Blue Lines, originally released in 1991, was a watershed moment for British dance music. Before “trip-hop” was an actual subgenre repeated in music magazines, the Bristol-based trio of Robert “3D” Del Naja, Grant “Daddy G” Marshall and Andrew “Mushroom” Vowles helped forge its sonic identity as Massive Attack. As members of Bristol’s “Wild Bunch” scene with luminaries like rapper Adrian “Tricky” Thaws and DJ/producer/remixer Nellee Hooper, Massive Attack rebelled against the acid house style of dance music that was big at the time with a downtempo, hip-hop and electronica-influenced soundscape.
The results were huge. The album, as well as singles “Unfinished Sympathy” and “Safe from Harm,” all peaked within the Top 25 of the British charts. The group’s increased exposure led to a long, healthy career toward the forefront of modern dance music, collaborating with Madonna, Sinead O’Connor, Neneh Cherry, Damon Albarn and countless others. (Vowles left the group in 2000, leaving Del Naja and Marshall a duo whose latest album, Heligoland, was released in 2009.)
Virgin/EMI are releasing a new edition of Blue Lines on CD that’s entirely remastered and newly remixed from the original tapes. There’s also a deluxe edition forthcoming that pairs the new CD remaster/remix with the same program on double-vinyl and in hi-res, 96K/24-bit audio on DVD. The set also comes with a replica of the original 18″ x 24″ promotional poster for the album, all in a specially screen-printed mailer that replicates the style in which the original album sleeve was printed. (A smaller screen-printed mailer will encase the single-disc edition, as well.)
Both packages hit U.K. shops on November 19, and U.S. stores get it as a domestic title one day later. Hit the jump for pre-order links!
- Safe from Harm
- One Love
- Blue Lines
- Be Thankful for What You’ve Got
- Five Man Army
- Unfinished Sympathy
- Hymn of the Big Wheel