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Collected Best of, Special Edition
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|1. Safe From Harm - Massive Attack|
|2. Karmacoma - Massive Attack|
|3. Angel - Massive Attack|
|4. Teardrop - Massive Attack|
|5. Inertia Creeps - Massive Attack|
|6. Protection - Massive Attack|
See all 14 tracks on this disc
|1. False Flags|
|3. Silent Spring|
|4. Bullet Boy (Vox)|
|5. Black Melt|
|6. Joy Luck Club|
See all 10 tracks on this disc
|1. Daydreaming - Baillie Walsh|
|2. Unfinished Sympathy - Baillie Walsh|
|3. Safe From Harm - Baillie Walsh|
|4. Be Thankful For What You've Got - Baillie Walsh|
|5. Sly - Stefan Sednaoui|
|6. Protection - Michel Gondry|
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Japanese release of the greatest hits album from electro wonders Massive Attack covering their four studio albums Blue Lines, Protection, Mezzanine and 100th Window. Toshiba. 2006.
The group who single-handedly created the woozy, sexual, cinematic, and meditative dance genre known as trip-hop with their 1991 masterpiece Blue Lines later went on to craft gorgeous soundtrack music and generally emerge as one of the most forward-thinking, fastidious, and s-l-o-w production teams in pop music. Collected, a best-of compilation straddling the group's career, is the kind of record that reeks "contractual obligation," but that's not meant as a diss. If a kick-ass collection like this is what it takes for this heady group to keep the record execs happy while they slowly hone a new album, so be it. Much of the older tunes sound remarkably contemporary, which isn't surprising when you consider Massive Attack have always mixed styles in radical, new ways. The one new tune included to entice die-hard fans, the slowly percolating and deeply bluesy "Live With Me," is what soul music will sound like in the future. --Mike McGonigal
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Top Customer Reviews
Their musical style is experimental and unique - crafting sensual atmospheric music laced with distortion and a marathon wall of sound.
MASSIVE ATTACK produces each individual album with a renewed and varied musical creativity - their audience can never become bored and know for sure what they are going to experience musically.
Known for patiently creating tracks that require no choruses, they unite multi-level sound with emotion.
This collection of their hits provide you with great insight into this exceptional musical phenomenon who previously collaborated with such diverse artists as Madonna, Sinead O'Connor, and Bowie.
Want to become acquainted with a new musical genre that is addictively sensual?
Then prior to purchasing their individual releases, I strongly recommend purchasing this collection to best acquire an insight and obtain a taste of this stimulating musical format.
Great ambient music for music lovers seeking to orchestrate a mood of intimacy!
The contents of disc 2 shown here are actually the DVD contents. For this reason it sometimes duplicates disc 1. I won't list the songs on disc 2 but they are very good. While disc 1 contains most of the hits, disc 2 is a bit more instrumental. It has Massive Attacks version of Madonna's "I want you to want me" with Madonna herself doing the vocals. Whether you usually like Madonna or not, this is a beautiful song with very rich orchestration.
The DVD is fairly good if you like videos. There are two or three standouts but for the most part just consider the videos a bonus. Nothing indispensible here.
I am fairly new to Massive Attack. Errol Nazareth, on CBC Radio, reviewed and recommended this collection CD. What a find! These guys were apparently the inventors of Trip Hop. For the record, I don't like hip hop, but the few rapping lyrics you find here don't bother me. Either this CD or Mezzanine are a good intro to Massive Attack. I'd probably go with this CD.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"Safe From Harm" embodies everything that they were trying to do. It has a powerful soul vocal at the centre, and contrasts it with repetitive, gravelly-voiced rapping from one of the band members. In the hands of Massive Attack, rap was very rhythmic and often fast, but never aggressive. They used it as just another way to set a mood. In this case, and in most other cases, the mood was one of impending doom. The ominous rapping suggested that danger was just around the corner, and the main vocal attempted to add a sense of lost innocence in the middle of this danger. Oh, and the song also has an incredible techno bassline, which made it popular in the clubs for a time. This combination of sounds may not sound revolutionary now, but this song alone basically created a style known as "trip-hop." It was also ripped off by just about everyone in the next six years. Even Bjork jumped on the bandwagon in her song "Army Of Me."
Massive Attack had a great talent for reinterpreting the past. Early on, they sent a demo tape to Horace Andy, a reggae singer who had already had a long and illustrious career in his native Jamaica by that point. The man offered to collaborate with them, and went on to do so on every one of the band's albums. Usually, he covered such reggae standards as John Holt's "Man Next Door" and his own "Spying Glass," but Massive Attack gave these songs totally new sounds, emphasizing the unease expressed in the lyrics with their moody production. Unfortunately, neither "Man Next Door" nor my own personal favourite "One Love" is included on this CD, but "Angel" is. This is one of the band's best songs. It starts with a slow, creeping bass line and a dreamy vocal introduction from Andy, but then suddenly breaks out into a crescendo of driving, distorted guitars sounding reminiscent of the Cure or the Sisters of Mercy, only heavier, more rhythmic and more powerful.
The band could make uplifting tracks too, once in a while, like "Unfinished Sympathy" from their first album, or "Teardrop" from their third, but they were more at home with dark, slow rhythms and lonely, romantic atmospheres. Even "Teardrop" sounds lost and vulnerable, due to a superb performance by Elizabeth Fraser, who had by then already received a lot of praise from critics for her singing in the indie band Cocteau Twins. The black flowers on the cover of this album are a good indication of the band's aesthetic. The song "Blue Lines" from their first album, in which the band members took turns rapping, with impeccable rhythm, has precisely that kind of yearning, rainy-day mood. Unfortunately it's not included here. However, "Risingson," a bitter variation on the theme of failed love, is probably the best vocal performance by the band's core members, and it is included.
