My interest in Massive Attack started with the song "Teardrop", as it was the case with many people, I suppose. As a natural reaction I started out by listening to their most well-known record, Mezzanine, which included aforementioned song. I think almost anybody will agree with me when I state that Mezzanine was (and still is) an undisputed masterpiece and simply Massive Attack's best.
But Blue Lines is often preferred by critics. As of 1998 and onwards it just stood in the shadow of the bleak, interesting and commercially succesful Mezzanine. It is a shame really. Blue Lines is a very decent album, including probably Massive Attack's greatest single "Unfinished Sympathy". However, whereas Mezzanine still sounds fresh to this day, with its gloomy atmosphere, Blue Lines has seen better days music-wise. The ideas are generally very good and work very well when classic instruments, such as acoustic instruments along with drums and bass, form the center of the music ("Safe From Harm", "Five Man Army", "Unfinished Sympathy"). But on songs like "Be Thankful for what You've Got" the synthpads sound very dated and just straightdown corny.
Thankfully, Blue Lines works for the most part (and I'll just highlight the title song and album-closer, too) and as such it's still worth your money, but you should really listen to Massive Attack's albums in chronological order to follow and appreciate the incredible transformation that their music has undergone. Listen to Blue Lines as a single album without any comparisons to other MA-material, and you'll be most satisfied!
I came to this album very late - 13 years late to be exact - and I'm still in the honeymoon period with it, playing it constantly. I'm probably about to say the same as everyone else but there's not a duff track here, mainly because of the different styles at play (jazz, hip-hop, dub, dance, bits of soul, the beginnings of trip-hop, tribal beats with 'Hymn of the big wheel' and of course, orchestral music on 'Unfinished Sympathy'). There's a wonderfully sparse, late-night feel on tracks such as 'Blue Lines' and 'Five Man Army' - the way 3D and crew languidly interact with each other on these tracks is awesome - and 'Lately' has such a dreamy, atmospheric quality to it, not forgetting a wicked bassline. Then there's the magnificent 'Unfinished Sympathy', but I don't think I need to go on about the chilling effect it has on my mind, body and soul because that's all old hat really. Not that this album will ever be old hat - I'm pretty sure I'll still be listening to it in another 13 years.
This remains the finest example of Massive Attack's work ever to be released. The extraordinarily unique sound apparent as you listen to each track is all the more surprising when you realise how many people cooperated to produce it. For me it will always be seen as "the album with 'Unfinished Sympathy' on it", because it stands out so much as a groundbreaking and hauntingly beautiful piece of music that I will never tire of listening to. Dificult to categorise but easy to listen to, every track is a gem and if you are into music in any way it should be on your shelf NOW.
i realy couldnt tell where the remix is on here, its a fantastic album , which i have loved since the day i first heard it , but theres nothing new you can hear on this version , i got it for the new cover as much as anything
I love Massive Attack and bought this remix as my original was worn out, scratched, ruined from overuse.
Such high hopes for this disc, it is rubbish. The sound quality even on the DVD hi-res version is compressed, it sounds oppressive, the bass is too forward, the mix is heavier, less light and air. On the CD the same is true except on mine there were some noises that sounded like distortion that just should not have been there at all (my copies were promo's, so maybe the commercial version is different).
I listen through Quad amps and ESL57 speakers, so you can hear this stuff, but everyone on almost any stereo will too. Buy the original, don't nick it, don't iTunes it, get it, hold it, love it but avoid this money making dog rough remix, it's awful.
After 20 years, Blue Lines remains a stunning beauty, and has certainly earned a spot in a 'greatest albums' list. The masterpiece of the album is of course, Unfinished Sympathy. But fear not, there are some other gems on this album as well. Unfinished Sympathy is maybe the best song produced in the awful nineties. No, I'm not a Radiohead fan. Unfortunately, Massive Attack never reached this level of quality again. They made some good stuff with Protection and Mezzanine, although the latter was too prog for me. Last year I saw Massive Attack live and it was a bit of let down.
Maybe they should have stuck to only this album, they would have been immortal by now.
Give this 5 stars as I have always loved this album and the new remaster sounds fantastic.Unfortunately the new packaging leaves a lot to be desired.If that is the best Virgin/EMI could come up with shame on you.Cheap cardboard outer with the cd case inside with single card "booklet".About as good as the recent Beach Boys efforts.Thanks for nothing.
This album that I ordered was initially marked up as unavailable when I first ordered it, so in my infinite wisdom I ordered it again thinking I had ordered it from another company but stupidly I had not and forgot to cancel the first one, so now I have two!! Saying all that now it means I can have one in the house and one in the car. This is a brilliant album and I am a Massive Attack fan so must say as it was purchased to replace the one that was stolen from me a long time ago, I was thrilled to have TWO back in my possession! Great chilling music!!
Should i ever be asked to name the album i consider to be the most influential in the history of music( given that i have,nt heard every album in the history of music) i would plump for Massive Attacks 1991 debut album Blue Lines. Trip hop years before the term became synonymous with ....well anything , it triggered a shift in dance and electronic music to what the music critic Simon Reynolds called "a more meditational sound " running ( or maybe loping ) at lower tempo,s . The band merged black music influences like hip -hop , reggae and soul but allied them to the more ambitious prog aspects of bands like Pink Floyd and King Crimson( without the middle class patina) and the savvy dub tones of Public Image. The music is infused with an empirical funkiness but is also emotionally charged .It combines the thrill and life of dance music with the visceral gut wrenching power of great pop or rock music .Jesus, no wonder Blue Lines is so revered. Several tracks are illuminated by the sky-scraping vocals of Shara Nelson( who gives a lesson in how to sing big ballads that your Mariah,s Leona,s and Celines should be taking notice off .Incidentally her debut solo album is well worth investigating too) Most notable amongst these is the incredible "Unfinished Sympathy" -frequently gushed about as one of the best songs of all time , mainly because it is one of the best songs of all time. With it,s iconic video of Shara Nelson wandering through the streets of L.A. and the sampled "Hey , hey, hey" of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, this is one of those precious songs that straddles genre specifics effortlessly.It,s a smooth laidback dance track sure but it has the inexorable emotional pull of any great piece of pop, rock or classical music. It remains one of the most timeless and wondrous five minutes in music history. Not that this song is the only moment of brilliance on Blue Lines. The grumbling bass line that underpins another Nelson vocal on "Safe From Harm" , the dub influenced paranoid beats of "Five Man Army " , the gliding soulful tones of "Be Thankful For What You Got" ,the cleverly arranged rapping on the title track ( featuring Tricky ) the glorious "Daydreaming" " ( Shara Nelson again ) or the hypnotic aptly circuitous Hymn Of The Big Wheel " ( featuring Horace Andy who also guests on "One Love") -all these songs contribute hugely to a influential cohesive work impeccably arranged by Neneh Cherry who is also acknowledged by the band as being a major driving force behind the recording . Is it possible to overstate how important this album was in developing a new direction for dance music and melding together a new collage of sounds? Probably not. Even putting that aside though Blue Lines is an incredible album , even more so given that it is Massive Attacks debut. It oozes confidence , class and almost effortless talent . Astonishingly they were to match it withProtection . It,s no wonder Blue Lines appears regularly in those greatest albums of all time lists. Most pertinently , unlike a lot of albums in those lists, it fully merits it,s place.