Teardrop (song)

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For other uses, see Teardrop.
Single by Massive Attack featuring Elizabeth Fraser
from the album Mezzanine
Released 27 April 1998
Recorded 1997
Genre Trip hop
Length 5:31
Label Virgin
Producer(s) Massive Attack and Neil Davidge
Massive Attack featuring Elizabeth Fraser singles chronology
Music video
"Teardrop" on YouTube

"Teardrop" is a song by Massive Attack, which was released as a single on 27 April 1998. It is the second single off their third album, Mezzanine. The song became another UK hit for the group, peaking at number 10 on the UK Singles Chart. The song features vocals by Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins.

The song is also known for its use in numerous TV programmes and movies, notably as the theme song of the medical television series House. The instrumental portions of the song at the beginning and the end, featuring a bass drum beat reminiscent of a heartbeat, are used in the opening theme.


"Teardrop" was first developed from a simple harpsichord riff picked out in the studio in April 1997. 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.[1]

Fraser wrote the song's lyrics. While recording the song on May 29th, 1997, she found out that her once-close friend, Jeff Buckley had 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."[2]

The single peaked at number 16 in Australia.[3] 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.

Music video[edit]

The song's music video featured a plastic foetus in the womb, singing the song. It was directed by Walter Stern.[4]

Track listing[edit]

  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.


Newton Faulkner[edit]

Single by Newton Faulkner
from the album Hand Built by Robots
Released 30 July 2007 (UK)
18 April 2008 (Germany)
29 April 2008 (US)
Recorded Autumn 2005–Spring 2007
Label Ugly Truth Records
Producer(s) Mike Spencer
Newton Faulkner singles chronology
"Dream Catch Me"
"All I Got"

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.[5] It was released as an official single on 10 December 2007, and reached number 57 on the chart the following week.[5] The version of the album available from the Australian iTunes Music Store also incorporates an acoustic version.[6]

O'Hooley & Tidow[edit]

O'Hooley & Tidow covered the song on their album The Fragile. The Guardian described their version of "Teardrop" as "an exquisite reworking"[7] and it was voted by Guardian music critic Jude Rogers as one of the best tracks of 2012.[8]

José González[edit]

Single by José González
from the album In Our Nature
Released 12 November 2007
  • CD
  • 7" vinyl
  • digital download
Genre Folk
Length 3:22
Label Peacefrog Records
Producer(s) José González
José González singles chronology
"Killing for Love"
"Down the Line"

José González covered "Teardrop" in 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".

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Teardrop" – 3:22
  2. "Four Forks Ache" – 5:25

Civil Twilight[edit]

Civil Twilight covered "Teardrop" on their 13 April 2010 release "Live from SoHo", an iTunes-only release. The band, signed to Wind-Up Records, released the studio version of the song as a single on 10 August 2010.

The Kooks[edit]

The Kooks covered the song in 2013.


Elbow covered "Teardrop" live at BBC Radio 1. A recorded version was also included as a B-side on their 2004 single "Not a Job".

Red Hot Chilli Pipers[edit]

Rock band Red Hot Chilli Pipers covered the song at the end of their album "Blast" in 2008, a live performance at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow. The performance of this piece is instrumental based chiefly on Scottish smallpipes and Highland bagpipes and is merged with a reel titled "Brenda Stubberts".

Simple Minds[edit]

The song was also covered by Scottish rock band Simple Minds and is found on their cover album Searching For The Lost Boy. This album was only released as the bonus second album in the 2-CD Deluxe Edition of their 15th studio album entitled Graffiti Soul, released on 25 May 2009.

Your Demise[edit]

The British hardcore band Your Demise released a limited downloadable track through their IndieGoGo campaign after splitting up as a band. This song is the last song they ever released as a band.

