memories of that time. All the Americans and Brits went back home in fear so from a class of 25, we were left with about 8. 2nd grade classes became an extended recess full of games etc. I also remember the navy guys playing baseball on our field. They were the real deal, proper big boy games like in the states. 2 great tracks but so hard to choose.