The ’59 2018 #247: 180904
Massive Attack – Mezzanine (1998)
Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 40 – 1998.
Mezzanine was Massive Attack’s third studio, released on 20 April 1998 by Circa and Virgin Records. It was the first album produced by Neil Davidge.
For legal reasons. the album was first made available as a legal download from the band’s website prior to its hard copy release.
Mezzanine topped the charts in the UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand, becoming the group’s most commercially successful album to date. It spawned four singles: “Risingson”, “Teardrop”, “Angel”, and “Inertia Creeps”
The ’59 2018 #230: 180818
Leftfield – Leftism (1995)
Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 37 – 1995.
Robin Risk and I went to a Leftfield gig at Brighton’s “The Event” back in early 1995 when they were promoting the release of Leftism, released on 30 January. Preceded by a DJ set, the band didn’t get to the stage until two in the morning, but then gave us a blistering two hours of progressive house, techno dub electronica.
Apart from the early hours start (a first for us), what blew us away – quite literally – was the power-wind of the bass. I guess the two drum kits either side of the stage should have given us a clue; those and the massive stacks of driver bins. But the pulse of the absolute depth of it was a living thing. It just grabbed you, gave you good shaking and didn’t let go. It still hasn’t 23 years on.
On 5 May 2017 Leftfield released Leftism 22. This re-release features a remastered album as well a bonus disc of remixes by current artists, including Adrian Sherwood.
The ’59 2018 #141: 180521
Grace Jones – Nightclubbing (1981)
This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 23 – 1981.
Nightclubbing was the fifth studio album by Jamaican singer Grace Jones, released on 11 May 1981 by Island Records. Recorded at Compass Point Studios with producers Alex Sadkin and Island Records’ president Chris Blackwell, as well as a team of session musicians rooted by rhythm section Sly & Robbie, the album marked her second foray into a new wave style that blends a variety of genres, including reggae, art pop, dub, synth-pop and funk. The album is a mixture of cover versions from artists including Bill Withers, Iggy Pop and Astor Piazzolla, and original songs, three of which were co-written by Jones.
It album received positive reviews upon its release and continues to be praised by critics, with reviewers commending the singer’s unique sound and organic fusion of genres. The album entered in the top 10 in five countries, and became Jones’ highest-ranking record on the US Billboard mainstream albums and R&B charts.
Six singles were released from the album, including the hits “Pull Up to the Bumper” and “I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango)”.
The Epic 2017 Project #171: 170620
Massive Attack – Mezzanine (1998)
Massive Attack’s third album, released on 20 April 1998 by Circa and Virgin Records. It was the first album to be produced by Neil Davidge, along with the group. The entire album was provided on their website for legal download many months before the physical release was announced, one of the first major uses of the MP3 format by a commercial organisation.
Mezzanine topped the charts in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand, becoming the band’s most commercially successful album. It saw the band expanding their trip hop sound to electronica stylings with diverse influences from rock, hip hop and dub genres.
The Epic 2017 Project #075: 170316
Fat Freddy’s Drop – Blackbird (2013)
The third studio album from the New Zealand group, released on 21 June 2013 on their own record label, The Drop. The album was a critical and commercial success, spending 4 weeks at the top of the New Zealand albums chart, and has been certified Platinum.
Fat Freddy’s Drop are a 7-piece outfit hailing from Wellington, New Zealand where they formed in 1999. They play a multi-genre style including diversities from Techno to Rhythm & Blues, Reggae to Jazz and Dub to Soul along with anything else that just happens to slip into the mix.
Here’s ‘Wandering Eye’ from 2006 to give you a taster…