"We worked on Blue Lines for about eight months, with breaks for Christmas and the
World Cup," said
3D, "but we started out with a selection of ideas that were up to seven years old. Songs like '
Safe from Harm' and 'Lately' had been around for a while, from when we were
The Wild Bunch, or from our time on the sound systems in Bristol. But the more we worked on them, the more we began to conceive new ideas too – like, 'Five Man Army' came together as a
Blue Lines is generally considered the first
trip hop album,
 although the term was not widely used before 1994.
The album reached No. 13 on the
UK Albums Chart; sales were limited elsewhere. A fusion of
reggae, it established Massive Attack as one of the most innovative British bands of the 1990s and the founder of trip hop's
Simon Reynolds stated that the album also marked a change in electronic/dance music, "a shift toward a more interior,
meditational sound. The songs on Blue Lines run at '
spliff' tempos – from a mellow, moonwalking 90 beats per minute ... down to a positively torpid 67 bpm."
The group also drew inspiration from
concept albums in various genres by artists such as
Public Image Ltd.,
Herbie Hancock and