On news-shelves this month is a nice 3 page article in Q Magazine, about the tense recording sessions Massive Attack underwent when recording Mezzanine and how it ultimately led to the near fracturing of the band. I've already scanned and added it to the scans archive page for anyone who would like to download it in glorious 300dpi.
The article's been penned by one, Dorian Lynskey, a name I'm familiar with as he's written several Massive Attack articles in various music publications over the years and would seem to know his stuff. Plus its got that awesome picture of Massive engulfed in flames. That's one picture I've seen before but never had a high quality copy of it until now. Its a pretty apt visual metaphor for the pressure Massive must have been under at that time. Pressure that for whatever the reasons (probably of which we might never really know), ended with Mushroom leaving.
After giving it a quick once over, there does'nt appear to be anything earth-shatteringly new in this write-up. Any self-proclaimed MA aficionado's who are up to speed on their trivia probably know the whole story already.
No new quotes, everything just culled from old interviews at the time - two interviews in particular, the Mojo magazine interview from 1998 and the Q magazine interview from 1999. To this day, these two articles are still probably the best pieces of journalism on what went on during the recording of Mezzanine. Lots of candid quotes and interesting info to be gleaned. Required reading for new fans.
Even though the info in this new Q article is nothing new, it's still nice to see the deconstruction of the Mezzanine recording sessions written from someone knowledgeable about the band.
And for any new-ish MA fans chancing upon this blog post, I've made a quick list of some notable trivia tidbits mentioned in the new Q article:
- Madonna came close at one point to singing an earlier version of Teardrop dubiously titled "No Don't".
- Angel emerged from an aborted attempt at trying to coax Horace Andy into singing a cover version of The Clash's "Straight To Hell".
- Inertia Creeps was sampled heavily from an unknown tune floating around in a Turkish belly dancing club.
- Group Four lyrically being about an overanxious night watchman suffering from a serious case of isolation.
You never know, this stuff might come up in the next pub quiz your in, so keep it in mind. 8-)
As for that list of trivia points, it's all intriguing to know, especially the Madonna one. It's hard to imagine anyone but Liz Fraser singing Teardrop now. Not that I care much for Madonna, but I'll give it to her, that around that time she probably was at the peak of her career creatively - the "Ray Of Light" album and all that. So it might still have been a good collaboration and it's apparently what Mushroom wanted. Not that I think Mushroom getting his way on this would have prevented his departure from Massive in anyway.
Wrapping up, if you have'nt checked out the article already, do so. I'm sure Mr. Lynskey's words are alot better than my own. :oops:
And as a side-note, I'll be adding to the the scans archive page as I go along. I have about dozen more articles and interviews to get scanned in, which I hope to get up before the summer. Happy reading!