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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Blue Lines

Massive Attack

1991

Buy At Rough Trade
Blue Lines
Album Summary

Blue Lines is the debut studio album by English electronic music group Massive Attack, released on 8 April 1991 by Wild Bunch and Virgin Records. The recording was led by members Grantley "Daddy G" Marshall, Robert "3D" Del Naja, Adrian "Tricky" Thaws, and Andrew "Mushroom" Vowles, with co-production by Jonny Dollar. It also features contributions by singers Shara Nelson and Horace Andy. Generally regarded as the first "trip hop" album, Blue Lines blended elements of hip hop (such as breakbeats, sampling, and rapping) with dub, soul, reggae, and electronic music. Blue Lines was named the 21st greatest album of all time in a 1997 "Music of the Millennium" poll conducted by HMV, Channel 4, The Guardian and Classic FM. In 2000, Q readers placed it at number 9 in the magazine's poll of the "100 Greatest British Albums Ever". In 2003, the album was included on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and again in 2012 and 2020. Pitchfork ranked it at number 85 in its list of "The Top 100 Albums of the 1990s".A remastered version of the album was released on 19 November 2012.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.37

Votes

13804

Genres

  • Electronica

Reviews

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Wed Mar 10 2021
5

The original trip hop album. Still sounds just as good now as it did 30 years ago.

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Fri Oct 08 2021
5

An album somehow both distilled essence of its time yet also timeless. With nods to 70s soul deep cuts and a melange of styles and genres, Massive Attack made this masterpiece for the ages. Absorbing, flowing, emotional - electronic music was rarely this introspective. And Unfinished Sympathy isn’t one of the greatest musical achievements of the century as the soaring orchestra builds and swells and Shara Nelson’s beautiful vocals ring clear and sweet creating a transformative, epic, maxi and mini track. Exciting and frightening.

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Wed Feb 24 2021
5

One of the best albums ever. Hands down.

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Wed Jun 23 2021
5

From the opening burbling bass of Safe From Harm, I was hooked. What a song. What an album. Genre defining. I love Mezzanine which is a more consistent album but the high points of Blue Lines are enough to carry the album to a 5 🌟rating

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Vocals are dynamic but very much reminiscent of the time period. Instrumentation holds up incredibly well and is solely unique to Massive Attack, that is a sexy, futuristic fusion of multiple genres such as a hip-hop, soft rock, jazz, etc. in a near psychedelic manner.

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Thu Jun 24 2021
2

Maybe revolutionary in its day, but it does not hold up for me. It could be a victim of its own success, creating an oft copied formula, once a bright shining star, but now it just blends in with the streetlamps.

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Tue Sep 29 2020
5

🌋😭🌋🌋 really good album bro. A lot of the drums are crazy good. One Love is fire . 1. Five Man Army 2. Unfinished Sympathy 3. Blue Lines The album incorporates hip hop, funk soul and electronic music together . I gotta stop reading the Apple Music description before hand.

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Wed Dec 15 2021
5

Yay some trip hop!! And not only that, but maybe the ultimate trip hop! I love the hip-hop, reggae, soul and electronic influences but they're all beautifully curated into something very pleasing and calming to my mind. The bouncy beat on Hymn of the Big Wheel makes me feel delicious things. It's perfect to me, no flaws. Unfinished Sympathy, another tuuuune.

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Wed May 25 2022
5

listen without prejudice they say, it's so hard. I grew up in Bristol, I was a teenager when this whole thing was kicking off. So strip away the hometown pride and teenage navel gazing what have you got? Basically a tsunami of an album one of the most distinct and incredible elements of this album is the bass, the bass is omnipresent loud and driving you have to remember that it was all guitars at the time. but they brought that heavy bass sound. Songs like safe from harm and one love, make Bass the king. the other thing that's great about this album is no one owns it, you have Horace Andy singing, 3D and Tricky rapping and Shara Nelson's iconic vocals. each song sounds differnt each song engages you in a differnt way, Yet it's cohesive. To me this album is the definition of collaboration. I could go on and on, folklore and drama surround it, but it's the music right and the music is so sweet. The shipping rhythms, the rolling bass and dream like pads make the music a waking dream something dark and beautiful. I'd give this a 6 if I could it's their best album by far and one of the best albums I've heard on this darn book list.

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Wed May 19 2021
5

Groooooovy. Loving it. Best enjoyed with headphones.

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Fri Jul 16 2021
5

Massive Attack is one of my favorite bands of all-time. The advent of trip-hop was amazing and this album illustrated the things to come from this english duo.

