Listening to … Massive Attack


late night meanderings

My Listening To is going to occasionally take a different vein.

Albert Einstein, physicist and musician, is quoted saying “I see my life in terms of music.” I’m no physicist (although I did pass physics in 6th form/year 12), but I do see life in a similar way with music.

From an early age I can remember music in my life, it was inevitable. My grandmother was a piano teacher and used to accompany silent movies in her little home town back in the day. Both my parents were singers and could play the piano. We all grew up with music in some form or another and get togethers always included a singalong.

All my memories have music associated with them, so join me as occasionally I relive my musical life history – not necessarily in chronological order!

1991Unfinished Sympathy, Massive Attack

At one point I thought I might be a music journalist. Working in student radio in the coolest indie decade (imho the 90s), I interviewed a few musicians. One of them was Shara Nelson, who had just released a solo album, and is the vocalist on this single.

While this song is about a broken heart I didn’t associate it with anyone or being heartbroken. Its extremely cool, melancholic tones are what rendered in my mind rather than the lyrics. Which is why the opening strains of this epic track immediately transport me back to my student days, to post-pub late nights, or parties in the early hours when the vibe would start to change and the music would become a bit more chilled. If you were still standing, the beers or shots got changed to a brandy or a port as we would sit around and talk about how we would change the world. We thought ourselves cool and sophisticated! The hindsight of life and age, I’m not so sure 😜 but we did have great ideas and great times, which is how youth should be.

Do you have songs you associate with moments in time? Share in comments.

3 responses to “Listening to … Massive Attack

  1. Yes, it was such a Pub band scene in Melbourne in the 90s. I have fond memories of bands that never became ‘known’ but that we followed…as well as ‘name’ acts like Hunters and Collecters, Paul Kelly and others that we saw playing live but not in stadium concerts like now. And of course songs that are linked with people and relationships 🙂

    • I love Paul Kelly. Hunters and Collectors “throw your arms around me” was also often played when the guitars came out at parties! My irish flatmates just didn’t appreciate it the same!

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