1994 : Portishead, Dummy
This was a complete change in music for me. I’d made the transition from my misinformed Jive Bunny loving youth to teen years by listening to Queen. But I heard Portishead used as part of a Fortean Review of the Year on BBC 2. I loved it. The spooky and eerie sounds seemed to have its finger on the zeitgeist. Portishead: Dummy was the perfect soundtrack to my early teen years where I had become an X-Files/UFO obsessive and the music fitted the show better than Mark Snow’s original score. (As we all know X-Files went crap after a few years so I’ve since rediscovered Star Trek!)
From Mysterons through to Glory Box the echoing vocals of Beth Gibbons and rich bass sounds dispersed with gorgeous squeals of sound. I listened and listened to it, wearing out my original cassette tape (Yes – all you under 18s out there, cassette tape!) bought from Our Price and ended up replacing it with the much better CD. Strangely enough I have never purchased or even heard the follow up self-titled album. Perhaps I should seek it out, but I’m sure it’ll never match the deliciousness of Dummy.
Of course Portishead were sampled by the 411 late last year and with news of a new Portishead album on the way perhaps now is the time to catch up with their back catalogue.