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Discography - Records

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Pre-Millennium Tension

01. Vent

02. Christiansands

03. Tricky Kid

04. Bad Dream

05. Makes Me Wanna Die

06. Ghetto Youth

07. Sex Drive

08. Bad Things

09. Lyrics of Fury

10. My Evil Is Strong

11. Piano

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Nearly God

01. Tattoo

02. Poems

03. Together Now

04. Keep Your Mouth Shut

05. I Be the Prophet

06. Make a Change

07. Black Coffee

08. Bubbles

09. I Sing for You

10. Yoga

11. Judas

12. Children's Story

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Maxinquaye

01. Overcome

02. Ponderosa

03. Black Steel

04. Hell Is Around the Corner

05. Pumpkin

06. Aftermath

07. Abbaon Fat Track

08. Brand New You're Retro

09. Suffocated Love

10. You Don't

11. Strugglin'

12. Feed Me

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Tricky Presents Grassroots

01. Heaven, Youth Hell

02. Tricky Kid

03. Devils Helper

04. Live w/ Yo Self

05. Grass Roots

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Angels With Dirty Faces

01. Money Greedy

02. Mellow

03. Singin' the Blues

04. Broken Homes

05. 6 Minutes

06. Analyze Me

07. The Moment I Feared

08. Talk to Me (Angels With Dirty Faces)

09. Carriage for Two

10. Demise

11. Tear Out My Eyes

12. Record Companies

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Juxtapose

01. For Real

02. Bom Bom Diggy

03. Contradictive

04. She Said

05. I Like the Girls

06. Hot Like a Sauna

07. Call Me

08. Wash My Soul

09. Hot Like a Sauna [Metal Mix]

10. Scrappy Love

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Mission Accomplished

01. Mission Accomplished

02. Crazy Claws

03. Tricky Versus Lynx [Live]

04. Divine Comedy

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BlowBack

01. Excess

02. Evolution Revolution Love

03. Over Me

04. Girls

05. You Don't Wanna

06. #1 da Woman

07. Your Name

08. Diss Never (Dig Up We History)

09. Bury the Evidence

10. Something in the Way

11. Five Days

12. Give It to 'Em

13. A Song for Yukiko

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A Ruff Guide

01. Aftermath [Version One]

02. Poems [Edit]

03. For Real

04. Black Steel [Radio Edit]

05. Pumpkin [Edit]

06. Broken Homes

07. Wash My Soul

08. I Be the Prophet [With Drums]

09. Makes Me Wanna Die

10. Tricky Kid

11. Scrappy Love

12. Ponderosa [Original 7"][Edit]

13. Christiansands

14. Hell Is Around the Corner

15. Singing the Blues

16. Bubbles

17. Overcome

Vulnerable

01. Stay

02. Antimatter

03. Ice Pick

04. Car Crash

05. Dear God

06. How High

07. What Is Wrong

08. Hollow

09. Moody

10. Wait for God

11. Where I'm From

12. The Love Cats

13. Search, Search, Survive

14. Antimatter [CD Rom Track] [Hip Hop Mix][Multimedia Track]

15. Receive Us [CD Rom Track] [Enhanced Track]

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Back to Mine

01. Lullaby

02. How We Ride

03. My Melody

04. Mirror in the Bathroom

05. Loop Garoo

06. Receive Us

07. Potion

08. You Tear Me Up

09. Much Finer

10. Night Nurse

11. Symphony for Irony

12. Eat the Music

13. Desire

14. My Funny Valentine

15. Just a Little Bit

16. Days Like This

Discography - EPs

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Aftermath EP

01. Aftermath [Version 1 Edit]

02. Aftermath [Hip Hop Blues]

03. Aftermath [i Could Be Looking for People Remix]

04. Aftermath [Version 1]

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The Hell EP

01. Hell Is Round the Corner [Original Mix]

02. Hell Is Around the Corner [The Hell & Water Mix]

03. Psychosis

04. Tonite Is a Special Nite [Kaos Mass Confusion Mix]

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Tricky To Release Autobiography

[Tue. April 18.2000]

Trip-hop pioneer Tricky has finished writing an autobiography that will be released later this year.

