Teardrop (song)

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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
Massive Attack featuring Elizabeth Fraser singles chronology
Music video
"Teardrop" on YouTube
Music sample

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

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, was used in the opening theme of the U.S. medical television series House. It also featured as incident music in a 2001 episode of Coronation Street when Sarah Platt is chased and then again at the end.


"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 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."[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 fetus 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
  • 30 July 2007 (UK)
  • 18 April 2008 (Germany)
  • 29 April 2008 (US)
Recorded Autumn 2005–Spring 2007
Label Ugly Truth
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"
  • digital download
Genre Folk
Length 3:22
Label Peacefrog
Producer(s) José González
José González singles chronology
"Killing for Love"
"Down the Line"

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".

Track listing[edit]

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

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 (2009).

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

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.[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]

Brad Mehldau[edit]

The song is covered as a piano version "Teardrop" – Live 14:14 on the album Brad Mehldau's 10 Years Solo Live.

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


  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; et al. (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]