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Encyclopedia > Unfinished Sympathy
"Unfinished Sympathy"
"Unfinished Sympathy" cover
Single by Massive Attack
from the album Blue Lines
Released 1991
Format cassette tape, CD
Genre Trip Hop
Length 05:07
Label Virgin Records
Producer(s) Robert Del Naja / Grant Marshall / Shara Nelson / J. Sharp / Andrew Vowles
Chart positions
#13 (UK)
Massive Attack singles chronology
Daydreaming
(1991)
Unfinished Sympathy
(1991)
Safe From Harm (single)
(1991)

"Unfinished Sympathy" is a song written and performed by Massive Attack. The singer on the track is Shara Nelson. It appears on their debut album Blue Lines. The song and the whole band were part of a wider musical movement dubbed the 'Bristol Sound' or Trip hop by the music press. The music was also part of the wider Bristol Urban Culture scene. Image File history File links Unfinished Sympathy Album cover File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... A collection of various CD singles In music, a single is a short recording of one or more separate tracks. ... Massive Attack are a successful and critically acclaimed band from Bristol, England. ... Blue Lines is the debut album by British electronica group Massive Attack, released on August 6, 1991 (see 1991 in music) by Virgin Records. ... 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For the meaning of cassette in genetics, see cassette (genetics). ... CD may stand for: Compact Disc Canadian Forces Decoration Cash Dispenser (at least used in Japan) CD LPMud Driver Centrum-Demokraterne (Centre Democrats of Denmark) Certificate of Deposit České Dráhy (Czech Railways) Chad (NATO country code) Chalmers Datorförening (computer club of the Chalmers University of Technology) a 1960s... A music genre is a category (or genre) of pieces of music that share a certain style or basic musical language (van der Merwe 1989, p. ... Trip hop (also known as the Bristol sound) is a term coined by United Kingdom dance magazine Mixmag, to describe a musical trend in the mid-1990s; trip hop is downtempo electronic music that grew out of Englands hip hop and house scenes. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Virgin Records is a British recording label founded by British entrepreneur Richard Branson, and Nik Powell in 1972. ... In the music industry, a record producer (or music producer) has many roles, among them controlling the recording sessions, coaching and guiding the performers, and supervising the recording, mixing and mastering processes . ... Robert Del Naja (born January 21, 1966 in Brighton, England), also known as 3D, is an English artist and musician. ... Daddy G is the fly, hip O.G. pseudonym of Massive Attack group member Grant Marshall. ... Shara Nelson (born in London, England) is a singer and musician. ... A record chart, also known as a music chart, is a method of ranking music according to popularity during a given period of time. ... Massive Attack are a successful and critically acclaimed band from Bristol, England. ... Safe From Harm is the first single off of Blue Lines, the 1991 debut from Massive Attack. ... Massive Attack are a successful and critically acclaimed band from Bristol, England. ... Shara Nelson (born in London, England) is a singer and musician. ... Blue Lines is the debut album by British electronica group Massive Attack, released on August 6, 1991 (see 1991 in music) by Virgin Records. ... Trip hop (also known as the Bristol sound) is a term coined by United Kingdom dance magazine Mixmag, to describe a musical trend in the mid-1990s; trip hop is downtempo electronic music that grew out of Englands hip hop and house scenes. ... Trip hop (also known as the Bristol sound) is a term coined by United Kingdom dance magazine Mixmag, to describe a musical trend in the mid-1990s; trip hop is downtempo electronic music that grew out of Englands hip hop and house scenes. ... The city of Bristol in the UK has spawned various musicians and artists, and is typified by its Urban Culture. ...

Contents

The song

The lyrics add to the emotional mood of the song, complementing the string section:

I know that I've been mad in love before
And how it could be with you
Really hurt me baby, really cut me baby
How can you have a day without a night
You're the book that I have opened
And now I've got to know much more

The song projects a dark mood. This was likely to have been influenced by the tensions within Massive Attack. Robert Del Naja has described the dark atmosphere within the group: "There was always this tension between control and collaboration. Always ... We were just trying to get the job finished ...Everything became thinner and smaller. All that warmth being spun into a tiny little thread, then that thread just being cut." [1]


Critical acclaim

The song appeared on the album Blue Lines
The song appeared on the album Blue Lines

It has frequently been placed at the top or near the top of lists of the best song of all time compiled by various different magazines, reviewers and TV channels: Cover of the Massive Attack album Blue Lines. ... Cover of the Massive Attack album Blue Lines. ... Blue Lines is the debut album by British electronica group Massive Attack, released on August 6, 1991 (see 1991 in music) by Virgin Records. ...

  • The TV Channel MTV2 in the UK ranked it #1 in a poll of the best songs of all time
  • Face Magazine (UK) - Singles of the Year, ranking #1
  • Melody Maker (UK) - Singles of the Year, ranking #1
  • New Musical Express (UK) - Singles of the Year, ranking #8
  • Iguana (Spain) - Singles of the Year, ranking #2
  • A BBC Radio 2 poll ranked it #44 in the best songs of all time
  • Reviewer Julie Burchill has described as her favourite song of all time.
  • Mixmag (UK) - The 100 Best Dance Singles of All Time (1996) 10
  • New Musical Express (UK) - The Top 100 Singles of All Time (2002) 10
  • Q (UK) - The 1001 Best Songs Ever (2003), ranking #37
  • Q (UK) - Top 20 Singles from 1980-2004 (2004), ranking #8
  • RDL (Spain) - The 100 Best Songs from 1990 to 1998 (1999), ranking #1
  • Rock de Lux (Spain) - The Top 100 Songs from 1984-1993 (1993), ranking #4
  • BBC Radio 1 (1998), ranking #1
  • Q Magazine (1998) - ranking #15
  • EveryHit.com poll of poll - ranking #21

