Dummy (album)

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Dummy
Studio album by Portishead
Released 22 August 1994
Recorded 1993–1994 at State of Art and Coach House Studios
Genre Trip hop, jazz, cabaret
Length 49:17
Label Go! Beat
Producer Portishead
Portishead chronology
Dummy
(1994)
Portishead
(1997)
Singles from Dummy
  1. "Numb"
    Released: 6 June 1994
  2. "Sour Times"
    Released: 1 August 1994
    10 April 1995 (Re-release)
  3. "Glory Box"
    Released: 2 January 1995

Dummy is the debut album by English band Portishead. Released in August 1994 on Go! Beat,[1][2] 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 only modest chart success overseas, it peaked at No. 2 on the UK Album Chart[3] and saw two of its three singles reach No. 13. The album was certified gold in 1997[4] and has sold two million copies in Europe.[5] As of September 2011, the album has sold 825,000 copies in the United Kingdom and is certified double-platinum.[6]

Album information[edit]

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[7] in the UK singles chart; and "Sour Times", which reached the same position on re-release in 1995.[8] "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.[9] On 3 December 2008, Universal Music Japan released Dummy and Portishead as limited SHM-CD versions.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[10]
Almost Cool (10/10)[11]
BBC (very favourable)[12]
Bloody Disgusting 5/5 stars[13]
Entertainment Weekly A−[14]
The New York Times (very favourable)[15]
Q 4/5 stars[16]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[17]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars[18]
Slant Magazine 5/5 stars[19]

Dummy won the 1995 Mercury Music Prize, beating stiff competition which included PJ Harvey's To Bring You My Love, Oasis' Definitely Maybe, and Tricky's Maxinquaye.

  • Mojo (p. 62) – Ranked No. 35 in Mojo's "100 Modern Classics."
  • Mojo (1/95, p. 50) – Included in Mojo's "25 Best Albums of 1994."
  • The New York Times (1/5/95, p. C15) – Included on Neil Strauss' list of the Top 10 Albums Of '94.
  • NME (8/12/00, p. 29) – Ranked No. 29 in The NME "Top 30 Heartbreak Albums."
  • NME (12/24/94, p. 22) – Ranked No. 6 in NME's list of the 'Top 50 Albums of 1994.'
  • NME (10/2013, p. 59) - Ranked No. 168 in NME's list of the '500 Greatest Albums of all time.'
  • Q (12/99, p. 82) – Included in Q Magazine's "90 Best Albums of the 1990s."
  • Q (6/00, p. 66) – Ranked No. 61 in Q's "100 Greatest British Albums."
  • Rolling Stone (5/13/99, pp. 79–80) – Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
  • In 2003, the album was ranked No. 419 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[20]
  • Spin (9/99, p. 140) – Ranked No. 42 in Spin Magazine's "90 Greatest Albums of the '90s."
  • The Village Voice (2/28/95) – Ranked No. 14 in the Village Voice's 1994 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.

The album is the subject of a title in Continuum's 33⅓ series of books, published in October 2011.[dated info][21]

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Portishead.

No. Title Length
1. "Mysterons"   5:02
2. "Sour Times"   4:11
3. "Strangers"   3:55
4. "It Could Be Sweet"   4:16
5. "Wandering Star"   4:51
6. "It's a Fire"   3:48
7. "Numb"   3:54
8. "Roads"   5:02
9. "Pedestal"   3:39
10. "Biscuit"   5:01
11. "Glory Box"   5:06
Canadian bonus track edition
No. Title Length
11. "Sour Sour Times"   4:01
European, North American and Australian editions
No. Title Length
1. "Mysterons"   5:02
2. "Sour Times"   4:11
3. "Strangers"   3:55
4. "It Could Be Sweet"   4:16
5. "Wandering Star"   4:51
6. "It's a Fire"   3:49
7. "Numb"   3:54
8. "Roads"   5:02
9. "Pedestal"   3:39
10. "Biscuit"   5:01
11. "Glory Box"   5:06

Charts[edit]

Chart (1994) Peak
position
Australian Album Chart 23[22]
Belgian Album Chart (FL) 18[23]
Belgian Album Chart (WA) 12[23]
Dutch Album Chart 15[24]
New Zealand Album Chart 21[25]
Norwegian Album Chart 29[26]
Swedish Album Chart 20[27]
Swiss Album Chart 26[28]
UK Albums Chart 2[3]
US Billboard 200 79[29]

Credits[edit]

Portishead
Additional musicians
  • Gary Baldwin – Hammond organ
  • Clive Deamer – drums
  • Andy Hague – trumpet
  • Dave McDonald - nose flute
  • Richard Newell – drum programming
  • Neil Solman – rhodes piano, hammond organ
  • Strings Unlimited – strings
Technical personnel
  • Dave McDonald – engineering
  • Johnnie Ray – sample of "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" on "Biscuit"
  • Isaac Hayes – sample of "Ike's Rap II" on "Glory Box"
  • Lalo Schifrin – sample of "The Danube Incident" on "Sour Times"
  • Smokey Brooks – sample of "Spin It Jig" on "Sour Times"
  • Weather Report – sample of "Elegant People" on "Strangers"
  • War – samples of Magic Mountain on "Wandering Star"

References[edit]

  1. ^ "iTunes – Music – Dummy by Portishead". Itunes.apple.com. 22 August 1994. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Dummy - 20 years on". portishead.co.uk. 
  3. ^ a b "Portishead — Dummy". Chart Stats. 17 May 2008. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Portishead Biography at www.phead.org". Phead.org. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – Q3 2007". Ifpi.org. 16 October 2007. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Mercury Prize Winners – The Guardian (Google spreadsheet)". Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "Portishead — Glory Box". Chart Stats. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "Portishead — Sour Times {1995}". Chart Stats. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "Portishead Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  10. ^ Bush, John. "Dummy – Portishead". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  11. ^ "Almost Cool Reviews Dummy link". Almostcool.org. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  12. ^ "BBC Reviews Dummy link". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  13. ^ BD Reviews Dummy link
  14. ^ 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-
  15. ^ "NY Times Reviews Dummy link". Kotinetti.suomi.net. 26 November 1994. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  16. ^ Q (10/94, p.125) – 4 Stars – Excellent – "...perhaps this year's most stunning debut album..."
  17. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 7 June 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-06-07. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  18. ^ "Portishead – Dummy (staff review)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  19. ^ http://www.slantmagazine.com/music/music_review.asp?ID=239
  20. ^ [1][dead link]
  21. ^ Later this year: Portishead Continuum 33 1/3 blog, Retrieved on 2011-04-28
  22. ^ "Portishead - Dummy (Album)". Australian Album Chart. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  23. ^ a b "Portishead Dummy". Ultratop 50. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  24. ^ "Portishead - Dummy (Album)". Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  25. ^ "Portishead - Dummy (Album)". New Zealand Album Chart. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  26. ^ "Portishead - Dummy (Album)". Norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  27. ^ "Portishead - Dummy (Album)". Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  28. ^ "Portishead - Dummy". Swisscharts.com. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  29. ^ "Dummy > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". allmusic. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 

External links[edit]