The group is named Massive
Attack. The music is indescribable. It is formed by three core members and
brought to life by various collaborators. Robert Del Naja (aka 3D) was a
graffiti artist doing community service after being arrested for his art.
"Mushroom" Vowles and "Daddy G" Marshall were two members of
the DJ soundsystem collective The Wild Bunch. They all met in the mid-eighties
through the Wild Bunch. Massive Attack, as a group, came into fruition in 1987.
Their intention was to "create music around art". The Wild Bunch had
dissolved by this point, and one member, Nellee Hooper, went to work with Soul
II Soul, another offshoot of the Wild Bunch crew. He split his time between Soul
II Soul and Massive Attack and helped produce tracks on both of their albums.
1990 saw the release of the first single, Daydreaming, which featured Shara
Nelson on vocals and the rapping of Tricky. Unfinished Sympathy and Safe From
Harm came next as well as an EP simply titled "EP". Baillie Walsh
produced a video for each. The album, Blue Lines, was a smash. It featured
Shara's singing, guest spots from Tricky, and Horace Andy's, a reggae star of
old, whose career was resurrected by the Massive. For their second album Massive
Attack again worked with Nellee Hooper, but branched out with different singers.
Andy and Tricky returned, but Shara left to pursue a solo career. In came Tracy
Thorn of the band Everything But the Girl and Nicolette, a little known solo
artist. Each sang two songs on the album totalling four languid masterpieces.
The album, Protection, spawned three singles: the title track, Karmacoma, and
Sly. Massive also worked with the Mad Professor who remixed the entire album
which was released under the name of No Protection. Now the boys had a higher
profile, especially with the releases by fellow Bristolians Portishead and the
solo release by Tricky. They then started touring with a notoriously long show
(or maybe jam is the more appropriate term). Nicolette joined them and Tracy
showed up when she could. For the past couple of years, they have mainly been
touring and working on their long-awaited third album. In their spare time they
found the time to work with Madonna on a Marvin Gaye cover produced by Nellee
Hooper and remixed Garbage's "Milk". In the summer of 1997, to promote
their Glastonbury appearance, the boys released a new single, Risingson, in an
extremely limited edition. The single also featured another new track,
Superpredators. Also during this "off" period, Massive Attack began
their own label Melankolic. It features such handpicked artists as Alpha, Craig
Armstrong, Lewis Parker, and the legend Horace Andy. The third album was
released May 12, 1998.Mezzanine and features 11 new tracks. The first official
single was Teardrop. The album again features Horace Andy as well as Cocteau
Twins vocalist Liz Fraser and new talent Sara Jay. A massive (no pun intended)
tour is currently under way. The first North American leg will feature Massive
signing Lewis Parker. The second single from Mezzanine was Angel and features
the first remix by British band Blur. Inertia Creeps was the third and final
single in September. It featured many remixes from Manic Street Preachers, State
of Bengal, and more. In December, the band released a box set compiling all of
their 11 singles. They were also nominated for 5 Brit awards but won none. They
are now on a break. More to come.