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Portishead CD


Price: £4.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Amazon's Portishead Store

Music

Image of album by Portishead

Photos

Image of Portishead

Biography

Portishead are a band from Bristol, England, named after the nearby town of the same name, 12 miles (19 km) west of Bristol.
History
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
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Frequently Bought Together

Portishead + Dummy + Third
Price For All Three: £17.36

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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Jun. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Universal / Island
  • ASIN: B000003TSP
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,307 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Cowboys 4:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. All Mine 4:00£0.99  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 (Album Version) 4:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Elysium 5:54£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Western Eyes 3:59£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

With Dummy, their 1994 debut, Portishead not only created a classic of turntable-derived soul, but defined their sound so exhaustively as to spawn a host of imitators. So what to do for a follow-up? As it happened, the answer was simple--refine the template. This self-titled album simply ups the ante on everything that made their debut so special: the brooding sense of menace, that deep streak of romantic fatalism. Much is made of the cinematic quality of Portishead's music--and indeed, many of these tracks sound like they should be accompanying some existentialist spy flick from the mid-1960s. But ultimately, it's singer Beth Gibbons that's their greatest asset: her vocals gliding effortlessly from the furious ("Cowboys") to the forlorn ("Mourning Air"); from the exuberant ("All Mine") to the exhausted ("Only You")--and all set to the group's most ambitious and expansive arrangements to date. A majestic, damaged and frequently terrifying masterpiece. --Andrew McGuire

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 Jan. 2006
Format: Audio CD
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. Yates on 7 Jan. 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Although a little bit more 'experimental' than the "Dummy" album (1994), it still creates an atmosphere are sheer devine feeling. The silky tunes and lushious mixing on the tracks, gives the album a sexy touch. Beth Gibbons voice is absolutely gorgious, some would say its piercing, but its pierces the heart not the ears. I've heard songs from this album being played on fashion websites and catwalks. It definately invigorates moods of utter-most sensuality, perfect for any romantic night in! If you enjoyed "Dummy", I'm sure you won't be disappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Spencer on 31 Dec. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I won't bother going into details about each individual track. All you really need to know is that this is an ESSENTIAL purchase; whether you liked 'Dummy', whether you are into Electronic / downtempo music, or simply if you just appreciate well-made, beautiful music.

I missed Portishead first time around, being too immersed in dancefloor-oriented stuff to truly get into this. Now that I'm older and wiser, I can fully appreciate Portishead for what they are - the best electronic band of the 90s if not EVER. This album feels a bit more 'grown-up' than Dummy. It's certainly darker and the production is of a higher standard. That said, I prefer the first album - it simply has better tunes from start to finish. A couple of the tracks on 'Portishead' feature a side of Beth which I really dislike (too much banshee-like wailing and warped impressions of Shirley Bassie for my liking) - a theme which unfortunately was built upon even further in 'Third'.

A lot of the uplifting melancholy of Dummy has been replaced by a twisted angst, which although works well for the most part, shining though on 'All Mine' and 'Elysium', I feel means that the heights of 'Numb' and 'Strangers' are not quite matched. That said, this album is still head and shoulders above everything else in the genre and beyond - and having listened to 'Third' recently, I can also say, it doesn't get any better than this from Portishead themselves............
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. Barber on 30 Jan. 2004
Format: Audio CD
Until I heard this, I thought Dummy was the best triphop album I've ever heard. With this album, Portishead have taken all the dark energy and searing emotion from the previous work and amplified it to the point of agony. It's impossible to imagine how Portishead-Portishead could ever be improved upon; perhaps the band peaked too early. This is a classic in its genre, taking the listener on a intimate ghost-train ride through the darker side of the human psyche. My favourite track is Elysium. It plods along, dark, cynical and unstoppable, then falls into a gentle trough which lulls and relaxes the listener. When the main dirge and evisceral vocals kick in again, it makes me want to hide in the cupboard. I love this album. Only downside - the singer's Shirley Bassey impressions are a little shrill. Tweeters everywhere beware...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By WZ on 20 Dec. 2003
Format: Audio CD
Funny, most reviews seem to say that this record is whether much better than Dummy whether much worse. The fact is both Dummy and this one are absolutely wonderful and 100% unmissable. They are not in competition, they are a whole. If you're trying to choose which one to buy, forget it, just buy both. Gibbons with send shivers down your spine with her voice, and the music will linger on and on in your head forever. No words can truly describe these masterpieces, you have to listen to them to understand. This is worth 6 stars.
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