MASSIVE ATTACK FACTS:
Members: Robert "3D" Del Naja ("D"), Grant "Daddy G" Marshall ("G")
Genre: Trip Hop, Electronica
Hometown: Bristol, United Kingdom
Albums: Blue Lines (1991); Protection (1994); Mezzanine (1998); 100th Window (2003); Heligoland (2010)
Awards: 1 Brit Award
Hits: "Unfinished Sympathy," "Teardrop," "Special Cases,"
Other: Instrumental version of their song "Teardrop" is used as the theme to House, M.D.
In the world of trip hop, there are few more famous names than Massive Attack. The trio, which is comprised of DJs Grant Marshall and Andy Vowels Vowles and MC Robert Del Naja, is one of the first groups to popularize the innovative blend of electroinca with down-tempo music. They have emerged from the electronic music scene of Bristol, England, and have earned a more mainstream following.
The group got their start in the late 1980s, when they released their first single. However, it was not until the next decade that Massive Attack was able to generate any success. Their first album, Blue Lines, was released in 1991 and is widely considered by many in the United Kingdom do be one of the best albums of the last 20 years. It and placed number 395 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It's popularity was thanks in large part to the song "Unfinished Sympathy," which is considered to be their most well-known song.
Their second studio release, 1994's Protection, was met with similar critical praise. The record was heralded for its relaxing tunes and wide variety of musical styles. The album's' title track, as well as the follow-up single "Karmacoma," helped lay the groundwork for an emerging genre of music.
Though they enjoyed significant critical success, it was not until their third album, 1998's Mezzanine, that Massive Attack received the commercial success to match it. The record was a huge success in the U.K., reaching number one on the charts. It was also relatively popular in the states, where it peaked at number 60 on the Billboard Hot 200. Several years later, the album's' first single, "Teardrop," became the theme song for the TV medical drama House MD.
For Massive Attack's fourth album, 100th Window, the lineup changed significantly, as Vowles and Marshall were not in on the recording. However, the record was still commercially viable and one of the singles from the release featured vocals from Sinead O'Connor.
While not able to live up to the success of their first three albums, the band's most recent production, Heligoland
, includes contributions from a wide array of sources. Singers from TV On The Radio, Gorillaz and Portishead all lent their talents. Though the lineup has changed, Massive Attack remains one of the pioneers of a unique genre that will certainly live on through the decades to come.