Massive Attack is a popular band from Bristol, England. They have released four full studio albums. Their music is electronic, and combines elements of jazz, hip-hop and other genres; lately the darker, subtler forms of electronica have been dominant influences.
Massive Attack began as an offshoot of the Bristol art community The Wild Bunch. In 1991, they released their first album, Blue Lines, featuring the hit singles Unfinished Sympathy and Daydreaming. This subsequently became one of the most influential British records of the 1990s, inspiring other projects such as Portishead and Morcheeba. Blue Lines ushered in a new genre of music best referred to as "the Bristol sound", but the press began to use the label "trip hop", which the members of Massive Attack dislike.
During the first Gulf War, several British media channels became anxious to avoid using words suggestive of war and violence, and Massive Attack (then struggling to become established) were forced to temporarily change their name to simply Massive. Lead band member Robert Del Naja makes no secret in interviews of his political objections to U.S. aggression against the Third World in the name of democracy, often expressing regret that he ever agreed to the name change.
In 1994 Massive Attack released their second effort Protection. Featuring two string instrumentals arranged by Craig Armstrong , this album featured a more lush, deeper sound than the first. This marked the last collaboration of Wild Bunch member Tricky with Massive Attack, as he afterwards concentrated wholly on his solo career.
Massive Attack's third album Mezzanine was released in 1998. Mezzanine showed the band moving towards a dark, distorted guitar-based sound, and, according to many fans and critics, marked a significant evolution. A song from this album, "Dissolved Girl," was featured in the film The Matrix.
A fourth album, 100th Window, was released on February 10, 2003. It entered the Top 10 in the UK charts. Del Naja was charged with possession of drugs that month. While some critics found 100th Window album not up to par with previous offerings, many found it a worthwhile listening experience.
Massive Attack originally consisted of three members, Robert Del Naja ("3D"), Grant Marshall ("Daddy G") and Andrew Vowles ("Mushroom"). After the recording of Mezzanine, Vowles -- dissatisfied with the change in sound -- left the band. Marshall elected to sit out during the recording of 100th Window, making that album essentially a Del Naja solo project.
Each Massive Attack album features guest vocalists, and so far the band has worked with Tricky, Shara Nelson , Tracey Thorn of Everything But The Girl, Nicolette, Sara Jay, Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins and Sinéad O'Connor. The Jamaican reggae legend Horace Andy is a fixture of Massive Attack albums.
Part of their song "Teardrop" is being used as the theme music for the American television show House, M.D..
Their work has paved the way for groundbreaking artists around the globe such as Carnage and the Fiasco , Hooverphonic, Fischerspooner, and Delerium.