"All I Hear Is Words," Tricky's first book, includes poetry, lyrics and artwork written and drawn during the wordsmith's decade-long musical career.

A spokesperson for Epitaph, Tricky's new record label, said the book would be packaged with a CD that may include new music. The release date of the book has not been confirmed.

Bristol, England-bred Tricky (born Adrian Thaws), an original member of Massive Attack, launched his solo career with several singles before the release of 1995's Maxinquaye, a classic trip-hop album featuring "Overcome" and "Black Steel."

In 1998, Tricky contributed a poem to "The Fire People," a collection of black British poetry.

A new Tricky EP is expected in June, followed by a full-length album in the fall, his spokesperson said.

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My Music: Tricky

Tricky has covered songs by The Cure and XTC on his new album

Genre-defying musician Tricky, who helped define modern urban music, releases his seventh studio album, Vulnerable, on Monday.

He told BBC News Online about his album, his favourite artists - and Christina Aguilera.

What are you trying to do with this album?

I've always wanted to change music - I've always had that urge. I want to make something that hasn't been heard before. Even if this album sells nothing and everybody hates it, if there's one song on here that can touch someone's soul, then I'll be happy.

Why have you chosen to cover The Cure's Love Cats and XTC's Dear God?

Love Cats is a wicked, wicked love song - modern day Shakespeare. Robert Smith is a genius. I love the Cure and I've loved them for a long, long time.

Dear God is a real clever song. It's a kid writing a letter to God going "what's happening? I've been told to believe in you, but how can there be so much pain and suffering out there?" I like to concept of the kid writing the letter.

Do you ever read your own reviews?

Only the English ones because that's where a couple of people hate me. I've read seven reviews and four were good and three were totally negative. I've got a lot of enemies. But I've got time on my side and I will bump into these people.

Which is the best city to make music in - Bristol, London, New York or LA?

Anywhere that's got a good set-up and the right people around you. I don't like working in commercial studios. I made this one in LA because of the weather. It's sunny 90% of the time and for a kid from England, that's rather nice.

Do you keep in touch with any of the Bristol musicians you started out with?

No, I don't keep in touch with anybody. I don't even bump into them on tour if I'm touring Europe and they might be two days behind us or I'm two days behind them. It's not a deliberate thing from me. I don't know if it's deliberate from them.

What has been your most creatively rewarding collaboration?

Elvis Costello. He wanted me to do a remix of one of his songs and I said 'I don't want any money but you do a remix of one of my songs in exchange.' He took my track Christiansands and produced it, and that was the best collaboration I've ever had.

Who would you like to work with in the future?

I'd like to approach Elvis Costello or Lee Scratch Perry as producers.

What was the first record you ever bought?

The Specials - Too Much Too Young.

Which song or album changed your life?

The Specials' first album completely changed my life. It changed everything. I grew up in a white ghetto, then I moved to a black ghetto and both kids couldn't understand who I was. Then I saw The Specials on TV and I thought "Ah, it all makes sense. Black and white kids together."

How big is your record collection?

Huge. But it's all over the place so it doesn't really exist.

Which current song do you think is likely to become a classic?

I don't really like the girl, I hate her. But someone wrote a song for her - Christina Aguilera, Beautiful. There was no way that girl wrote that song. But it is a classic song, whether you like her or not. I don't like her. Plus anything off Coldplay's new album and anything off Blur's new album.

Who should be locked up for crimes against music?

That guy who started off Pop Idol. Simon Fuller. I think he should get about 20 years. That is the devil, that man. I'd like to smack him around.

