Glory Box

Album: Dummy (1994)
Charted: 13

Songfacts®:

  • "Glory Box" is an Australian term for a piece of furniture where women store clothes and other items in preparation for marriage. The title doesn't appear in the lyric.
  • The song is about a woman who is frustrated by love and ready to give up on her relationship. The lines, "Give me a reason to be a woman, it's all I want to be is all woman," are a plea to the man, asking that he treat her with equality and respect, especially in the bedroom.

    The song was sometimes misinterpreted as a call for the man to take charge in the relationship, reverting to more traditional gender roles. Lead singer Beth Gibbons found this infuriating. "Half the reason you write them is that you're feeling misunderstood and frustrated with life in general," she told the Independent on Sunday, regarding the songs. "Then it's sort of successful and you think you've communicated with people, but then you realize you haven't communicated with them at all – you've turned the whole thing into a product, so then you're even more lonely than when you started."
  • Portishead were a UK group formed in Bristol by Geoff Barrow (numerous instruments), Beth Gibbons (vocals), Adrain Utley (guitar) and Dave McDonald (sound engineer). This was their first of three UK Top 20 hits. The album it came from, Dummy, was named as 1994's album of the year by three separate British magazines, Melody Maker, Mixmag, and The Face. In 1995 it won the prestigious Mercury Music Prize, awarded to the best album by a British artist.
  • This used a sample of Isaac Hayes' "Ike's Rap II," from Hayes' 1971 double-album, Black Moses. Coincidentally, "Hell is Around the Corner" by fellow Bristol trip-hop artist Tricky also sampled the same Isaac number around the same time.
  • Geoff Barrow told Pitchfork that the band didn't want this released as a single. He said: "We had a row with the record company because we didn't want to release it because it felt too commercial. Fine in a body of work, but not as a standalone track. We lost the argument really. But we bought houses! [laughs] It's great, but the other side of that, when you play live, I feel like a bit of a performing monkey sometimes."
  • This was used in the movies Stealing Beauty (1996), The Craft (1996), B. Monkey (1998) and Lord of War (2005). It also appeared in a 2001 episode of the TV series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Comments: 3

  • Jules from OregonGreat, sexy song.
  • Louise from Newcastle, United KingdomIt was used in The Craft? Maybe that's where I know this song from...
  • Doro from Karlsruhe, GermanyBeth Gibbons never gives Interviews; it is said that she speaks pretty loud.
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