Inertia Creeps

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"Inertia Creeps"
Single by Massive Attack
from the album Mezzanine
B-side "Reflection"
Released 21 September 1998
Format CD, 12"
Recorded 1997–98 at Massive Attack and Christchurch Studios, Bristol
Genre Electronica,[1] trip hop, tsifteteli
Length 5:56
Label Virgin Records
Songwriter(s) Robert del Naja, Grantley Marshall, Andrew Vowles
Producer(s) Neil Davidge
Massive Attack singles chronology
"Inertia Creeps"
"Special Cases"
"Inertia Creeps"
"Special Cases"
Music video
"Inertia Creeps" on YouTube

"Inertia Creeps" is a song by the trip hop group Massive Attack, released as a single on 21 September 1998. It is the fourth and final single released off their third album Mezzanine, and is the tenth single overall.

It is the least commercially successful of the four singles released from Mezzanine, charting only on the New Zealand Singles Chart at no. 16.

Background and composition[edit]

The song describes a relationship that Robert del Naja had, which at the time had just ended:

I already had a lot of the lyrics written before. It was just about a relationship I had been going through. It's about being in a situation but knowing you should be out of it but you're too fucking lazy or weak to leave. And you're dishonest to yourself and dishonest to the other person. You're betraying them everyday [sic] and the whole scene feels like it's closing in on you, d'ya-know-what-I-mean? The idea is a combination of movements propelling yourself forward and pulling yourself back at the same time. That's what the track's about—a fucked up relationship basically and there it is.[2]

The rhythm of "Inertia Creeps" has a strong çiftetelli influence, inspired by nights out in Istanbul. Robert del Naja acquired some tapes of such music, which were used as a basis for the song.[2] The song is composed in the key of D-sharp minor[1] and it runs at a tempo of 84 beats per minute.[3] It samples the song "ROckWrok" by New Wave band Ultravox.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Inertia Creeps" features Robert del Naja sitting on a sofa. He is watching an explicit clip of his partner having sex with what appears to be Mushroom. The clip is directed and recorded by Daddy G, who is in the same room as the extramarital couple. Del Naja is shown to be frequently shocked by the clip (especially a scene where she performs fellatio on Mushroom whilst sitting in a chair); he breathes heavily while watching it, turns away a lot from the camcorder, fast-forwards a lot of the video, and at one point he ends up hiding behind a blanket.

The video has had over 4.5 million views on YouTube.[4]


John Bush of AllMusic gave "Inertia Creeps" critical acclaim, describing the song as the highlight of Mezzanine: "Inertia Creeps" could well be the highlight, another feature for just the core threesome. With eerie atmospherics, fuzz-tone guitars, and a wealth of effects, the song could well be the best production from the best team of producers the electronic world had ever seen."[5]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Inertia Creeps" 5:56
2. "Inertia Creeps" (Radio edit) 4:09
3. "Inertia Creeps" (Manic Street Preachers version) 5:02
4. "Inertia Creeps" (State of Bengal remix) 6:23
5. "Inertia Creeps" (Alpha mix) 5:54
6. "Back She Comes" 6:07
7. "Reflection" (Written by Robert del Naja and Neil Davidge only) 4:52
Total length: 37:59[6]


Massive Attack

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

Additional personnel

  • Neil Davidge – producer, arrangements, programming, keyboards, samples
  • Angelo Bruschini – guitars
  • Jon Harris, Bob Locke, Winston Blisset – bass guitars
  • Andy Gangadeen – drums, percussion
  • 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
New Zealand Singles Chart[7] 16


  1. ^ a b Tompkins, Dave. "Massive Attack - Inertia Creeps". Retrieved 30 July 2013.  External link in |work= (help)
  2. ^ a b Prasad, Anil. "Massive Attack - Massive aggressive". Innerviews. Retrieved 10 July 2013. The music came from nights out in Istanbul. There's some mad music there at some belly dancing shows which are pretty embarrassingly tourist-orientated. But the music was fucking really cool. I got some tapes and I was in the studio when we were working on this music. Mush came in and I was fucking really bitching and beat as shit and I said "I got this fucking wicked beat I heard from this fucking tape" and we started writing this new beat from it and so it was really cool, d'ya-know-what-I-mean? It was one of those good fucking days in the studio when everyone was on the same fucking vibe. 
  3. ^ "BPM Database - Browse". Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Massive Attack - Inertia Creeps". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  5. ^ Bush, John. "Mezzanine - Massive Attack". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  6. ^ Matt Whalley (1998-11-17). "Inertia Creeps - Massive Attack | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  7. ^ "Discography Massive Attack". Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 

External links[edit]