Blue Lines

Wild Bunch Records
Release date
28 Aug 2006
Running length
9 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Safe From Harm 5:18 420,864
2 One Love 4:48 238,994
3 Blue Lines 4:21 238,626
4 Be Thankful for What You've Got 4:09 223,956
5 Five Man Army 6:04 284,005
6 Unfinished Sympathy 5:16 494,947
7 Daydreaming 4:15 220,623
8 Lately 4:26 204,655
9 Hymn Of The Big Wheel 6:39 200,584

About this album

Blue Lines is the debut album by British electronica group Massive Attack, released on April 8, 1991 by Virgin Records.

Blue Lines was generally considered the first trip hop album, though the term wasn’t coined until several years later. Blue Lines was a success in the United Kingdom, though sales were limited elsewhere. A fusion of electronic music, hip hop, dub music, ’70s soul music and reggae, the album established Massive Attack as one of the innovative British bands of the 1990s and the founder of trip hop’s Bristol Sound. Music critic Simon Reynolds stated that the album also marked a change in electronic/dance music, “a shift toward a more interior, meditational sound. The songs on Blue Lines run at ‘spliff’ tempos - from a mellow, moonwalking 90 beats per minute …down to a positively torpid 67 bpm.” The group also drew inspiration from concept albums in various genres by artists such as Pink Floyd, Public Image Ltd., Herbie Hancock and Isaac Hayes.

Blue Lines featured breakbeats, sampling, and rapping on a number of tracks, but the design of the album differed from traditional hip hop. Massive Attack approached the American-born hip hop movement from an underground British perspective, as well as incorporating live instruments into the mixes. It features the vocals of Shara Nelson and Horace Andy, along with the rapping of Tricky Kid. Blue Lines proved to be popular in the club scene, as well as on college radios.

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