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28 August 2019

Dummy at 25

Dummy at 25

Described by the Independent as “timeless and unknowable”, Portishead’s debut album Dummy marks its 25th anniversary this August. The trip-hop classic was an unexpected success on its release in 1994, peaking at number two in the UK charts, scoring an MTV hit with single Sour Times and bagging the Mercury Music Prize.

Dummy’s title was inspired by a 1970s TV drama of the same name, about a young deaf woman who becomes a prostitute. “The lyrics spoke of emotional extremes… its sound, woven together by Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley, helped define what is known today in music as hauntology, the sampling of older, spectral sounds to evoke deeper cultural memories,” says The Guardian.

The album went on become a triple-platinum seller and “its influence lives on today in the stylised vintage of Lana Del Ray and the murky beats of SoundCloud rap”, says the New York Times. Listen to Barrow and Utley chat about Dummy with Zane Lowe on Apple Music.