11 Songs, 57 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Portishead beats bootleggers at their own game by recording and releasing a special one-off concert at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom, replete with live arrangements by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. No pirated live recording could possibly compare. “Humming” from the band’s 1997 self titled sophomore album sets a dark and beautiful tone with an eerie Theremin floating over the orchestra’s noir-tinged arrangements before Beth Gibbons elegantly inflects her ghostly and gossamer vocals over a scratchy trip-hop drum beat. “Cowboys” follows menacingly with distorted turntable scratching against a fleet of cellos and deep droning horns that adds a vast chasm of dimension under Gibbons’ troubled siren singing. Fans of David Axelrod’s soundtrack scores will delight in the cinematic sounding version of “All Mine.” With the 35-piece ensemble at its disposal, Portishead turns the tune into something that sounds like it could have been penned and arranged for an artful spy film of the early ‘60s. The crowd-pleasing hit “Sour Times” gets completely reworked to sound like a hip and haunted dance floor dirge. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Portishead beats bootleggers at their own game by recording and releasing a special one-off concert at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom, replete with live arrangements by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. No pirated live recording could possibly compare. “Humming” from the band’s 1997 self titled sophomore album sets a dark and beautiful tone with an eerie Theremin floating over the orchestra’s noir-tinged arrangements before Beth Gibbons elegantly inflects her ghostly and gossamer vocals over a scratchy trip-hop drum beat. “Cowboys” follows menacingly with distorted turntable scratching against a fleet of cellos and deep droning horns that adds a vast chasm of dimension under Gibbons’ troubled siren singing. Fans of David Axelrod’s soundtrack scores will delight in the cinematic sounding version of “All Mine.” With the 35-piece ensemble at its disposal, Portishead turns the tune into something that sounds like it could have been penned and arranged for an artful spy film of the early ‘60s. The crowd-pleasing hit “Sour Times” gets completely reworked to sound like a hip and haunted dance floor dirge. 

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Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
104 Ratings
104 Ratings
fain ,

The most brilliant live album I've ever heard

I've been a big Portishead fan since I first stumbled on Dummy in 1994-1995. I listened to it religiously for years until I heard that they had a new album out. This ofcourse was their self titled album that came out in 1997. At the time I absolutely hated it. I was so in love with their previous album that nothing could hold a candle to it.

Last year I was looking through my music collection and found that hated album and decided to put it on. It was like a good wine, somehow it had gotten WAY better over the course of 6-7 years <grin> of never being listened to. I then made a mad dash to find anything else that Portishead had released.

I was saddened to learn that they only had one other 'official' album and that it was a release of a live concert. How could this be? Again I misjudged a Portishead album, I figured it would be alright at best.

I COULDN'T HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG. This, in my opinion, is the best live album I have ever heard. The sound is incredible, the composition is better then most studio albums. If we have to live the rest of our lives with nothing new from Portishead, at least they gave us this first!

Pure bliss.

sean day ,

IT ROCKS

period.

amazing because it captures the giant space of the venue and somehow seems even more INTIMATE than their studio work TRULY SPECIAL.

chrissyc ,

I was there

I was lucky enough to be at this concert....i was sitting right in front of beth, if you get the dvd, i'm the one in the white jacket..but anyway portishead is one of my all time favorite groups (too bad it takes years for them to make one album) if u are new to portishead and are looking to get introduced, this is a great mixture of their two studio albums. if they are putting out a new album like it has been reported, do not miss them in concert, it was an absolutely mind blowing performance live

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