366 Songs 117: Glory Box

It’s been years since I’ve really listened to “Glory Box,” probably the biggest hit from Portishead’s first album Dummy; it was one of those songs that I was convinced I had over-heard, that I was too used to from listening to the album endlessly when it came out, and then the single came out and it was everywhere… But it’s playing in the cafe that I’m sitting in right now, and it sounds much sharper, much less bloated and self-obsessed than I remembered it. It’s as if I had replaced the original – with Beth Gibbons’ voice cracking with emotion and the retro guitar twanging shamelessly, not quite a cliche just yet, months and countless rip-offs yet to come – with some idea of what it sounded like.

There are some songs that I wish I could hear for the first time all the time; relive the thrill of that first listen, the zigging when I expected a zag, or whatever, and be surprised and impressed every single time. This is definitely one of them; it was worth ignoring the song for years to hear it again as if it was, if not the first, then surely not the one hundredth, time.

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