Info → He Says He Needs Me
Release Date: 4th December 2015 (Video Version) / 7th January 2017 (Soundtrack Version)
Track Duration: 08:41 (Video Version) / 03:21 (Soundtrack Version)
Formats: CD, Digital.
Written By: Robert Del Naja, Euan Dickinson and The Young Fathers
Produced By: Robert Del Naja and Euan Dickinson
Additional Programming: Forest Swords
Vocals: The Young Fathers
Promo Video Directed By: John Donne
Video Producer: Brass Mustache
Filming Location: Paris, France
Video Duration: 10:26
After expressing interest in Young Fathers's music after their 2014 Mercury Award, 3D contacted the Edinburgh based hip hop band with an aim to collocate together, which ultimately led to the creation of the He Says He Needs Me track and Young Fathers joining Massive Attack as chief supporting band on their 2016 tour. During 2015, the two bands worked together on this track and one other released track Voodoo In My Blood.
The track was first debuted as part of the soundtrack to a short film entitled "La Fête (est Finie)", which translates from French to "The Party Is Over", in December 2015. Just over a year later, the track was formally released as part of the soundtrack album to the blockbuster Hollywood film Assassins Creed based on the titular video game series.
While He Says He Needs Me was written and produced by 3D and Euan Dickinson (similarly to the 2016 Ritual Spirit EP), additional production and programming was handled by Forest Swords (AKA Matthew Barnes), a UK experimental electronic music producer. This is Forest swords first and at the moment only collaboration with Massive Attack.
Massive Attack had previously allowed Teardrop to be used in a UK based advertising campaign to promote the first Assassins Creed video game in 2007. Nine years later they would provide their new track He Says He Needs Me for the soundtrack to the movie adaption of that same video game franchise. You can check out that original 2007 Assassins Creed TV advertisement featuring Teardrop by clicking here.
He Says He Needs Me received its live debut on the 28th January 2016 at Manchester's Apollo Theatre, after not been played on the first week of the Spring 2016 tour. You can listen to that same Manchester show recording in full by clicking here to stream it on Soundcloud.
The track would go on to be featured on all subsequent dates of the 2016 tour typically being performed towards the end of each show as the third of fourth last track of the setlist. As on the record, Young Fathers performed the live vocals on all of these dates. They were also the support act for all dates of the 2016 tour as well. The live version of He Needs Me is arranged similarly to the Soundtrack Version, and not the Video Version.
Video Version – This was the original version of the track that was first debuted on the 4th December 2015 as part of the soundtrack for short online film called La Fête (est Finie). The track is more dark and ominous sounding that the newer version that ended up on the Assassin creed soundtrack.
Soundtrack Version – This newer version of the track was released as part of the Assassins Creed soundtrack album (both CD and digital release) on the 7th January 2017. It is much shorter than the original video version and has been remixed to be more upbeat and danceable overall. It was also featured during the end credits of the film.
My god ain’t right. This time I’m leaving. Into the light. Free me now, demon. Oooo-Oooh (4.5x) The devil me in, he said he need me. (Needs me) (2x)
Put my name on your lips. Let me know when you’re done. Crack the window in the morning. Let the tears be I know that. Ways the something I’m saying. But the taste in my mouth. Love me, love me. (Love me, love me) Grease the fingers. Kiss the baby. Play me, play me. Come to save me.
That ain’t right. My god ain’t right. That ain’t right. Free me now. Feeling rough. Oooo-Oooh Reading your mind. Oooo-Oooh Jesus never feel me enough. ? Oooo-Oooh (2x) That ain’t right. This time I’m leaving. Must hurry to the light. My god ain’t right. (2x) Free me now, demon. (3x) Free me now.
In early December 2015, UK journalist and filmmaker, Mark Donne, released a short film named La Fête (est Finie) through his Brass Mustache production company. This short film would feature He Says He Needs Me as its main accompanying soundtrack.
The film, shot in black and white, features a woman (played by Irish actress Fiona O’Shaughnessy) at a drug-fuelled party overlooking the bright lights of the Eiffel tower, as she identifies oil executives, spin doctors and government advisers in dark corners using a facial recognition camera. It was devised to coincide with the COP21 conference in Paris, also known as the Conference of the Parties. It premiered at Le Trianon Theatre in Paris ahead of performances by Thom Yorke, Patti Smith and Flea for the Pathway to Paris concert.
Mark Donne had previously worked with Massive Attack before in 2013, when the band help score a documentary film of his entitled The UK Gold.
Joint Statement from 3D and Mark Donne about the video being produced for COP21 – “The consequences of failure are absolutely catastrophic, but that didn’t prevent the previous twenty Conferences of Parties doing precisely that. As with any party, the skill is in knowing when to leave. For decades fossil fuel extracting trans-nationals and Western governments have continued to dance and partake long after the bright lights of climate science evidence were switched on and the deafening music of denial had its plug pulled.” [DIY Mag - December 2015]