"Teardrop" is a song by the English trip hop group Massive Attack. It features vocals and lyrics by Elizabeth Fraser, who had been the lead singer for the Scottish rock band Cocteau Twins. The song was released as the second single from Massive Attack's third studio album, Mezzanine, on 27 April 1998. In the United Kingdom, it peaked at number 10, becoming another hit for the group. The music video notably features a foetus singing in the womb. The song has often been featured in various television programs.
|Single by Massive Attack|
|from the album Mezzanine|
|B-side||"Euro Zero Zero"|
|Released||27 April 1998|
|Studio||Massive Attack Studios and Christchurch Studios (Bristol)|
|Massive Attack singles chronology|
"Teardrop" was first developed from a simple harpsichord riff picked out in the studio in April 1997. Andrew Vowles sent the demo to Madonna as he wanted her to record the vocals for the song (the band had previously worked with her on their 1995 reworking of the song "I Want You"). The two other band members Robert Del Naja and Grantley Marshall wanted Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins to record the vocals, feeling her ethereal style suited the mournful melody and feel of the piece. Madonna was very keen to record the vocals, and was disappointed when the two-to-one vote went in Fraser's favour.
Fraser wrote the song's lyrics, inspired by the works of French philosopher Gaston Bachelard. While recording the song in 1997, she found out that her once-close friend, Jeff Buckley, had disappeared and been found drowned. "That was so weird ... I'd got letters out and I was thinking about him. That song's kind of about him – that's how it feels to me anyway."
The single peaked at number 16 in Australia. It placed number 22 in the Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time in 2009. It reached the top 10 in the UK and is the only Massive Attack track to do so. It was certified Silver by the BPI on 22 July 2013.
In popular cultureEdit
The song, especially the instrumental portions at the beginning and the end, has been used in numerous TV programmes and movies. The bass drum beat, reminiscent of a heartbeat, samples the Les McCann song "Sometimes I Cry". An instrumental version of the tune is also used in a first season episode of Prison Break entitled "Tonight" and in CSI: Miami episode "MIA/NYC NonStop".
It was also featured as incidental music in a 2001 episode of the long-running ITV soap opera Coronation Street when Sarah Platt is chased. From 2004 to 2012, it was used as the opening theme of the American medical drama series House. The song also appeared in the 2005 pilot episode of Bones.
The song was featured at the beginning of a 2009 episode of the BBC One medical drama series Holby City entitled "Tough Love". The song was used in a twenty-first season episode of the American animated comedy series The Simpsons entitled "Postcards from the Wedge".
|1.||"Teardrop" (album version)||5:31|
|2.||"Euro Zero Zero"||5:24|
|3.||"Teardrop" (Scream Team Remix)||6:45|
|4.||"Teardrop" (Mad Professor Mazaruni Instrumental Mix)||6:24|
The 12" release contains the same songs but in a different order. The cassette release contains an edited version of the original song, as well as the Scream Team remix and the B-side "Euro Zero Zero", but is missing the remix by Mad Professor.
Charts and certificationsEdit
|Single by Newton Faulkner|
|from the album Hand Built by Robots|
|Recorded||Autumn 2005–Spring 2007|
|Newton Faulkner singles chronology|
Newton Faulkner covered the song on his album Hand Built by Robots, which was produced by Mike Spencer. On downloads alone, Faulkner's version reached #60 in the UK Singles Chart in August 2007. It was released as an official single on 10 December 2007, and reached number 57 on the chart the following week. The version of the album available from the Australian iTunes Music Store also incorporates an acoustic version.
O'Hooley & TidowEdit
O'Hooley & Tidow covered the song on their album The Fragile. The Guardian described their version of "Teardrop" as "an exquisite reworking" and it was voted by Guardian music critic Jude Rogers as one of the best tracks of 2012.
José González covered "Teardrop" for his second album In Our Nature. The single was released across Europe on 12 November 2007. The single features the non-album instrumental B-side "Four Forks Ache." This version was also featured in the medical drama House M.D. in the episode "Wilson's Heart".
Civil Twilight released a cover version on 13 April 2010, included in the record "Live from SoHo", available only in iTunes. The band signed with Wind-Up Records, and released the studio version of the song as a single on August 10th 2010.
|Single by The Collective featuring Wretch 32, Ed Sheeran, Labrinth, Tulisa, Tinchy Stryder, Rizzle Kicks, Ms. Dynamite, Chipmunk, Mz Bratt and Dot Rotten|
|from the album We Are the Collective|
|Released||18 November 2011|
|Children in Need singles chronology|
The song was covered by English singer Gary Barlow's assembled group named The Collective and released as the official single for Children in Need 2011. Produced by Labrinth, the performers consist of: Chipmunk, Dot Rotten, Ed Sheeran, Ms. Dynamite, Mz. Bratt, Tulisa, Rizzle Kicks, Tinchy Stryder and Wretch 32.
|Scotland (Official Charts Company)||30|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||24|
|UK R&B (Official Charts Company)||7|
|United Kingdom||13 November 2011||Digital download||Polydor|
The Naked and FamousEdit
The Naked and Famous recorded a version for their 2018 stripped album A Still Heart. When asked why they decided to record a cover, Thom Powers explained, “It is one of those songs that is an amazing piece of music. It comes from the era that our name comes from. Our name comes from a line in a Tricky song.“
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- Haider, Arwa. (2011-11-25) The Collective's Teardrop and Lighthouse by Westlife: Single reviews. Metro.co.uk. Retrieved on 2011-12-09.
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- Gary Barlow's The Collective Are Biggest Children In Need Flops In 16 Years – Celebrity Gossip, News & Photos, Movie Reviews, Competitions Archived 11 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Entertainmentwise (2011-11-21). Retrieved on 2011-12-09.
- "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
- "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
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- Teardrop (feat. Labrinth, Tulisa Contostavlos, Chipmunk, Dot Rotten, Ed Sheeran, Ms. Dynamite, Mz Bratt, Rizzle Kicks, Tinchy Stryder & Wretch 32) – EP by The Collective iTunes
- Jerry Nunn (4 November 2018). "Electronic band The Naked and Famous talk backstage about their music". GoPride.com. Chicago. Retrieved 14 May 2018.