Song meaning

The meaning of the song has generated much debate among fans. Some claim it is about the fear of getting hurt by someone you are falling in love with - the fear of getting too close. Other fans have argued it is about "the uncertainty that there is at the beginning of a relationship after being in a painful one. You are unsure whether it is going to hurt you like the previous one and asking the questions about what will go wrong even though it seems so perfect." [2]


Trivia

  • The percussion loop is the 'belly break' sampled from "Take Me To The Mardi Gras" by Bob James, a cover version of Paul Simon's "Take Me To The Mardi Gras" which was also used by Run DMC on "Peter Piper"[3]
  • The group were forced to change their name due to the outbreak of the Gulf War in 1991. They were briefly known as "Massive", and it is that name which features on the cover of this single[4]
  • The voice at the beginning of the song is a sample of John McLaughlin, whose voice was sampled without clearance [5]
  • The song has also been remixed by Paul Oakenfold and Nellee Hooper
  • The song has been covered by Tina Turner for her 1996 Wildest Dreams album.

Bob James (born December 25, 1939) is a two-time Grammy Award-winning smooth jazz keyboardist, arranger and producer. ... Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, half of the folk-singing duo Simon and Garfunkel who continues a successful solo career. ... There Goes Rhymin Simon is a 1973 album by Paul Simon. ... Run-DMC is a hip hop crew founded by Jason Jam Master Jay Mizell that included Joseph Run Simmons and Darryl DMC McDaniels. ... John McLaughlin John McLaughlin during a Shakti concert John McLaughlin (born January 4, 1942), also Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, is a jazz fusion guitar player from Yorkshire in England. ... Paul Oakenfold (born August 30, 1963 in London, England) is a record producer and one of the best-known, and most expensive (£25,000 per gig)[1] DJs worldwide. ... Nellee Hooper is a British producer/remixer best-known for his work with Björk, No Doubt, Madonna, U2, Sneaker Pimps, and Massive Attack. ... Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939) is a Grammy Award-winning American pop/rock singer, Buddhist and occasional actress. ... WILDEST DREAMS ( USA EDITION ) 1. ...

The video

A shot of the single's music video
A shot of the single's music video

The video for Unfinished Sympathy was recorded in January 1991 on West Pico Boulevard between S. New Hampshire Avenue and Dewey Avenue in Los Angeles, CA. It features Nelson walking down the sidewalk unaware of her surroundings, which include drunks, gangs, and bikers. It was one of the earliest music videos to use a continuous shot. The video was the influence for the "Bitter Sweet Symphony" video by The Verve, which was in turn parodied by the video for the single "Vindaloo" by Fat Les. Image File history File links Unfinishedsympvid. ... Image File history File links Unfinishedsympvid. ... Pico Boulevard is a major Los Angeles street that runs from Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica to South Central Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles. ... This article is about the largest city in California. ... Bitter Sweet Symphony is a song by the rock band The Verve, and is the lead track to their third album, Urban Hymns. ... The Verve (formerly Verve) was an English alternative rock band of the 1990s, originally formed in 1989 at Winstanley Sixth Form College, Winstanley, Wigan, Greater Manchester, England, by vocalist Richard Ashcroft, guitarist Nick McCabe, bassist Simon Jones and drummer Peter Salisbury. ... Vindaloo was a single from 1998, recorded for the 1998 FIFA World Cup by Fat Les. ... Fat Les is a British band consisting of Alex James, the bassist from Blur; actor Keith Allen; and artist Damien Hirst. ...


Samples

Image File history File links MassiveAttack-UnfinishedSympathy. ...

See also

Bristol is a city in south west England. ...

External links

Notes

  1. ^ Sydney Morning Herald review. Retrieved on June 14, 2006.
  2. ^ SongMeanings.com page about the song. Retrieved on June 14, 2006.
  3. ^ Discogs. Retrieved on September 30, 2006.
  4. ^ Discogs. Retrieved on September 30, 2006.
  5. ^ Sydney Morning Herald review. Retrieved on June 14, 2006.
Massive Attack
Robert Del Naja aka "3D" - Grant Marshall aka "Daddy G"
Andrew Vowles aka "Mushroom"
Discography
EPs: Hymn of the Big Wheel - Butterfly Caught
Studio albums: Blue Lines - Protection - Mezzanine - 100th Window
Singles: Any Love - Daydreaming - Unfinished Sympathy - Safe From Harm - Massive Attack EP - Sly - Protection - Karmacoma - Risingson - Teardrop - Angel - Intertia Creeps - Special Cases - Butterfly Caught - Live With Me
Compilations: The Singles Collection - Collected
Remix Albums: No Protection
Soundtracks: Danny the Dog - Bullet Boy
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  Results from FactBites:
 
Unfinished Sympathy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (836 words)
"Unfinished Sympathy" is a song written and performed by Massive Attack, and regarded by many reviewers as among the best songs of all time.
The voice at the beginning of the song is a sample of John McLaughlin, whose voice was sampled without clearance.
The video for Unfinished Sympathy was recorded in January 1991 on W. Pico Blvd between S. New Hampshire Ave and Dewey Ave in Los Angeles, CA.
inflightdata.com - massive attack discography - singles - unfinished sympathy (41 words)
inflightdata.com - massive attack discography - singles - unfinished sympathy
unfinished sympathy single (11/02/1991) (released commercially under the name "massive")
unfinished sympathy remix single (released commercially under the name "massive")
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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