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Tricky customer

Once the enfant terrible of trip hop, Tricky has a reputation as a holy terror. Fiona Sturges finds that, while his relocationto Los Angeles may not have mellowed him, he's not all bad.

In the echoing back room of his publicist's office in leafy Chiswick, west London, Tricky is setting the world to rights. He's barely through the door before he's giving me his unprompted views on Lenny Kravitz ("There's nothing he's done in his life that could interest me"), Eminem ("He doesn't even exist in my world") and Justin Timberlake ("As much aura as a goldfish"). He has a fuming hatred for the music industry. "It's all about finding the next Beatles or the next Strokes. Who wants to be the next anything? When people hear my music, I want them to think, 'I've never heard anything like that before'."

He also thinks current rock stars are a waste of space. "We're basically in the icon age," he complains. "You can pretend to be punk-rock just by getting drunk. These kids are supposed to be bad-boy rock stars because they shout at a stewardess on a plane. They don't even know how to fight."

The word on Tricky is not good. He can, it is said, be unpleasant, irrational and confrontational. His relationship with the press is famously antagonistic. Several years ago, following the release of 1995's Maxinquaye, the ground-breaking album that unintentionally gave rise to trip hop, Tricky was interviewed by a monthly style magazine. The journalist in question brought up his working relationship with Martina Topley-Bird, the vocalist on Maxinquaye who was also Tricky's partner.

"The guy didn't like me," he recalls darkly. "Or perhaps he just wanted to make a sensationalist story but he started off by attacking me. He tried to make me look like I was holding Martina back. He was asking me 'Why doesn't Martina do interviews?' He was trying to make me into this Ike Turner figure. I wasn't going to mess around with his stupid games. He ended up getting knocked out by one of my friends."

Was that really a justified reaction? "Look, I'm a very easy-going guy," he claims unconvincingly. "The people I don't get on with are unintelligent people. If someone says something bad in print and I'm gonna find them, I'm gonna be around their offices and I want them to say to my face what they've written on paper." This isn't delivered so much as a threat as a statement of fact. I try not to look alarmed.

Tricky's invective isn't levelled exclusively at journalists. "Anyone here into trip hop?" he asked the crowd at the Shepherd's Bush Empire in 1995. When the crowd responded positively, their host replied: "Well fuck off home then." That same year, I attended a show in Oxford that was played in pitch blackness despite pleas from the audience to turn the lights up. When a friend asked Tricky afterwards why he didn't heed the crowd's requests, he replied: "What do you know? If you were reincarnated 20 times, you'd still be a plank of wood compared with me."

When I mention this to Tricky he almost chokes with laughter. "That sounds like me, doesn't it? Ha ha ha. I can imagine me saying that, yeah." So why does he play gigs in the dark? "I can't perform for a crowd," he says. "I can only get into it myself. I went to Lollapalooza recently and saw this band called Korn. Every night the guitarist would pretend to fall over during a certain song. Then he would get up limping and it would be like 'Can he carry on?'. I don't want to be that obvious. There's an A-to-Z of what you can do to get the crowd going, whether it's playing with the lights or playing guitar with your teeth. I'm not going to do theobvious thing to get you going."

In these cynical, PR-mediated times, Tricky's predilection for putting people so forcefully in their place might seem like a strategy to create a reputation for himself, to be seen as dangerous and therefore interesting. I doubt this is the case though. Right from the start of our interview he seems defensive, already on the counter-attack before I've got a word in. In one instance he tells me that because people think he's going to be difficult they'reimmediately aggressive towards him.

I would suggest – though not to his face, of course – that it's the other way around. Once you get beyond the macho blustering, he can be good company. He can be charming and funny, but only once he's decided that you're not out to get him. Astonishingly, Tricky claims to have calmed down of late due to the discovery two years ago that he was suffering from candida, a yeast allergy. Before then, both his manager and girlfriend had tried to persuade him to see a psychiatrist on account of his temper.

