Massive Attack

Protection

Composed by Andrew "Mushroom" Vowles / Grantley Marshall / Robert "3D" del Naja / Tracey Thorn

Song Review by

The title track from Massive Attack's second album, which arrived four years after their debut, "Protection" is a beautiful, mid-tempo song which places the band firmly in the middle of the trip-hop genre they created.

With the abrupt departure of Shara Nelson in the aftermath of Blue Lines, the band needed to regroup to discover their future path. Mushroom, 3D, and Daddy G knew they could never replace her, nor did they want to. Instead, they chose to bring a new diversity to their sound with the addition of rotating guest vocalists; the first was Everything but the Girl's Tracy Thorn.

It was Thorn who penned the song that gave the band their album title and first single, and her sweetly organic, jazz-inflected voice was perfectly suited to the quiet, pared-down music the band placed behind it. A haunting love song, "Protection" is a subtle counterpart to the earlier "Safe From Harm" and is proof that the band was still on the right track. And while a less-inspired version can be heard on the Mad Professor's dubbed-out looking-glass remix LP No Protection, the more interesting remix -- a near-ten-minute epic by Brian Eno -- appears on the Massive Attack Singles 90/98 box set.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Protection 1994 Virgin
Best Album in the World...Ever! Vol. 2 1996
Various Artists
Alex 4:50
Special Brew [ffrr] 1996
Various Artists
Payday 4:51
Montecarlo Nights, Vol. 6 1996
Various Artists
MCA 4:55
Electronica: Full On Big Beats 1997
Various Artists
Virgin
First Generation: Virgin 25 Years 1998
Various Artists
Virgin 7:52
Singles 90/98 1998 EMI Music Distribution 7:36
Montecarlo Nights Collection 1998
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:53
The Chill Out Album 1999
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 4:55
Planet Electrica: Protection 1999
Various Artists
Elf 9:09
Dreamworld: Essential Late Night Listening 2000
Various Artists
Priority Records 7:52
Protection/No Protection 2001 EMI Music Distribution 7:51
No Image 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Blue Lines/Protection/Mezzanine 2002 Virgin / Wild Bunch 7:51
Collected 2006 VCT / Virgin
No Image 2006 Virgin 7:45
101 90's Hits [EMI] 2008
Various Artists
Virgin 4:50
Ministry of Sound: Chilled Acoustic 2010
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 4:11
Ministry of Sound: Chilled 2015 2015
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 4:29
No Image
Various Artists
Telstar
No Image Virgin 7:34
blue highlight denotes editor's pick