Dummy (album)

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Dummy
Studio album by Portishead
Released October 1994
Recorded 1993–1994, State of Art and Coach House Studios
Genre Trip hop, jazz, cabaret
Length 45:29
Label Go! Beat
Producer Portishead, Adrian Utley
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 of the Bristol-based group Portishead. Released in October 1994 on Go! Discs,[1] 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[2] and saw two of its three singles reach No. 13. The album was certified gold in 1997[3] and has sold two million copies in Europe.[4] As of September 2011, the album has sold 825,000 copies in the United Kingdom and is certified double-platinum.[5]

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[6] in the UK singles chart; and "Sour Times", which reached the same position on re-release in 1995.[7] "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.[8] 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[9]
Entertainment Weekly A−[10]
Almost Cool (10/10)[11]
Q 4/5 stars[12]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[13]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars[14]
Slant Magazine 5/5 stars[15]
Bloody Disgusting 5/5 stars[16]
BBC (very favourable)[17]
The New York Times (very favourable)[18]

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.[19]
  • 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][20]

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. "Numb"   3:54
7. "Roads"   5:02
8. "Pedestal"   3:39
9. "Biscuit"   5:01
10. "Glory Box"   5:06

Charts[edit]

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

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

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]