Studio album by Underworld
Released January 24, 1994[1]
Genre Techno
Electronic music
Length 72:53
Label Junior Boys Own
Producer Underworld
Underworld chronology
Change the Weather
Second Toughest in the Infants
Singles from dubnobasswithmyheadman
  1. "Mmm... Skyscraper I Love You"
    Released: 1993
  2. "Cowgirl"
    Released: 1994
  3. "Dark & Long"
    Released: 1994
  4. "Dirty Epic"
    Released: 1994
Alternative cover
Vinyl edition

Dubnobasswithmyheadman is the third album by Underworld, released in 1994 after the band made the transition from synth pop to progressive house. It is also the first album to feature Darren Emerson, ushering in the "MK2" phase of the band, which continued until Emerson's departure in 2001.

A prototype of the album surfaced on October 3, 2008, on Underworld's official messageboard, which featured a different running order, some extended mixes and three previously unreleased songs: "Big Meat Show", "Organ" and "Can You Feel Me", an outtake from previous sessions. "Organ" has since been featured on Underworld's MySpace page.



Tomato, the art design collective that includes Underworld's Rick Smith and Karl Hyde, designed the artwork for Dubnobasswithmyheadman. It features black and white type that has been "multiplied, smeared, and overlaid" so much that it is nearly unreadable, alongside a "bold symbol consisting of a fractured handprint inside a broken circle".[2] The artwork was originally intended for Tomato's book Mmm…Skyscraper I Love You: A Typographic Journal of New York, published in 1994.[3]

According to the authors of The Greatest Album Covers of All Time, the cover "set a new standard of presentation for subsequent Dance albums".[3] In Graphic Design: A New History, Stephen Eskilson cites the cover as a notable example of the "expressive, chaotic graphics" that developed in the 1990s, a design style he calls "grunge".[4] Paul Zelevansky of the journal Substance says that "the packaging … replays the visual poetry of the 1960s and '70s and fast forwards to the alchemical transformations of computer graphics packages."[5]

Critical Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars [6]
ARTISTdirect 5/5 stars [7]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars [8]
Drowned in Sound (10/10) [9]
Rate Your Music (3.88/5.00) [10]
CD Universe 4.5/5 stars [11]
Amazon.com 5/5 stars [12]
Amazon.co.uk 5/5 stars [13]

Dubnobasswithmyheadman received critical acclaim from music critics. Allmusic gave the album 5 out of 5 stars saying "From the beginning of the first track "Dark & Long", Underworld's focus on production is clear, with songwriting coming in a distant second" also adding that "Underworld are truly a multi-genre group". Drowned in Sound gave the album a perfect 10/10 score describing it as "An album indie kids and pop kids could like as well as the electronic elite, whist the band retained their credibility". Slant Magazine gave it 4 out of 5 stars saying that "It stands as their greatest overall contribution to electronic music" and also stating that "The album blends Acid House, Techno and Dub into a refined, epic headrush".

Track listing

All songs by Karl Hyde and Rick Smith unless noted.

  1. "Dark & Long" – 7:35
  2. "Mmm... Skyscraper I Love You" (Darren Emerson/Hyde/Smith) – 13:08
  3. "Surfboy" (Emerson/Hyde/Smith) – 7:33
  4. "Spoonman" – 7:41
  5. "Tongue" – 4:50
  6. "Dirty Epic" – 9:55
  7. "Cowgirl" – 8:29
  8. "River of Bass" – 6:26
  9. "M.E." – 7:08


  • Eskilson, Stephen J. Graphic Design: A New History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007.
  • Miles, Barry, Grant Scott, and Johnny Morgan. The Greatest Album Covers of All Time. London: Collins & Brown, 2005.
  • Zelevansky, Paul. "Attention SPAM®." Substance, 26: 135–159, 1997.

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