Massive* ‎– Unfinished Sympathy

Wild Bunch Records ‎– WBRT 2, Wild Bunch Records ‎– 614 035
Vinyl, 12", 45 RPM

Companies, etc.



℗ 1991 Circa Records Ltd.
© 1991 Circa Records Ltd.
Manufactured in the UK
Manufactured and distributed by Virgin Records Limited

This record was released during the first Gulf War. To lessen possible negative feedback they dropped "Attack" from their name, crediting only "Massive" on the cover.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 5 012983 222268
  • Distribution Code: PM 212
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout Etchings Side A): WBRT 2 A-1U-1-1 TOWN HOUSE DM.M. D
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout Etchings Side AA): WBRT 2 AA-1U-1-2 TOWN HOUSE DM.M. D

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January 13, 2011
edited over 7 years ago

I remember I first heard on a set of Brazilian DJ Ricardo Coppini (Radio Nova FM). At that time (1991) this song touched me.

The most beautiful song of all time? OK, it's a difficult question to answer, but think: She has not aged 20 years later, still beautiful and exciting, I can hear it again and again without losing the magic. Indispensable in any collection.


November 16, 2010
Without any doubt one of Massive Attack finest moments. I just discovered that the break beat and percussion is based on a sample from J.J. Johnson's "Willie Dynamite" movie score, from the intro of the track called Parade Strut to be precise. Well done Boys!


April 17, 2010
This is one of the finest records to be made. I remember one of the first times i heard it and it was In Shelly's S.O.T. and Sasha played it as a last track, what a night, since then this has remained one of the only records that make the hairs stand up on my body! And i have told my good lady this is what i want at as the curtains close (dark i know, but it will be me walking away from this messy place! PEACE!


September 19, 2006
edited over 12 years ago

Definitely a classic track. And to think they sampled some of the strings from Henryk Gorecki's 'Symphony No.3'.
Unfinished Sympathy will no doubt stand the test of time. It still brings a chills up my spine when I hear it.


September 7, 2004
edited over 14 years ago

'Unfinished Sympathy' remain one of the nicest track ever on the heads of the specialists. The original version mixtures downtempo beats, warm chords and lovely soulful vocals of Shara Nelson with wild grooves, hip hop and dub sounds. The best version, though, is the timeless remix of Paul Oakenfold, who had been into the english hip hop scene, with evident influences of the genre and a more organic bass, surely representing the highest moment of his career. The Soul element and the strings of the tune make it more intense, unique.


May 25, 2004
Even the video to this song was legendary. A single long shot of Shara Nelson walking through a street and up some apartment stairs.
It was promptly ripped-off by shoe-gazing miseries The Verve some years later for their video for 'Bittersweet Symphony'


February 18, 2004
An absolute masterpiece, one of THE records of, not only the massive dance scene in the early 90's, but the whole decade. Shara Nelsons superb vocals coupled with the Bristol Massive's talent at producing ground breaking music and virtually inventing the 'trip hop' sound means this record is a winner, in a MASSIVE way.


January 26, 2003
Hey. Not only this track is great but think about it. Break + piano + strings..It's the recipe Moby is using since 1998 and he never never reached the first little nail of Massive Attack... 1991! Wow!