Info → Paradise Circus                    

Hope Sandoval, most well known as being apart of the 1990′s alternative band Mazzy Star, was the guest vocalist on Paradise Circus.

Hope Sandoval, most well known as being apart of the 1990′s alternative band Mazzy Star, was the guest vocalist on Paradise Circus.

Development

UK Release: 8th February 2010 (Heligoland)

Track Duration: 04:58

Formats: CD, Vinyl, Digital. View Discography Entry.

Written By: Robert Del Naja, Grant Marshall, Hope Sandoval, Stew Jackson and Dan Brown

Produced By: Robert Del Naja, Grant Marshall and Neil Davidge

Promo Video Directed By: Toby Dye

Video Producer: Black Dog Films

Video Duration: 05:22

Paradise Circus started as a collaboration between Daddy G and a Bristol production duo known as Robot Club(Stew Jackson and Dan Brown, who received co-writing credits on the finished song). Daddy G and Robot Club had previously engineered a remix together in 2005 for the band 4Hero known as “Morning Child”. They then continued working together the following year in 2006, creating the early demo track that would become Paradise Circus and also another Heligoland song which eventually became Saturday Come Slow.

Daddy G’s collaboration with Robot Club, (working separately to 3D) was because of the two not seeing eye to eye with each other in the studio at the time and instead opting for this working arrangement were the two could work separately to each other and then try and amalgamate their work together later on.

The unreleased original demo of Paradise Circus featured Yolanda Quarty on vocals. Yolanda had been brought in by Robot Club having previously worked with them and her band Phantom Limb in the past. While she would continue to do the vocals on Paradise Circus on the live tour of 2008, in the end Massive Attack choose to enlist former Mazzy Star singer Hope Sandoval, to re-record the vocals soon after that tour ended.

Additional Info

Originally went under the working title of “Harpsichord” and was called as such on the 2008 European tour. Of the eight new tracks that were debuted for the first time on that tour, Harpsichord was the only one that survived largely intact (albeit with the name change to Paradise Circus) to be featured on Heligoland.

The way Paradise Circus was made, with Hope Sandoval not actually being present in the Massive Attack studio and her vocals only being sent electronically to the band to be added to the song, recalls how Nature Boy (with David Bowie) and I Against I (with Mos Def) were also similarly put together without the band ever actually meeting the vocalists.

The popular BBC1 drama series Luther, which started airing in Summer 2010 and is currently still being made, features Paradise Circus as its opening theme tune. The song also features on the soundtrack CD for the series. Paradise Circus has also featured as background music on several other TV shows since such as Gossip Girl,True Blood and Revenge.

Live Appearances

         Martina Topley-Bird performing Paradise Circus live during the 2014 tour.

         Martina Topley-Bird performing Paradise Circus live during the 2014 tour.

Paradise Circus was first played on the 2008 tour under the name of “Harpsichord”. It featured live vocals not from Hope Sandoval, but Yolanda Quarty, who was a singer in a Bristol band called Phantom Limb. The 2008 live version was mostly similar to the final version on the record except that the handclapping sound effects which seem almost synonymous with the song nowadays were not present in its arrangement. When the Heligoland tour was underway during 2009 and 2010, Paradise Circus was not played on any of the shows, which was somewhat odd giving that it was the song that was used the most to promote Heligoland at the time of its release.

Paradise Circus finally made its way back on the live setlist for the the 2014 tour (which was mostly a tour of European festivals) with live vocals from Martina Topley Bird and with the handclapping sound effects now apart of the live arrangement. It would be played on each night of the 33 gigs of the 2014 tour.

Variations/Remixes

Gui Boratto Remix – A remix by the Brazilian electronic music producer, Gui Boratto. It was first released on the Heligoland Remixed EP through Massive Attack’s Facebook page for free in early 2010. It also appeared on the Heligoland Special edition vinyl album and on a few rare promo CD’s released through Virgin EMI around the same time.

Gui Boratto Dub – A dub version of the above Gui Boratto remix. It only appeared on a few rare promo CD’s released through Virgin EMI in early 2010.

