Additional personnel includes: Tricky, Horace Andy, Shara Nelson (vocals); Paul Johnson (bass).
Personnel: Massive Attack (vocals); Grantley Marshall, Tony Bryan, Horace Andy, Robert del Naja, Shara Nelson, Tricky (vocals); Johnny Dollar , Andrew Vowles (keyboards); Paul Johnson (bass guitar); Mikey General (background vocals).
Recording information: Cherry Bear Studios; Coach House And Cherry Bear Studios, Bristol, England; Eastcote And Abbey Road Studios, London, England; EMI Abbey Road Studios, London, England; Hot Nights, London, England.
Arranger: Neneh Cherry.
One of the 90s' early classics and a landmark album in dance music, Bristol's Massive Attack invented the 'trip-hop' genre, an ambient form of hip-hop. Born from the ashes of pioneering sound system unit the Wild Bunch, the core trio of Daddy-G, Mushroom and 3-D were joined on Blue Lines by soul diva Shara Nelson, reggae singer Horace Andy and a young Tricky. Together they fashioned a strikingly modern urban soundtrack that added an emotional intensity to the sparseness and studied cool of hip-hop, with Nelson's impassioned vocals on 'Unfinished Sympathy' helping to create one of the songs that defined the 90s.
Rolling Stone (p.104) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]rip-hop began here, on an album where the producers, even more than stellar guest vocalists like Shara Nelson and Horace Andy, were the stars."
Spin (9/99, p.131) - Ranked #24 in Spin Magazine's "90 Greatest Albums of the '90s."
Spin (8/91) - Highly Recommended - "...simply beautiful...assaults the ear and the ass, lulling and grooving..."
Q (12/99, p.70) - Included in Q Magazine's "90 Best Albums Of The 1990s."
Q (10/01, p.99) - Ranked #8 in Q's "Best 50 Albums of Q's Lifetime"
Q (6/00, p.85) - Ranked #9 in Q's "100 Greatest British Albums" - "...It unwittingly gave birth to a new slow-burning, heavily atmospheric strain of dance music that...would very swiftly be termed trip hop....music designed for the head first and the feet second."
Vibe (12/99, p.157) - Included in Vibe's 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century
Melody Maker (12/91) - Ranked #23 in Melody Maker's list of the top 30 albums of 1991 - "..."Blue Lines" was the album Soul II Soul never managed: a loose cross between ambient House, old Studio One-time reggae, swingbeat and the post-M.A.R.S. hippychick groove. Truly gorgeous..."
New York Times (Publisher) (10/30/91) - "...mixes rap, funk, and soul into something nicely relaxed and fluid."
NME (Magazine) (10/2/93, p.29) - Ranked #97 in NME's list of the "Greatest Albums Of All Time."