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Angel

Massive Attack

12 appearances7 movies5 episodes

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Heard in the following movies & TV shows

Snatch

2000

4.1K

Go

1999

811

1.3K

Pi

1998

360

Stay

2005

15

Smallville • s1e9

2001

634

About

"Angel" is a song by English trip hop group Massive Attack, featuring the vocals and songwriting from Horace Andy. It was released as the third single from their third studio album, Mezzanine (1998), on 13 July 1998. "Angel" peaked at number 30 on the UK Singles Chart. The song is built around a sample of "You Are My Angel" by Horace Andy, which Massive Attack guitarist and producer Neil Davidge discovered while working on the Mezzanine album. In an interview with The Quietus, Davidge recalled that, upon hearing the sample, he "realised that it was something very special... It had such a beautiful, naive quality to it that we just had to use it." Davidge and fellow producer Flood worked on creating a new arrangement for the sample, which they then brought to Andy to record vocals for. Speaking about the recording process, Andy later said that "it was done in one take... When I went in the studio, I just ad-libbed it. I didn't know what I was going to sing about." The finished song features a sparse, trip hop-inspired arrangement built around the looped sample and Andy's vocals. The lyrics are written from the perspective of an angel, and explore themes of love and loss. The song's music video, directed by Walter A. Stern, features Grant "Daddy G" Marshall walking through a car park while being followed by a group of people. As the video progresses, the people following Marshall get closer and closer to him, until they are right behind him, at which point he starts running. He eventually reaches a fence, which he cannot climb over, and so he turns to face his pursuers. It is then that he notices that they are mirroring his movements, as if his body is controlling them. The video won the Best Special Effects award at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards. It was also nominated for Best Editing and Best Cinematography, but lost both awards to the video for "Fool's Gold" by The Stone Roses. "Angel" is widely regarded as one of Massive Attack's best-known and most popular songs. In 2000, Q magazine placed it at number 72 in their list of the 100 Greatest Songs of All Time, while Pitchfork included it at number 13 in their list of the 200 Best Songs of the 1990s. In 2010, NME placed it at number 5 in their list of the 150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years.

Release Date

1998

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