"Teardrop" is a song by English trip hop group Massive Attack. It features lead vocals and lyrics by Elizabeth Fraser, the lead singer for the Cocteau Twins. It was released as the second single from their third studio album, Mezzanine (1998), on 27 April 1998. The song became another hit for the group in the United Kingdom, peaking at number 10.
"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 on 29 May 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."
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.
The song's music video featured a plastic foetus in the womb, singing the song. It was directed by Walter Stern.
In popular culture
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".
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".
An instrumental version of the tune is also used in a first season episode of Prison Break entitled "Tonight".
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.
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 & Tidow
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.
Indian musician Kris Ashok covered looping remix of Massive Attack's Teardrop and Thyagaraja's Brova Bharama,
The band Elbow performed "Teardrop" for a BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge session in 2003, and released a studio version on their "Not a Job" single the following year.
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".
|2.||"Four Forks Ache"||5:25|
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.
The song was released in the United Kingdom on 13 November 2011 and entered the charts at number 24.
|2.||"Teardrop" (R1 Remix)||4:32|
|3.||"Teardrop" (Wideboys Remix)||5:22|
|4.||"Teardrop" (Lonsdale Boys Club Remix)||4:14|
||13 November 2011
The song is covered as a piano version "Teardrop" – Live 14:14 on the album Brad Mehldau's 10 Years Solo Live.
The song was covered by British vocal ensemble Voces8 on their album Lux (2015).
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- ^  Teardrop Bahudari
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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
- ^ Voces8 album Lux (retrieved 2017/12/09)iTunes