As time went on, Massive Attack gravitated toward the more dissonant, rock-influenced sound of "Angel." Since the theme and feel of their music was basically the same as before, this wasn't really that big of a change, but it did lead to increasing creative differences within the band. By the time their fourth album came out, three of the four founding members had left. As a result, the album seemed like a bit of a retread, and wasn't very well received by critics. This compilation may be an attempt to repair the band's image and put the spotlight on their best work again. As you may have gathered, a lot of good songs are missing, and even the bonus disc in the limited edition doesn't have all of their B-sides. If it were up to me, I would have added a few more album tracks and left off some of the singles. Actually, when I was starting to write this, I wanted to say something like, "Massive Attack were ultimately a singles band," and as I was writing that I realized that it wasn't really true.
But anyway, the album is still very good, and it ends with a sign that the band may not be finished yet. "Live With Me" is the token new song on the compilation, but it's not only a good song, it's their best song ever. Once again, the band calls in a veteran soul singer, Terry Callier this time, to lament about another failed love against a backdrop of strings and slow beats, but never has this combination sounded as good as it does here. Except now everybody is that much older, so instead of professing undying love, the song implores its subject, "Come live with me."
Ltd Ed is a little pricey, but worth the buy for three discs' worth of material. MASSIVE ATTACK IS THE COOLEST BAND IN THE WORLD!
First, we get the actual `best of'-disk which isn't enough if you're already a big fan and have all of their 4 official albums. It is however a very good start for people new to this band or casual fans. Even though a `best of'-tracking list can never make every fan happy, I think it's very well chosen from my side of view: 3 song represent "Blue Lines", easily the best ones were chosen. Famous singles such as Safe From Harm and the timeless Unfinished Sympathy go without saying, but compliments on the band for including Five Man Army, an outstanding early masterpiece of smooth rapping. I personally would have put the title track on it too, but it doesn't fit on a best of, it doesn't have enough character. "Protection" is represented by its 3 singles. Protection and Karmacoma can't be missed, but Sly was a bit of a surprise for me. That's the only real flaw on the disk in my opinion, the omission of Eurochild. That said, Nicolette had to be represented too, so there you have Sly. "Mezzanine" got its 4 singles, its so called 1-2-3-4-punch (though not in the same order as on the album). I personally would have left off Inertia Creeps, and put on Black Milk instead. "100th Window" got the more surprising picks. A different, shorter version of Butterfly Caught (logical), Future Proof (one of the most acclaimed songs on the album), but also What Your Soul Sings instead of Special Cases (100th`s lead single), which came as a big surprise for me. A pleasant one, because WYSS is one of my favorite MA-tunes ever, so I think its place on Collected is well deserved. To round things off we get the new single Live With Me (with Terry Callier), which is extremely good, it has become one of my favorites too, unsurprisingly.
Now we get to the extra disk, the CD-side with the unreleased and rare stuff on it. This is the reason why most fans bought Collected in the first place, and I'd say it's pretty good, but it does have flaws. `False Flags' accompanies Live With Me as its B-side, and it's a pretty good song, with a cool Radiohead-sample at the end of the song (from the song "The Bends"). I don't love it, but most people seem to do, so whatever. Bluesy soft raps of 3D with a piano. `Incantations' is an interesting short version of Everywhen, I quite like it. `Silent Spring' is an unfinished song of the Mezzanine-era, with Elizabeth Fraser on vocals, singing in a made up language. It's good, even though you can hear it's an unfinished track. We've already heard `Bullet Boy' last year, as an internet-only download for the BB Soundtrack, but it's nice to have it on CD, and it's a very good song. `Black Melt' is the live-version of Black Milk, but without the beautiful sample in it. It proves even without the sample that the song remains good, too bad there's a hole in the song (only one second).
Joy Luck Club is the highlight of this disk. A peaceful, floating song with singer Debbi on vocals from the new English band `Oom' (check out the song Poison). It has a bit of a Sigur Ros-feel to it. Amazing track, and makes up for the occasional laws on this disk. `Small Time Shoot `Em Up' is an alternative version of Small Time Shot Away, with a lot more synthesizers in it, and an almost unrecognizable Damon Albarn (2D) to back up 3D's vocals. I prefer the original version. `I Against I' from the Blade II soundtrack is a good inclusion on this disk, I always wanted it on CD without having to buy that soundtrack, great track by the way. Same situation with `I Want You' (with Madonna). It was included on a Madonna-album, and I didn't feel like buying that just for that song. Anyway, I think the song is really good, although it needs some spins to be appreciated. The last track `Danny The Dog' is an unnecessary inclusion, since I already have it on the DTD-soundtrack. But I guess for the many people who didn't think that soundtrack was worth it (it hardly is), it is included here. It's a really good instrumental track, one of my favorites on that soundtrack. [Too bad Wire (full version) and Just A Matter Of Time weren't included, those would be real treats to the fans. Reflection would have been nice too, I'd say.] Now, I'm not going to talk about the video's since that would make my review too long (and it's pretty damn long already), so I'll just say they're worth it.
To make the conclusion, this is one hell of a great best of, easily the best one I own. Oh, and the art-work is amazing too, it looks so damn fine, the whole coverage of the CD, very very nice all. Now all we have to do is wait for the new album next year, but this will definitely keep me sweet until then.