Dummy is the debut album of the Bristol-based group Portishead. Released in October 1994 on Go! Discs, the album earned critical acclaim, winning the 1995 Mercury Music Prize. It is often credited with popularising the trip-hop genre and is frequently cited in lists of the best albums of the 1990s. Although it achieved modest chart success overseas, it peaked at No. 2 on the UK Album Chart and saw two of its three singles reach No. 13. The album was certified gold in 1997 and has sold two million copies in Europe. As of September 2011, the album has sold 825,000 copies in the United Kingdom and is certified double-platinum.
Building on the promise of their earlier EP, Numb, Dummy helped to cement the reputation of Bristol as the capital of trip hop, a nascent genre which was then often referred to simply as "the Bristol sound". The cover is a still image of vocalist Beth Gibbons taken from To Kill a Dead Man—the short film that the band created—for which the self-composed soundtrack earned the band its record contract.
The album spawned two singles in addition to the already released "Numb": "Glory Box", which reached No. 13 in the UK singles chart; and "Sour Times", which reached the same position on re-release in 1995. "Sour Times" achieved moderate success in the US, reaching peak positions of No. 5 and No. 53 on the Alternative and Hot 100 Billboard charts, respectively, in February 1995. On 3 December 2008, Universal Music Japan released Dummy and Portishead as limited SHM-CD versions.
^Entertainment Weekly (11/18/94, p.108) – "...mixes cocktail keyboards, spaghetti-western guitars, eerie tape loops, and dub-wise rhythms into what could be called `acid cabaret'....as musically compelling as it is emotionally chilling..." – Rating: A-