“Sour Times” by Portishead
Song of the Day
“Who am I?
What and why?
‘Cause all I have left,
is my memories,
of yesterday –
oh these sour times.”
“Sour Times” is a Trip Hop classic from Portishead’s debut album, Dummy. It was released as the 2nd single from the album in August of 1994. The song was written by all 3 members of the band.
The song initially reached only # 57 on the UK Singles Chart, but after the success of Portishead’s song, “Glory Box”, in 1995, “Sour Times” was re-released and peaked at # 13, in April of 1995.
“Sour Times” is the band’s only song to date to appear on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, at # 53. It was also the band’s first entry on the Australian ARIA top 100 singles chart, peaking at # 66, in March of 1995.
The B-side track “Airbus Reconstruction” was actually recorded by the band Airbus,who were former school friends of Geoff Barrow.
Truly some of the most sensual, seductive and downright sexy music has come from the ethereal avant-garde trip hop sounds of Portishead. For me, it was Portishead, followed shortly after by Massive Attack, that had me falling hard for trip hop, and how could I not? It felt like this delicious blend of jazz, acid house, cabaret, electronica and New Romantic sounds had all come together to soothe and seduce the world – and I was definitely both, soothed and seduced.
Beth Gibbons voice is breathtaking, and at times, completely unnerving. It is hard not to be moved by their chill-inducing music, and it is hard to resist the urge to fall into someone’s arms with their music acting as soundtrack.
“Sour Times” is a PERFECT example of this.
It was the first song I ever heard from Portishead. I heard it through a long-distance telephone call, the phone on the other line held up to a speaker, the music turned up loud, and both of us, miles away from each other, were holding our breath. If I remember right you said the song reminded you of me.
At the time, I took it as a compliment. I was touched by the comparison. Later, when things soured between us, I wondered if you said that all your “sour times” girls.
What do you think of “Sour Times”? Do you have a favorite Portishead song?