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Fri Mar 05 2021
3

Day 44 of AlbuMs You Must Hear. Before the genre trip-hop existed in 1991, English electronic music Massive Attack released their debut album, Blue Lines. This is a really chill record with lots of sampling, breakbeats and scratching. There is some singing and some rapping on Blue Lines but the true star of this show is the production. Check out the cool William DeVaughn sample of A Cadillac Don’t Come Easy on Be Thankful For What You Got. I really enjoyed Blue Lines by Massive Attack. Please share your thoughts, opinions and memories!!

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Sat Oct 30 2021
3

Makes me want to go out and buy rubbers.

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Wed Jun 05 2024
3

mf rhymed 'dangerous' with 'contagerious'

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Wed Mar 24 2021
2

It's fine, but it's boring. Background music. 'Unfinished Sympathy' is a banger though.

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Mon Jul 19 2021
2

I think I'm definitely missing something here and feel bad for giving it a 2 for a half assed listen on my part, but that's just the way it is.

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Thu May 27 2021
2

Is it club music? Is it hip hop? Neither, both, but less than the sum of its parts. Underwhelming rhymes, sounds dated and very 90s but in a not great way. That said, there's a few decent tracks on here: Blue Lines, Unfinished Sympathy and Hymn Of The Big Wheel

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Tue Aug 03 2021
2

Haven't we already listened to an album by this band? I'm just not into this type of music. It bores and annoys me

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Fri Jan 15 2021
1

Not a fan- Sounded like something out of the Matrix. Super 90's with the drum and base and techo kind of vibes.

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Thu Feb 11 2021
5

Excellent going on a couple playlists

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Smooth album. Large hip hop influence. Great vocals.

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Tue Jun 08 2021
5

Stone cold classic. Good to read the wiki and understand how pivotal it is. Tbh, can get a little pedestrian at times, but that’s the vibe I guess

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Wed Feb 17 2021
5

Seit gestern wieder nur zweiter im ewigen Battle: wer gefällt Guido besser, Blue Lines oder Protection? Aber wie das so ist in ewigen Battles: der Kampf ist noch lange nicht entschieden. Das hier featured Basslines für die Ewigkeit, den perfekten Popsong, und mit Hymn of the Big Wheel einen Grower, der auch nach Jahrzehnten bei mir immer noch Potential hat. Momentan: 4,7 Sterne

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Wed Feb 17 2021
5

Im Rückblick noch mehr Urknall als Grunge in dem Jahr. Weite, und ich meine weite Teile der 90er unvorstellbar ohne das Teil, Kruder und Dorfmeister waren ja bei denen im Kindergarten. Bass? Yeah! Drums? MEEEGAA. Aber auch die Raps möchte Vati lobend erwähnen: slick, smooth and juicy. "Bums", wie es so schön zärtlich in "daydreaming" haucht.

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Sun Aug 15 2021
5

Dark, moody and claustrophobic….. just a great great album

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

“Unfinished Sympathy… one of the most moving pieces of dance music ever, able to soften hearts and excite minds just as keenly as Bacharach or McCartney.”

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Tue Feb 15 2022
5

Before I’ve even listened to one note I am stoked, I lived this album back in the day and it’s been years since I last have given it any AirPlay. Having re listened to it I wasn’t disappointed, every song is a total banger, each hitting home with strong beats, still loving their best known hit unfinished sympathy and ending with the hymn of the big wheel which I think is such a haunting tune

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Tue Mar 01 2022
5

Awesome album, one of the ones I enjoyed most so far. Equally capable of being background music or being the focus of attention. Safe from harm and the majestic unfinished sympathy dominate, but all tracks work really well as a piece.

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Wed Mar 23 2022
5

Good in ‘91 and still grooves. Excellent cool as ice jazz and soul samples and covers. Rapping and wordplay are clever. Production and music is excellent. Mix of singing, reggae and rap is a good variety. Top notch, but do I prefer this to Protection? Are they both good enough for 5*? Probably!

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Tue Mar 29 2022
5

Before it was called trip hop it was called acid jazz which frankly is a huge turn off. I always liked Mezzanine more than this but this really kind of started off a whole genre. Shit is fire. Really inventive stuff, kind of mashed up a bunch of things that was swirling around the UK club scene at the time. Although they did it better later with the aforementioned Mezzanine, and Portishead is really the gold standard of the genre- you can look at this album as the most influential in trip hop.

