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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > Dec 2018 > Massive Attack

Massive Attack

MEZZANINE

UMC/VIRGIN EMI

Released in 1998, and initially titled Damaged Goods – after the Gang Of Four album, telling of the New Wave records Robert Del Naja sampled in the record’s early stages – Mezzanine’s arrival was heralded by Teardrop, on which, even with her wraithlike tones, Cocteau Twins’ Liz Fraser proved insufficient to overcome the dominant bleak tension. The generous 50 minutes of accompanying tracks, produced by newcomer Neil Davidge – who gave them a grimly futuristic polish – rarely broke this mould. Fraser, for instance, made further attempts to lift the mood, with Black Milk far airier, but the increasingly terrifying Group Four merely benefited from the disconnect between her voice and the malicious environment. Opener Angel throbbed, then pounded, with Horace Andy’s sweet vocal swamped by a malevolent, relentless bassline and distorted guitars viciously reinforcing its climaxes. The monotony of the reverb-soaked, dubby Risingson was uncomfortably claustrophobic; Inertia Creeps’ rumbling Balkan rhythms were pierced by unsettling effects, while explosive guitars elevate the thrusting Dissolved Girl, halfway through. There were cracks of light, notably the strings-drenched (Exchange), while Mad Professor’s spacious mixes – which appear for the first time on this heat-sensitive 3LP package – help. Just don’t turn to his blistering version of Metal Banshee for relief.

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The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? Issue 21 of Long Live Vinyl celebrates the moment 50 years ago when the two biggest bands on earth went head to head on record-shop shelves. Our cover story tells the inside story of the making of The White Album and Beggars Banquet, while taking a look inside the new Deluxe Editions of both albums – you’ve never heard The White Album like this before! And our special collector’s edition covers enable you to choose either a Beatles or Stones edition – or buy both! Elsewhere this issue, we meet two of the most outspoken characters in the current musical landscape – Richard Ashcroft and Baxter Dury – to hear about their extraordinary new albums, and Heavenly Records founder Jeff Barrett talks us through his remarkable life in music, selecting the records that have soundtracked his career. Tim Burgess sits down for a chat about his O Genesis record label, The Trip visits Liverpool, our Classic Album is A Tribe Called Quest’s 1993 hip-hop masterpiece Midnight Marauders and we round up 40 Essential Laurel Canyon records that should be residing in your collection. If all that’s not enough, we bring you the most extensive range of new album, reissue and hardware reviews anywhere on the newsstand.