You’ll pretty much definitely have come across Massive Attack already a long time ago, but if you really haven’t, you’ve got a lot to look forward to. A quarter of a century on from their first hit Unfinished Sympathy, they’re still periodically putting out incredible and groundbreaking electronic and dub music. Oh, and you’ve got a lot of catching up to do!
If you missed Unfinished Sympathy or Safe from Harm, perhaps you caught Protection or Karmacoma. Or maybe you didn’t come across them until Teardrop or Angel – however you know Massive Attack, you would struggle to find much to dislike.
Where to start
There’s probably a good case to make for any of the first three albums, but I think their 2006 compilation Collected is probably the best place to start. You get highlights from the first four studio albums, plus the fantastic new track Live with Me.
What to buy
The first three albums are essential listening, and you might as well just listen to them in order – that’s Blue Lines (1991), Protection (1994), and Mezzanine (1998).
Don’t bother with
Either of the film soundtracks, Danny the Dog (2004), or Unleashed (2005). No Protection (1995) is great but not for the faint hearted, and 100th Window (2003) is very dark indeed. Most of the singles after 1992 could be skipped too.
Nellee Hooper‘s single mixes of Unfinished Sympathy are every bit as good as the original, and the 1992 b-side Home of the Whale is absolutely fantastic. False Flags, from the bonus disc of Collected, is one of their finest moments too.