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Tue Nov 07 2023
5

Un album que je connais bien, que j'écoute de temps en temps sur ma hifi et que j'ai eu le plaisir de redécouvrir dans mes écouteurs Sorti en 1991, dans un monde ou le hip hop est à peine installé, il est à la base de plein de belles choses, notamment en terme d'electronica et de trip hop Au final en réecoutant cet album je me rends compte qu'il m'a beaucoup inspiré dans mes créations, j'adore la façon dont ils utilisent les samples, j'adore cette fusion entre electro et orchestral, leurs invités et le tyoe de chant qu'ils décident de poser sur leurs productions C'est impecable C'est beau C'est très inspirant Et ça a franchement bien vielli malgré que ce soit marqué par son époque Merci massive attack 4,5/5

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Tue Nov 21 2023
5

I thought about giving this album a 4, because they have at least 2 better albums, but then ❤️❤️❤️unfinished sympathy❤️❤️❤️ came on.

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Wed Nov 29 2023
5

November 28, 2023 Masterpiece. Innovative, executed perfectly. Every track holds. "Because my ak rig goes boom boom My ak rig goes boom"

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Wed Nov 11 2020
4

So many different voices and sounds. Some reggae, some parts were more rap heavy. Really interesting.

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Mon May 24 2021
4

I started out listening to this thinking I liked the darker tone of Mezzanine better, and after finishing it I still think that stands. But other aspects of this album - Tricky’s rapping in particular - are better. Solid 4 stars.

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Thu Jun 03 2021
4

Solid, but sometimes a bit repetitive. Great for dancing by yourself in your room, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Favourites included Daydreaming and Blue Lines (the title track).

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Fri Aug 20 2021
4

I haven’t been this pleasantly surprised going into something I thought I’d dislike since my first viewing of “The Sound of Music” in a movie theater nearly a decade ago - this album combines hip-hop, dub, soul, reggae and electronic music into an incredibly satisfying melange.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
4

I love me some trip-hop. I think Mezzanine is a better album overall, but there's something really raw and significant about this album all the same. It really feels like it was at the crest of the wave for the genre - really enjoyed it

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Sat Aug 12 2023
3

Another legendary record that doesn’t move me in the slightest.

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Mon Jun 07 2021
2

It's just kinda there nothing special imo

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Mon Mar 14 2022
2

When you are a pioneer, trying to blaze new trails, you don't always find the ideal route the first time. "Blue Lines" has been credited as the first trip-hop album, and knowing Massive Attack's trip-hop reputation I was excited to listen. However, these are clearly the early experiments of the genre, not its later heights. Some of the beats and structure were what I expected, but the soul vocals were not what I was looking for. And though I remember liking Tricky's solo stuff, the tracks that featured him were not much better. "Blue Lines" is somewhere in the 2-3 range, minus a star for the disappointment, plus a star for pioneering a genre that would later produce some amazing material... (Interestingly, after listening to this I stumbled upon Massive Attack's "Teardrop" on Sirius XMU. Definitely the Massive Attack song I'm most familiar with. So much better than "Blue Lines." Then a few songs later they played The National's "The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness." (We also listened to The National last week.) Fantastic song. Probably my favorite I've heard from them. Better than anything on "High Violet." I thought both of those popping up today was pretty serendipitous.)

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Wed May 22 2024
2

The first song (and a couple of other songs in the album) are quite similar to a parody talk that Reggie Watts had at POP TECH where he was saying a bunch of nonsense and was making that kind of music on-stage but it was very nonsensical. I don't think that the album was absolutely amazing, but I am sure it has an audience. There was nice little music in the background and then someone would appear and say things relatively quietly, and sometimes the things would rhyme.

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Thu May 23 2024
2

I've never been a huge Massive Attack fan. I'm sure they're great, and they are probably the originators, but I feel like there have been so many parodies and stuff on this "type" of music, I couldn't get past the parody to hear it as a real serious album.

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Mon May 27 2024
2

Well, they certainly remind us who they are at every opportunity. They produced some great stuff later on, but this doesn't do anything for me.

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Mon Dec 14 2020
1

1991. Key Songs: Be Thankful For What You've Got

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Mon Feb 08 2021
1

great beats. werido lyrics and kinda off putting.

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Thu Feb 18 2021
1

I am no fan of trip-hop, and I wouldn't shed too many tears if the entire city of Bristol was to fall into the sea. This sounds...atrocious. Boring, dated - and how many times are they going to say the phrase 'massive attack'? I'm trying to imagine a scenario where I'd put this on out of choice, and am failing. Perhaps interrogating someone at Abu Ghraib?

