I don’t think it’s possible to explain or, rather, express the impact Portishead’s debut album Dummy had.
For me, it was the middle end of high school and suddenly these songs kept appearing. In the background at first but then in the foreground and very soon filling the entire room as the event for the evening. Just listening to it over and over in the dim or colored light. The only other album I think I let myself get so lost in was Mazzy Star’s So That Tonight I Might See (my teenaged self would alone put ‘Into Dust’ on infinite repeat and just lose hours).
Dummy became one of those instant classic albums. Long after what was tagged as trip-hop faded away, morphed, and was replaced, that album stayed compelling not just because it was imbued with nostalgia but because it was so artfully crafted and resonant.
In honor of Dummy‘s anniversary this week, I’ve put together a Portishead playlist. But before you enjoy that, listen/watch their cover of Abba’s S.O.S.
‘S.O.S.’ was featured in the film High-Rise, which is worth checking out as it is a pretty intense performance from Tom Hiddlestine.