"It got to a point where I couldn't control my body," he explains. "I'd be smashing up a room and my mind would be saying 'What are you doing?' but my body couldn't control itself. Eventually a friend recommended that I see a dietician. Now I know what the problem is. Now, if I break my diet and I get angry, I'll know that I shouldn't have been eating certain foods. It's not like I'm more chilled out. I'll still look at someone and think 'You're an idiot,' but I'll not be so angry about it."

Tricky – aka 35-year-old Adrian Thaws – first entered public consciousness in 1991 as Tricky Kid on Massive Attack's much-praised Blue Lines. After appearing on their subsequent LP Protection, he finally went solo and released 1995's Maxinquaye, named after his mother Maxine Quaye who killed herself when he was a child. Almost overnight Tricky was hailed as a musical genius and the album ranked by critics as among the best of all time.

Nauseated by Maxinquaye's sudden appeal, Tricky has since seemed engaged in a campaign to kill off his career. Pre-Millennium Tension (1996) and Angels With Dirty Faces (1998) were sparse and soulless while Juxtapose and Blowback, though marginally more upbeat, fell far short of the ghostly atmospherics of his debut.

Tricky's forthcoming album Vulnerable, though flawed, is his most accessible piece of work in years. Even if song titles like "Car Crash", "Ice Pick" and "Moody" point to an underlying gloominess – well what else could we expect? – musically it's a more melodic affair. "My music has to change, it has to evolve," insists Tricky. "A lot of my fans aren't going to like this album straight away. But they've got to understand that I need to move on."

Perhaps Tricky's biggest coup here is the introduction of Constanza Francavilla, an Italian singer whose smoky vocals are the perfect foil to his guttural rumbling. "She gave my drummer a CD at a gig to pass on to me," he recalls. "I called her almost as soon as I heard it. There was something about her broken English that I liked and her vocals sounded pure. You could tell she wasn't a songwriter, there was nothing technical there. The sound was too pure."

Nowadays Tricky has a studio in his house in Los Angeles and he can make music whenever and however he pleases. His idea of success, he insists, has less to do with record sales than how individuals react to his music. "This woman came up to me at a gig about seven years ago and she said 'You're in my house and in my children'. It turned out she'd been playing my music to her kids – one was four, the other six. That was really touching. I've never forgotten that."

In between albums he works on re-mixes, film soundtracks ("The last one was for Bad Company. Shit movie") and other projects. He also runs a record label, Durban Poison, where the acts include his protégés the Baby Namboos. Alas, the very mention of their name sends Tricky into another rant about a journalist, a "yuppie" who dared suggest that the band weren't "real".

"Now, one boy had been in prison for eight years, another went to prison when he was 17 for manslaughter. And [the writer] said this band is not real. These are some scary people you're dealing with."

And with that, our interview seems to be over. Tricky gets up out of his chair, shakes me by the hand and smiles broadly. "See?" he says with a wink. "I'm not so bad, am I?"

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Game over, start again

London is a meeting place, a bizarre and disparate collage of high art, pop culture, fashion and fads. Within this network of styles sit pop icons with credibility, the Damon Albarns and Damien Hirsts of this world, who somehow manage to blend a rock-star lifestyle with artistic aims. And among this set one places Tricky, the solo artist, former member of Massive Attack, ex-beau of Bjork. But what's surprising is that Tricky is neither from London, nor has he lived there for 10 years. For the past decade, Tricky has found stead on the opposite side of the Atlantic, in New York.

"London's boring," he proclaims on the phone - from London, ironically. "London's just full of people who think they know what's going on. It's a crap music culture. It's become so terrible that all you gotta do is sound weird and no one will slag you off."

Indeed, Tricky should know. He was at the centre of the British music press's circle of praise in 1995 with his debut album, Maxinquaye; he's lapped up their compliments and ridden their waves of fame.

But he's also turned his back on it.

