Music: Underworld

Underworld is a British electronic group featuring duo Karl Hyde and Rick Smith since around 1980. The band's music ranges from House, Trance, electro-pop and pretty much everything in between.

Adopting the Underworld moniker for the first time when the members of the band Freur formed a new project after they disbanded in the 80's. This time is referred as Underworld "Mark 1" due to the first iteration actually sharing the fate of its members' previous act and disbanding.

Eventually Hyde and Smith reassumed the moniker of Underworld in the 1990's and the duo were joined by DJ Darren Emerson. "Mark 2" began Underworld's foray into the mainstream dance that emerged after the former popularity of acid house in the late 80’s.

In 1996 the band gained greater renown after being featured in Danny Boyle's film adapation of Trainspotting with tracks such as "Dark & Long (Dark Train)" and "Born Slippy .NUXX". The latter unexpectantly becoming their most successful and popular track ever.

Their most recent album is 2010's Barking after which they directed the music for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. They reside in Essex, UK.

Band Members:

  • Karl Hyde (Born 10th May 1957, Worcester, England) - Vocals, guitars (1986–present)
  • Rick Smith (Born 25th May 1959, Ammanford, Wales) - Keyboards, mixing, production (1986–present)
  • Darren Price - Keyboards, mixing and live assistant (2005–present)
  • Darren Emerson - Keyboards and mixing (1991–2000)
  • Alfie Thomas - Guitar (1986–1990)
  • Bryn Burrows - Drums (1986–1988)
  • Baz Allen - Bass (1986–1990)
  • Pascal Consoli - Drums (1989–1990)



  • 1988 - Underneath the Radar
  • 1989 - Change the Weather
  • 1994 - dubnobasswithmyheadman
  • 1996 - Second Toughest in the Infants
  • 1999 - Beaucoup Fish
  • 2000 - Everything, Everything
  • 2002 - A Hundred Days Off
  • 2007 - Oblivion with Bells
  • 2010 - Barking


  • 2004 - wordimagesoundplay
  • 2006 - Breaking and Entering
  • 2008 - Sunshine
  • 2011 - Frankenstein (stage play directed by Danny Boyle)
  • 2012 - ''Isles of Wonder: Music for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games" (directed by Danny Boyle, with collaborations by High Contrast, the London Symphony Orchestra, Arctic Monkeys, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Mike Oldfield and Emeli Sande, among others)


  • 2003 - 1992-2002
  • 2012 - 1992-2012

Trope Examples:

  • Album Title Drop: Barking comes from a line in "Always Loved a Film," while the live album/DVD Everything Everything comes from the "Cowgirl" part of "Rez/Cowgirl" in the playlist.
  • Ambient: A notable example is "To Heal", aka "Capa Meets The Sun" on the Sunshine soundtrack.
  • Arc Words: "Rumford" pops up often.
    • "Push Upstairs" (and the softer version "Push Downstairs") and "Moaner" off of Beaucoup Fish feature the lines: "I know about you I been told about you" after a lyrics about kissing, then followed by some version of "I've been waiting for you and the air's thin."
  • Electronic Music: All their music is made electronically.
  • Epic Rocking: many of their songs (and almost all of their remixes for other artists) go on for over ten minutes. "Dark & Long" takes the cake, with two mixes that run over 20 minutes each, and another that's a few seconds short of 18.
  • Improv: Most of their live performances feature heavy improvisation, especially in the early years as they didn't have much material to work with otherwise. And then there's this.
  • New Sound Album: dubnobasswithmyheadman signed the departure from Synth Pop to straightforward Electronic Music (specifically Techno, big beat, Hardcore and Trance)
  • Shout-Out: The names of several Underworld tracks are actually taken from greyhounds that raced at Romford Greyhound Stadium. "Born Slippy", "Pearl's Girl" and "Sappy Curry".
    • Karl Hyde has revealed, to his own surprise after becoming sober and recognizing the face on TV, "Born Slippy" has a shoutout to Bill Bailey.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: "And I Will Kiss" and "Caliban's Dream" are references to The Tempest, both used during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games in the segment celebrating the Industrial Revolution and the lighting of the Olympic Flame, respectively.
  • Trance: "Born Slippy .NUXX", as an example.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Most of the time. The lyrics to "Born Slippy .NUXX" were released publicly after its single release, so people knew just what the hell he was singing.
    • Lampshaded in "Downpipe": "Don't give me that pain / Don't corner me on that 'poetry' thing".