The acoustic guitar in Portishead's The Rip always catches my attention. The guitar take they used is filled with execution mistakes. Beth Gibbons' beautiful voice distracts away from it, but if you pay attention to the guitar part you'll find many mistakes. Nothing huge, just subtle (some not so subtle) mistakes similar to what you would expect from a beginner playing arpeggios.

My question is, what's the origin of that guitar take? Who played it? Why did they use a take that contains so many mistakes?

1 Answer 1


The guitar used was a children's guitar that attracted Adrian Utley's attention in a music shop : https://www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov08/articles/portishead.htm

I can't find anything specifically about the playing, but I suspect that some of the unclear/buzzing notes came about naturally from the less-than-perfect setup of the instrument, and were probably left in as a form of deliberate 'acoustic distortion'.


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