Protection (album)

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Studio album by Massive Attack
Released 26 September 1994
Recorded 1993–1994 Wild Bunch Studios, London; Massive Attack and Antenna Studios, Bristol
Genre Trip hop, lounge, chillout
Length 48:57
Label Circa/Virgin
Producer Massive Attack and Nellee Hooper
Massive Attack chronology
Blue Lines
No Protection
Singles from Protection
  1. "Sly"
    Released: 17 October 1994
  2. "Protection"
    Released: 9 January 1995
  3. "Karmacoma"
    Released: 20 March 1995
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Consumer Guide A−[2]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 3/5 stars[3]
NME 8/10[4]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars[6]
Select 5/5[7]
Vox 8/10[8]

Protection is the second album by Bristol-based trip hop collective Massive Attack. Released in 1994, it was last to feature Tricky as a member of the group, after going solo with his album Maxinquaye in 1995.


Protection was featured in the top ten of Rolling Stone magazine's 'Coolest Albums of All Time List', calling it "great music for when you're driving around a city at 4 am," due to the 'chill out' nature of the album. Like most of Massive Attack's albums, the music often defies categorisation, ranging from R&B (title track and "Sly") to hip hop/rap ("Karmacoma" and "Eurochild") to reggae-tinged synthpop ("Spying Glass") to classical-influenced electronica instrumentals ("Weather Storm" and "Heat Miser"). The album follows Blue Lines structurally, to the point that the font used on the cover of the album is the same, Helvetica Heavy Italic.

Paul Evans of Rolling Stone gave the album three and a half of five stars calling it "Cool, sexy stuff, it smoothly fuses dub, club and soul, grounding its grace in sampled hip-hop beats."

It is the second and last Massive Attack album listed in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[9] Rolling Stone ranked it at number 51 in its list of the "100 Best Albums of the Nineties".[10]

Tricky again appeared on the album, rapping on the tracks "Karmacoma" (whose video was directed by Jonathan Glazer, and which featured a sample from The KLF's "Dream Time in Lake Jackson" at the 2:00 minute mark) and "Eurochild" (which featured samples from Startled Insects' "Cheetah" and Liquid Liquid's "Lock Groove (In)").

DJ Mad Professor remixed the album in 1995 under the name No Protection.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Protection" (sampled "The Payback" by James Brown) Vowles/Del Naja/Marshall/Thorn 7:51
2. "Karmacoma"   Vowles/Del Naja/Marshall/Tricky/Norfolk/Locke 5:16
3. "Three"   Vowles/Del Naja/Marshall/Hooper/Suwoton 3:49
4. "Weather Storm" (sampled "It's Time for Love" by Pieces of a Dream) Vowles/Del Naja/Marshall/Hooper/Armstrong/Harmon/Napoleon/Lloyd/Murray 4:59
5. "Spying Glass" (sampled "Chapter 3" by Joe Gibbs & the Professionals and "Shaft in Africa" by Johnny Pate) Vowles/Del Naja/Marshall/Hooper/Andy 5:20
6. "Better Things" (sampled "Never Can Say Goodbye" by James Brown) Vowles/Del Naja/Marshall/Thorn/Watt/Brown 4:13
7. "Eurochild" (sampled "Cheetah" by Startled Insects) Vowles/Del Naja/Marshall/Tricky/Norfolk/Locke 5:11
8. "Sly" (sampled "Africa Talks to You 'The Asphalt Jungle'" by Sly and the Family Stone) Vowles/Del Naja/Marshall/Hooper/Suwoton/Goldman 5:24
9. "Heat Miser"   Vowles/Del Naja/Marshall/Hooper/de Vries 3:39
10. "Light My Fire" (live) (sampled "Light My Fire" by Jackie Wilson) The Doors 3:15



Chart (1994) Peak
UK Albums (OCC)[11] 4


  1. ^ Bush, John. "Protection – Massive Attack". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Massive Attack: Protection". Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-857-12595-8. 
  4. ^ Kessler, Ted (24 September 1994). "Support for All". NME: 49. 
  5. ^ Evans, Paul (6 April 1995). "Massive Attack: Protection". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 25 October 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  6. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-743-20169-8. 
  7. ^ Hall, Matt (October 1994). "Dub Wiser". Select (52): 103. 
  8. ^ Martin, Gavin (October 1994). "Direct hit". Vox (128). 
  9. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (23 March 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Massive Attack | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart Retrieved 7 June 2015.