Dispensing with their real names Massive Attack were formed in 1988 by 3D, Daddy G and Mushroom. Their debut album, Blue Lines is considered to be the first Trip Hop album, it spawned three singles, the second Unfinished Sympathy released in 1991 has become a classic in its genre.
In the early days Neneh Cherry and her husband Booga Bear generously supported Massive Attack with money and studio time (3D co-wrote Man Child). From a collective Sound System called The Wild Bunch they evolved into this new idea, mixing Electronic music, Hip Hop, Reggae, Soul, Dance and Organic sounds – Massive Attack had invented a groove music for the mind and the Bristol scene was born.
Early collaborators Tricky and Martina Topley-Bird and other Bristol based acts such as Portishead and Morcheeba forged out a new sound that appealed to a wider audience than just the Dance Music crowd. They fused cerebral meanderings, moody grooves, samples and beats over-layed with other guest vocalists like Shara Nelson and Horace Andy. Later finding Everything But The Girls’ Tracey Thorn and Cocteau Twins’ Liz Fraser to add some magic to their programmed atmospheres on albums to come.
The video directed by Baillie Walsh starred featured vocalist Shara Nelson in one long shot walking down West Pico Blvd in LA, apparently unaware of all that is happening around her. The video has been considered a classic inspiring The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony video – the mind boggles, Wigan to West Pico via Bristol.