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Thu Jan 21 2021
1

Synthy, cheesy white rapping over monotonous instrumental instruments. Confused reggae early 90s alt rock. Frankly, very bad.

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Tue Apr 27 2021
1

lukewarm beats and irritating vocals. Plodding and soporific. We've progressed a lot since this album. Was pretty happy when this album ended.

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Tue Jan 30 2024
1

This was a massive attack on my ears. I will gladly stay away from this group in the future.

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Sun May 16 2021
5

Mummy! Mummy! The cat pissed all over my hair again. Please help.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
5

Really liked this, listened several times.

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Sat Jun 12 2021
5

Sin ser el que más me gusta sí es el que más me sorprende, lo tiene todo para ser una obra maestra: mezcla de géneros para hacer uno nuevo, flow y rollo a rabiar, magnetismo a tope. Musicalmente es una locura y, en su momento, rompedor y totalmente novedoso.

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Mon Feb 22 2021
5

great album, mezzanine my fave though

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Tue Mar 09 2021
5

Massive Attack haben mich geflashed, als ich sie das erste Mal entdeckt hab und tun es immer wieder. Düster, mystisch, fett, melodisch und überraschend. Das ist für sein Genre zeitlos.

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Wed Aug 18 2021
5

A true classic. And if 3D Del Naja is Banksy, then even better.

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Sat Sep 11 2021
5

Awesome rock album, some parts I didn't care for but some 5 star songs

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Wed Sep 22 2021
5

Дебютник моих любимок в мире трип-хопа. Не лучший их альбом, но все равно хороший 9/10

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Sat Sep 25 2021
5

*classic alert* I have this one on cd from years ago.. My second favourite massive attack album I reckon, just behind mezannine

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Wed Sep 29 2021
5

Great album from start to finish

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Fri Oct 01 2021
5

6 of 1,001. Already own. Brilliant.

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Mon Oct 25 2021
5

A veritable banger, already with many plays by me. I think I'll always prefer Mezzanine and Heligoland, but this is so impressive for a debut. Fav new track: N/A, but fav old track is prob still Safe From Harm. Memories of drilling the iwaslookingbackatyou section back in the day...

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Thu Oct 28 2021
5

From the opening burbling bass of Safe From Harm, I was hooked. What a song. What an album. Genre defining. I love Mezzanine which is a more consistent album but the high points of Blue Lines are enough to carry the album to a 5 🌟rating

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Mon Nov 15 2021
5

Very bassy and chill Awesome for 'high' setting

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Wed Nov 24 2021
5

4.5/5. Can definitely hear the influence on Radiohead and NIN, and how it expanded use of samples. British rap tho 😬

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Wed Dec 01 2021
5

Awesome, I would have never found this on my own.

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Thu Jan 13 2022
5

An absolutely gargantuan album of early trip hop. A definitive album of the genre. And you get Unfinished Sympathy to boot. 5 stars all the way.

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Mon Mar 07 2022
5

The big wheel keeps on turning…

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Sat Mar 19 2022
5

Truly an innovative direction in music and the start of triphop as a genre.

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Wed Apr 06 2022
5

Every time it ended I hit play again, and I just kept turning up the volume. (:

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Wed Apr 06 2022
5

Prior to this, Teardrop was the only song of theirs I knew. I enjoyed the whole album!

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Mon Apr 11 2022
5

Inspired. Trip hop at its smoothest, freshest and funkiest, full of brooding emotion.

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Tue May 03 2022
5

Fantastic. Thought I would find it middling. Instead I loved it all.

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Tue May 10 2022
5

Just fabulous. And magical. Adore this album.

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Tue May 24 2022
5

Flawless. The singing alone on Hymn of the Big Wheel...

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Wed May 25 2022
5

Classic. It's not my favourite of their albums, but it is a timeless wonder.

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Sat Aug 06 2022
5

This is SOOO my type of music

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

Wawow mag net een vijf krijgen van mij (omdat ik het zo makkelijker ga vinden haha). Heel mooie liedjes vooral: blue lines, unfinished sympathy en hymn of the big wheel . Ik duik nog wat in hun discografie

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Wed Aug 31 2022
5

9/10. Excellent, was obviously a huge influence to Moby, Groove Armada, etc. Highlight was Unfinished Symphony.

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Wed Aug 31 2022
5

C'est exactement comme ça qu'on imagine la vie

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