The Collective[edit]

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 13 November 2011
Recorded 2011
Length 4:04
Label Polydor
Children in Need singles chronology
"Love You More"
"Something New"
Gary Barlow chronology
Wretch 32 chronology
Ed Sheeran chronology
"Lego House"
Labrinth chronology
"Last Time"
Tinchy Stryder chronology
"Off the Record"
"Bright Lights"
Rizzle Kicks chronology
"When I Was a Youngster"
"Mama Do the Hump"
Ms. Dynamite chronology
"Neva Soft"
"Light Up (The World)"
Chipmunk chronology
"Take Off"
Dot Rotten chronology
"Keep It On a Low"
"Are You Not Entertained?"
Tulisa chronology

The song was covered by British singer-songwriter Gary Barlow's assembled group named The Collective and released as the official single for Children in Need 2011.[10] Produced by Labrinth, the performers,[11] consist of: Chipmunk, Dot Rotten, Ed Sheeran, Ms. Dynamite, Mz. Bratt, Tulisa, Rizzle Kicks, Tinchy Stryder and Wretch 32.

The song was released in the United Kingdom on 13 November 2011[12][13][14][15][16][17] and entered the charts at number 24.[18]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "Teardrop"   4:04
2. "Teardrop" (R1 Remix) 4:32
3. "Teardrop" (Wideboys Remix) 5:22
4. "Teardrop" (Lonsdale Boys Club Remix) 4:14

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[19] 30
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[20] 24
UK R&B (Official Charts Company)[21] 7

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom 13 November 2011[22] Digital download Polydor Records


  1. ^ "Massive Attack and Teardrop", Q Magazine, April 1999
  2. ^ Dave Simpson "Elizabeth Fraser: the Cocteau Twins and me". The Guardian. 26 November 2009
  3. ^ Pandora Archive. Pandora.nla.gov.au (23 August 2006). Retrieved on 9 December 2011.
  4. ^ Ford, Piers. (2004-05-01) Piers Ford, ''Prince of Darkness'', 1 May 2004. Boardsmag.com. Retrieved on 9 December 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Newton Faulkner – Teardrop". ChartStats.com. Retrieved 13 October 2009. 
  6. ^ Newton Faulkner – Teardrop (Acoustic Version), Australian iTunes Music Store. Phobos.apple.com (17 December 2007). Retrieved on 19 December 2011.
  7. ^ Denselow, Robin (2 February 2012). "O'Hooley & Tidow: The Fragile – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  8. ^ Jude Rogers and others (17 December 2012). "The best albums of 2012: our critics' individual choices". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  9. ^ http://www.italiancharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=The+Collective&titel=Teardrop&cat=s Hung Medien Archive
  10. ^ The Sun Gordon Smart 'It's Gary Barlow and The Collective', Sept 12 2011. Thesun.co.uk (2011-09-12). Retrieved on 2011-12-09.
  11. ^ Gary Barlow names Children in Need band 'The Collective' DigitalSpy, Retrieved 2011-10-04.
  12. ^ Digital Spy 7 October 2011. Digitalspy.co.uk (2011-10-07). Retrieved on 2011-12-09.
  13. ^ The Collective: 'Teardrop' – Single review – Music Singles Review. Digital Spy (2011-11-14). Retrieved on 2011-12-09.
  14. ^ Ryan, Damien. (2011-11-17) Track review: The Collective – Teardrop (Official Children In Need Single) | So So Gay magazine. Sosogay.org. Retrieved on 2011-12-09.
  15. ^ Haider, Arwa. (2011-11-25) The Collective's Teardrop and Lighthouse by Westlife: Single reviews. Metro.co.uk. Retrieved on 2011-12-09.
  16. ^ THE GIZZLE REVIEW: The Collective – Teardrop. Thegizzlereview.blogspot.com (2011-10-25). Retrieved on 2011-12-09.
  17. ^ Single Review: The Collective – 'Teardrop'. Unreality Shout. Retrieved on 2011-12-09.
  18. ^ Gary Barlow's The Collective Are Biggest Children In Need Flops In 16 Years – Celebrity Gossip, News & Photos, Movie Reviews, Competitions. Entertainmentwise (2011-11-21). Retrieved on 2011-12-09.
  19. ^ "Archive Chart: 2011-11-26". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  20. ^ "Archive Chart: 2011-11-26" UK Singles Chart.
  21. ^ "Archive Chart: 2011-11-26" UK R&B Chart.
  22. ^ 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

External links[edit]