Despite his humble beginnings with influential sound system the Wild Bunch and UK hip-hop outfit Fresh 4, Tricky - christened Adrian Thaws - has had a rough-and-tumble relationship with music that has seen staggering highs. But for the past few years, Thaws has avoided the press, released a string of mediocre albums and gradually disappeared from the gossip columns. All these things are for Tricky part of the same problem: the game called the music industry.

"I didn't want to play the game any more," he says. "I've never played the game too hard, but I thought it was getting too much."

His unwillingness to play the game isn't just a matter of apathy or laziness; it's also a critical perspective that takes on the role of the celebrity in general.

"It seems to me that we've started to move into an icon age," he says. "You don't have to have a craft, you don't have to have a talent or do anything except be famous. It's the Justin Timberlake age. People say Justin Timberlake is the white Michael Jackson. Don't be silly. There's no way he's in the same league as Michael Jackson. Then I see him on the cover of a magazine saying, 'I've got a dark side'. The guy doesn't know he's gay yet. Come on!"

Thaws's diatribes aren't angry, they're just honest. In a world of inoffensive pop personalities, it's an honesty that's refreshing. At the same time, no one is safe. Not even Thaws. He's as critical of his own pop status as he is of the industry in general, and acutely aware of his level of fame that verged upon the "hypercool". There was even talk at one stage of Thaws writing an autobiography, but he clearly remembers the moment when that idea was nipped in the bud.

"I chickened out," he says, almost with a hint of pride in his voice. "I've never chickened out of anything. But just as I was going to do it, I'd left London to go to the airport. As I walked in, I was looking around and I saw a book by Naomi Campbell. I thought, 'Who does she think she is?'. And then I have to put that on myself as well. Who wants to read my book? Who gives a f---?"

Nonetheless, people were, and still are, interested in Thaws. They were interested enough to give him an unforgettable role in Luc Besson's sci-fi film, The Fifth Element, an experience he doesn't recall fondly.

"If someone offers you a movie, you say yes," he says bluntly. "You wanna see what it's like. But it was hard work, I didn't like the director, and I didn't enjoy the time. So I decided from that moment that I would only ever do it again if I liked the director, and if it was organic."

It's this willingness to walk away from fame and accolades that saw Thaws take a two-year hiatus from music, in between his Juxtapose and Blowback albums. Still, stepping out of the spotlight wasn't easy, and it ended up a serendipitous period.

"It was a little bit weird," he says. "I thought I was walking away from fame and all that bollocks, but I wasn't really doing that. I was researching my history again. What I ended up doing for nearly two years was going around to people's houses, getting on the microphone, not recording anything, going to clubs with my boys, doing vocals in the clubs, sitting in the corner smoking weed, and I realised that that was how I started, before the money, before the magazines. So I did that for two years until I was broke, and then I realised I needed money, and that's the other reason I do what I do - for money."

Thaws's remarkable honesty doesn't leave his music untainted. He's highly critical of the albums that bookend his sabbatical, and for the reasons they were recorded.

"I got out of my record deal with Juxtapose, I hung out for a year-and-a-half doing f---k-all, and then I needed the money. So I did Blowback - really quickly - to get some money. They're shit albums."

This week sees the release of Vulnerable, Thaws's seventh album. With a new record label - Epitaph Records - he feels as though the dirt from the past few years has been washed away and he has a clean musical slate to work with.

"I'm kinda like at the beginning of my career again," he says optimistically. "It's almost like Vulnerable is Maxinquaye. And now I can have fun again, because I don't have to worry about the business. Epitaph Records ain't worried about my album sales. That makes me realise I'm in the right place."

Indeed, not having to worry about album sales means the parts of the music industry Thaws hates - for example, image - won't concern him.

"You see people with images bigger than their music!" he exclaims. "How many videos do you see where the video's great and the music is shit? Like Coldplay - they're so pretentious. I f---king hate that band. But it's a very good time for bands like Coldplay, and that's another reason I stepped off. Just as long as I can do my thing."

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