Angel (Massive Attack song)

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Single by Massive Attack
from the album Mezzanine
Released 13 July 1998
Format CD, 12", cassette
Recorded 1997–98 at Massive Attack and Christchurch Studios, Bristol
Genre Trip hop, electronica, electronic rock
Length 6:19
Label Virgin Records
Writer(s) Robert del Naja, Grantley Marshall, Andrew Vowles, Horace Andy[nb 1]
Producer(s) Neil Davidge
Massive Attack singles chronology
"Inertia Creeps"
Music video
"Angel" on YouTube

"Angel" is a song by the British trip hop group Massive Attack. It was released on 13 July 1998[1] and is the third single from their third album, Mezzanine, and the tenth single overall. The song samples The Incredible Bongo Band song, "Last Bongo in Belgium".

Background and composition[edit]

Daddy G described the song as "[starting] something we've got to finish. It was a much bigger thing than any member of the band."[2]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Angel" features Daddy G in a car park. He is walking to the exit when Robert del Naja, Andrew Vowles and Horace Andy[clarification needed] appear behind Marshall. They gradually get closer to Marshall, causing him to feel intimidated. More people start following him, which causes him to run outside the car park until he reaches a fence and therefore cannot go any further. As he turns to face the people chasing him, they stop and face him. He then runs towards the people that followed him, which causes them to run away.[3]

The video has had over 16 million views on YouTube.[3]

Use in popular culture[edit]

"Angel" was featured in the 1998 film π and appears in its soundtrack.

The song is featured in the 1999 film "Best Laid Plans" and appears in its soundtrack.

The song is featured in the 2001 film "Antitrust"

In 1998, the episode "Off Profile" of the series La Femme Nikita,[4]

Near the end of the second episode of Third Watch(1999), "Anywhere But Here" features this song.

In 2000, the British film Snatch.

Also it has been used to the soundtrack of film Go director Doug Liman.

It was used in Far Cry 2 E3 2008 trailer.[5]

It was also used in the Hugo Boss bottled and Boss bottled night adverts starring Ryan Reynolds.

The song was also used in the 2004 film Flight of the Phoenix.[6]

In the 2005 psychological thriller Stay, "Angel" was used in the provocative and emotionally disturbing strip club scene.[7]

More recently it was used in the Burn Notice episode "All or Nothing".

It was also used in the Grimm episode "Island of Dreams".

It was also used in the The West Wing episode "Commencement" during the club scene, providing a fitting soundtrack to the run up to the discovery of Zoe's kidnapping.

Recently, the song was used in the series My Mad Fat Diary when main character Rae breaks up with boyfriend Finn and she sets fire to a poster of a woman wearing lingerie.

In addition, "Angel" was used in the season 8 episode of CSI: NY entitled "Sláinte".

The song also appeared in the pilot episode of Person of Interest.

Also used in the Showtime Documentary "McConkey", a tribute to Shane McConkey.

In 2015, it was used as the opening theme for the Brazilian telenovela Verdades Secretas.

"Angel" has been covered by mathcore band The Dillinger Escape Plan, for their iTunes only EP, Plagiarism, and also by Brazilian metal band Sepultura on their EP Revolusongs and on the special edition of their 2003 album Roorback.[8] Sepultura's cover was featured in the second episode of the Fox series The Following. It has also been covered live by Australian psychedelic outfit Tame Impala.


Reception for the song was positive. Amy Hanson of AllMusic describes the song as "While the beat here is slow, druggy, and deep, what ultimately drives Angel is the wall of guitars that are reminiscent of a very early Cure".[2]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Angel"   6:19
2. "Angel" (radio edit) 5:24
3. "Angel" (Blur remix) 6:21
4. "Angel" (Mad Professor remix) 6:15
5. "Group Four" (Mad Professor remix) 7:51
Total length:


Massive Attack

  • Robert Del Naja – producer, arrangements, programming, keyboards, samples, art direction
  • Grantley Marshall – producer, arrangements, programming, keyboards, samples
  • Andrew Vowles – producer, arrangements, programming, keyboards, samples

Additional personnel

  • Neil Davidge – producer, arrangements, programming, keyboards, samples
  • Horace Andyvocals
  • Angelo Bruschini – guitars
  • Sweetheart (Johanna Bautista)-Vocals, Lyrics, Song design, art direction
  • Jon Harris, Bob Locke, Winston Blisset – bass guitars
  • Andy Gangadeen – drums
  • Dave Jenkins, Michael Timothy – additional keyboards

Recording personnel

  • Jan Kybert – Pro Tools
  • Lee Shepherd – engineer (Massive Attack and Christchurch Studios)
  • Mark "Spike" Stent – mixing (Olympic Studios)
  • Jan Kybert, Paul "P-Dub" Walton – assistant mixing
  • Tim Young – editing, engineer (Metropolis Studios)

Chart history[edit]

Chart (1998) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[9] 129
New Zealand Singles Chart[10] 33
UK Singles Chart[11] 30


  1. ^ a b Whalley, Matt. "Angel – Massive Attack (single review)". Allmusic. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Hanson, Amy. "Angel - Massive Attack". Allmusic. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Massive Attack. "Angel" (Video). YouTube. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  4. ^ Music of La Femme Nikita
  5. ^ "Far Cry 2 E3 2008 Trailer". Ubisoft. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Stay (2005) Soundtrack". Retrieved 2014-11-02. 
  8. ^ "Roorback/Special Edition: Sepultura: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  9. ^ "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 12 July 2016". Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  10. ^ "Discography Massive Attack". Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "Massive Attack". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 


  1. ^ Horace Andy is credited by his real name, Horace Hinds, on the CD notes.