Portishead Songs Ranked

Portishead is an English band formed in 1991 in Bristol. They are often considered one of the pioneers of trip-hop music. The band is named after the nearby town of the same name, eight miles west of Bristol, along the coast.[9] Portishead consists of Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons, and Adrian Utley, while sometimes citing a fourth member, Dave McDonald, an engineer on their first records. Their debut album, Dummy, was met with critical acclaim in 1994, quickly becoming a landmark album in the trip-hop genre. Two other studio albums have been issued: Portishead in 1997 and Third in 2008, both of which received similar acclaim. In 1998, the band released a concert album, Roseland NYC Live. Here are all of Portishead’s songs ranked.

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10. Mysterons (Roseland NYC Live, 1994)

“I will admit the atmosphere of this album is delightfully heavy and the orchestra compliments Gibbons’ voice extremely well. My friend, the massive Portishead fan, bought this on record for some ungodly price and it’s a lovely way of hearing it.”

9. Numb (Dummy, 1994)

“The trip-hop of Portishead was one of the most interesting and original new sounds to come out during the whole of the 1990s. Their best tracks from this period have this lush production which is also rather shadowy, ominous and nocturnal.”

8. Cowboys (Portishead, 1997)

“The vocal work and atmosphere are a bit creepy and sinister, but the instrumental section where it gets to the ludicrous record scratching is enough for me to appreciate this song.”

Portishead : Portishead – Treble

7. Wandering Star (Dummy, 1994)

“This one doesn’t really reach me like the other singles out of this album. Still, the organic beat and nice chilled-back vocal performance are always enjoyable to listen to. Some nice scratching in it.”

See more: Portishead Albums Ranked

6. All Mine (Portishead, 1997)

“I briefly toyed with the idea of docking half a star for “All Mine” recycling the tested “Glory Box” beat. Then the brass and string section got a hold of my senses. And then Beth Gibbons came on, playing some kinda hungover Dina Washington, cooing bitter nothings in my ear. Then, lord almighty, she hit the chorus phrase!”

5. Undenied (Portishead, 1997)

“Probably the most touching lyric I’ve ever heard/read. It’s funny how much more I adored this song once I actually felt what Beth was singing. To feel vulnerable, scared, confused, obsessed, and utterly in love all at once over someone is scary.”

Portishead: Third Album Review | Pitchfork

4. Over (Portishead, 1997)

“In essence this song could be about so many different things. It could be about cheating with a lover, it could be about trying something new, or you could even twist the meaning to be about murder… it’s very open ended in that way. For me personally I think it’s about cheating.”

See more: The Best Albums of 2008

3. Roads (Dummy, 1994)

“I really don’t have much of an idea as to what this could be, it could be the breakdown of a friendship, it could be making the wrong choice, I’m really not sure. What I am sure of is that this song is one of the sexiest sounding songs I’ve ever heard.”

2. Glory Box (Dummy, 1994)

“This could very well be a vocal jazz single if it was not for the distorted guitars in the hook. The song is pretty fantastic, besides the guitars it also has a slow but heavy bass and some strings on a loop. I think that what makes it a particularly brilliant trip hop single though is the chilling vocal performance which rapidly changes from condescending to almost begging.”

Portishead: Dummy Album Review | Pitchfork

1. Sour Times (Dummy, 1994)

“Pretty dark stuff, the lyrics are great but this time the focus is in the complex beats. That guitar that starts the hook is wonderful, but instrumentally it is pretty great all around.”