10 Reasons to love: Portishead, Glory Box

If you can’t think of ten, you don’t really love it.
1) For a start, what is a Glory Box? The words aren’t mentioned or explained in the song at all. Enigmatic or what?
2) Every musical thing on this track is perfect. The scratchy stuff that sounds a bit like Mr Punch’s swazzle, the slow orchestral line that is like having your heartstrings played, the organ in the back ground, and especially the guitar that boots in to jazz up matters midway.
3) The word “temp-ter-ess” is intriguing. A female tempter or just bad spelling of a non existent unstressed vowel?
4) The vocal performance of Beth Gibbons is extraordinary – a mixture of the drawling “can’t be doing with this love business” world weary, and the pleading desperation of someone who is frankly right up for some love action.
5) Talking of Beth Gibbons, how nice is it to see a sexy woman who doesn’t feel the need to strip off to her undies in the name of music? Respect to that lady.
6) Less is more. It’s the space in this song that gives the goose bump count time to rise.
7) “So don’t you stop being a man” sounds like she’s throwing down the gauntlet to all men.
8) “Sow a little tenderness” sung in the tenderest voice imaginable.
9) At 3:28 we get a delicious echoing boom before the heartstrings are strung again.
10) This song was on Later when the Number One record was “Let me be your fantasy” by Baby D. Quite a contrast between chart topping pop fluff & a very grown up song that’s all woman.

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