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Massive Attack

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Bio

One of the most innovative and influential groups of their generation, Massive Attack's hypnotic sound -- a darkly sensual and cinematic fusion of hip-hop rhythms, soulful melodies, dub grooves, and choice samples -- informed decades worth of acclaimed dance and rock artists including Portishead, Beth Orton, Radiohead, TV on the Radio, and Tricky, a Massive Attack alumnus. Their history dates back to 1983 and the formation of the Wild Bunch, one of the earliest and most successful sound system/DJ collectives to arrive on the U.K. music scene. Renowned for their seamless integration of a wide range of musical styles, from punk to reggae to R&B, the group's parties quickly became can't-miss events for the Bristol club crowd, and at the peak of their popularity they drew crowds so enormous that the local live music scene essentially ground to a halt. When the Wild Bunch folded during the mid-'80s, two of its members -- Andrew "Mushroom" Vowles and Grant "Daddy G" Marshall -- teamed with local graffiti artist 3D (born Robert del Naja) to form Massive Attack in 1987. Another Wild Bunch alum, Nellee Hooper, split his time between the new group and his other project, Soul II Soul. The group's first single, "Daydreaming," appeared in 1990, featuring the sultry vocals of singer Shara Nelson and raps by Tricky, another one-time Wild Bunch collaborator. The classic "Unfinished Sympathy" followed, as did another compelling effort, "Safe from Harm." Finally, in 1991 Massive Attack issued their debut LP, Blue Lines. While by no means a huge commercial success, the record was met with major critical praise, and was dubbed an instant classic in many quarters. Nelson, featured on many of the album's most memorable tracks, exited for a solo career soon after, and the group then changed its name to simply "Massive" to avoid any implication of approval for the U.N.'s policy toward Iraq. After a three-year layoff, Massive Attack -- their full name now properly reinstated -- resurfaced with Protection. Again working with Hooper and Tricky, they also brought into the fold vocalist Nicolette, as well as Everything But the Girl's Tracey Thorn. Three singles -- "Karmacoma," "Sly," and the title track -- were released from the LP, which was also remixed in its entirety by Mad Professor and issued as No Protection. A lengthy tour followed, and over the next several years, Massive Attack's solo work was primarily confined to remixes for artists including Garbage. They also worked with Madonna on a track for a Marvin Gaye tribute album. Finally, to promote their appearance at the annual Glastonbury music festival, the group issued the EP Risingson during the summer of 1997. The third full-length Massive Attack effort, Mezzanine, appeared in mid-1998. In addition to reggae singer Horace Andy making his third consecutive LP appearance with the group, vocal chores were handled by the Cocteau Twins' Elizabeth Fraser and newcomer Sara Jay. Mezzanine became a hit among critics, clubs, and the college crowds, spinning successful singles such as "Teardrop" and "Inertia Creeps." The album topped the U.K. chart and crossed into the Top 60 of the Billboard 200 in the U.S. A tour of America and Europe followed, but Vowles left the band after disagreeing with the artistic direction of Mezzanine. Del Naja and Marshall continued as a duo, later working with the likes of David Bowie and the Dandy Warhols, but Marshall later took a brief leave of absence to raise his family; producer Neil Davidge took up the slack. In February 2003, after a five-year wait, Massive Attack released their fourth album, 100th Window, including collaborations with mainstay Horace Andy as well as Sinéad O'Connor. Danny the Dog, released in 2004, marked the group's entry into film score work and, perhaps unsurprisingly, often sounded much more like incidental background music than a typical Massive Attack release. From there, Del Naja and Davidge scored a handful of other films -- In Prison My Whole Life, Battle in Seattle, and Trouble the Water, for which they earned an Oscar nomination -- but their work was credited to their real names or the pseudonym 100 Suns rather than Massive Attack. The fifth Massive Attack album, Heligoland, released in 2010, featured collaborations with Horace Andy, TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe, Elbow's Guy Garvey, and Martina Topley-Bird. Burial remixed the album's "Paradise Circus" and the unreleased "Four Walls" for a limited 12" release in 2011. The group returned in 2016 with a four-track EP, Ritual Spirit, on which they were joined by Tricky, Roots Manuva, and Young Fathers. Del Naja and Heligoland contributor Euan Dickinson were credited as co-producers. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Albums by
Massive Attack

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    10 songs

    On Air

    Heligoland

    14 songs

    On Air

    Heligoland

    10 songs

    On Air

    100th Window

    11 songs

    On Air

    Mezzanine

    10 songs

    On Air

    Protection

    9 songs

    On Air

    Blue Lines [2012 Remixed/Remastered]

    4 songs

    On Air

    Splitting The Atom

    8 songs

    On Air

    No Protection: Massive Attack Vs. Mad Professor

    4 songs

    On Air

    Ritual Spirit

    4 songs

    On Air

    Atlas Air

    9 songs

    On Air

    100th Window: The Remixes

    23 songs

    On Air

    Danny the Dog [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

    21 songs

    On Air

    Danny the Dog [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

    3 songs

    On Air

    Live with Me

    4 songs

    On Air

    Special Cases

    40 songs

    On Air

    Collected [DualDisc]

    11 songs

    On Air

    Blue Lines: The Remixes

    12 songs

    On Air

    Mezzanine: The Remixes

    5 songs

    On Air

    Bite Size Massive Attack

    9 songs

    On Air

    Blue Lines

    14 songs

    On Air

    Protection: The Remixes

    6 songs

    On Air

    Butterfly Caught

    5 songs

    On Air

    Angel

    23 songs

    On Air

    Unleashed [Original Soundtrack]

See All Albums

Top Songs by
Massive Attack

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Teardrop
  3.   Protection by Tracey Thorn
  4.   Paradise Circus
  5.   Angel
  6.   Unfinished Sympathy
  7.   Safe from Harm
  8.   Blue Lines
  9.   Live With Me
  10.   Be Thankful for What You've Got
  11.   Psyche
  12.   Black Milk
  13.   Weather Storm
  14.   Exchange
  15.   Better Things
  16.   Sly
  17.   Karmacoma
  18.   Dissolved Girl
  19.   Inertia Creeps
  20.   Group Four
  21.   Heat Miser
  22.   Future Proof
  23.   Special Cases
  24.   Mezzanine
  25.   Three
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Massive Attack

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    Metropolitan Mood

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    Adult Chill

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    Daft Punk: DNA

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    Motivation Hits

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    The Greatest Years in Music

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    UK Hits

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    Sia: DNA

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    UK Indie

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    The Weeknd: DNA

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    Electronic

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    Coffee House

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    Classic Alternative

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    The Current


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