Breakage’s Tight Rope Remix – A club friendly remix done by James Breakage, London based DJ/producer. It was first released on the Heligoland Remixed EP through Massive Attack’s Facebook page in early 2010 and also appeared on a few rare promo CD’s released through Virgin EMI around the same time. It features a sample from Run DMC’s “Run House”.

Burial Remix – Only physically released on a very limited edition vinyl (sold out overnight!) from vinyl Factory in October 2011, the Paradise Circus remix from UK ambient/house music producer Burial, was first played on Mary Anne Hobb’s XFM show on the 17th October 2011. It has since been made available to buy in digital format exclusive from the MassiveAttack.com store.

Sampled From

Paradise Circus prominently samples the shuffling drums from soul singer’s Nina Simone‘s 1964 song “See-Line Woman”. This is the only known sample used on Heligoland.

Notable Quotes

3D on working with Hope Sandoval – “That was one of G’s adventures actually. And they did it all by wire. None of us ever met Hope Sandoval. On the whole, our most successful collaborations come from being with people in the studio. This one is actually the complete opposite. And it’s only one of a few we’ve done like this, another being with David Bowie when we did a track for Moulin Rouge. I quite like the idea of it being that way. Musically, we were trying to get a sense of being in a room, almost as if during a seance. We wanted to make it feel slightly conspiratorial, very visual and simple and really personal and up close.” [Guardian Magazine – February 2010]

Lyrics

The acclaimed BBC1 drama series Luther (2010-2013), featured Paradise Circus as its opening theme song at the beginning of every episode. View the Luther opening on YouTube.

The acclaimed BBC1 drama series Luther (2010-2013), featured Paradise Circus as its opening theme song at the beginning of every episode. View the Luther opening on YouTube.

It’s unfortunate that when we feel a storm
We can roll ourselves over ’cause we’re uncomfortable
Oh well, the devil makes us sin
But we like it when we’re spinning in his grip

Love is like a sin, my love,
For the ones that feel it the most
Look at her with her eyes like a flame
She will love you like a fly will never love you again

It’s unfortunate that when we feel a storm
We can roll ourselves over when we’re uncomfortable
Oh well, the devil makes us sin
But we like it when we’re spinning in his grip

Love is like a sin, my love,
For the one that feels it the most
Look at her with a smile like a flame
She will love you like a fly will never love you again

Promo Video

The video for Paradise Circus blended archive footage from the 1973 adult film “The Devil in Miss Jones” with a candid interview segment with the porn actress Georgina Spelvin who starred in the film 36 years ago.

The video for Paradise Circus blended archive footage from the 1973 adult film “The Devil in Miss Jones” with a candid interview segment with the porn actress Georgina Spelvin who starred in the film 36 years ago.

First debuted online on the 12th December 2009, the promo video for Paradise Circus was directed by Toby Dye (in his first music video) and produced by Black Dog Films. The first of the videos produced for the Heligoland album, this video marked a precedent for the following Heligoland videos in taking a more lo-fi, low budget approach to promo videos compared to the more extravagant higher budgeted promo videos Massive Attack produced during the 1990’s. Black Dog Films would end up producing all of the remaining videos for Heligoland.

The video itself relies heavily on stock footage taken from the 1973 adult film “The Devil In Miss Jones”, juxtaposed with an interview segment shot for the promo featuring the now aged Georgina Spelvin, the porn actress featured in the 1973 film, recounting her days as an adult performer. The concept for the video came from the director Toby Dye, who located and interviewed Georgina Spelvin for the video.

Toby Dye received several awards in 2010 for his daring work on the Paradise Circus video. The video ended up gaining awards such as “WINNER OF BEST IN BOOK – CREATIVE REVIEW ANNUAL 2010″, “BEST MUSIC VIDEO – D&AD AWARD NOMINATION 2010″, and “BEST DANCE VIDEO – MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS 2010″.

Quotes About The Video

3D about the casting of Georgina Spelvin – “I don’t know how Toby Dye found this lady but it feels quite Warhol, her talking to camera like that; there’s something really beautiful about her.” [Guardian Magazine – February 2010]

External Links