Info → Pray For rain           

Dave Sitek and Tunde Adebimpe of Brooklyn band “TV On The Radio”, who collaborated with Massive Attack on Pray For Rain. Dave played guitar on the track while Tunde lent his vocals.

Dave Sitek and Tunde Adebimpe of Brooklyn band “TV On The Radio”, who collaborated with Massive Attack on Pray For Rain. Dave played guitar on the track while Tunde lent his vocals.

Development

UK Release: 5th October 2009 (Splitting The Atom EP)

UK Highest Chart: 64th

Track Duration: 06:46

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

Written By: Robert Del Naja, Grant Marshall, Neil Davidge and Tunde Adebimpe

Produced By: Robert Del Naja and Neil Davidge

Promo Video Directed By: Jake Scott

Video Producer: Black Dog Films

Video Duration: 06:46

Pray for Rain is one of the earliest songs initially conceptualised and recorded for Heligoland. Its origins stem from when Massive Attack (comprising of 3D, Daddy G and Neil Davidge) flew over to New York in early 2005 for a recording session with TV On The Radio in their Brooklyn studio. Out of this session came an unfinished early version of Pray For Rain. The track would go unfinished for another four years, and it wasn’t until early 2009 when Massive Attack flew back to New York to finish off the track with Tunde Adebimpe (lead singer of TV On The Radio) at a small Manhattan studio.

Additional Info

Guy Garvey, the lead singer of Manchester band Elbow, had previously featured on the Heligoland track, Flat Of The Blade.

Guy Garvey, the lead singer of Manchester band Elbow, had previously featured on the Heligoland track, Flat Of The Blade.

Jerry Fuchs, a session drummer based in Brooklyn, New York, who recorded the drums with Massive Attack for Pray for Rain, died in a freak elevator accident in November 2009. In the subsequent album liner notes, the Heligoland album is partially dedicated to his memory.

The next time, Massive Attack would work with Tunde Adebimpe, would be in 2014, when 3D’s Battle Box project remixed “Mad Lifeline”, which featured Tunde on vocals with his other act “Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band”.

Massive Attack first met TV On The Radio in July 2004, when they supported Massive Attack at their Brixton Academy show in July of that year. Dave Sitek of TV On The Radio had always been a huge admirer of Massive Attack and invited them to jam and record with them in Brooklyn, and offer which they would take up the following year.

Live Appearances

Pray For Rain went unplayed for the entirety of the Heligoland tour of 2009 and 2010, probably owing to the fact that Tunde Adebimpe was not available for any of these shows. It would finally make its live debut on the 16th October 2014 at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, where Tunde took to the stage to perform his vocals on the track, were it was the third last song of the night. It was played at the following two shows in California which would round off Massive Attack’s 2014 tour.

Variations/Remixes

Tim Goldsworthy RemixTim Goldsworthy who provided additional production duties on the Heligoland album, offers a dance orientated remix here. He would also remix Atlas Air, even though that would not appear until the release of the Atlas air EP later on in 2010. His Pray For Rain remix appeared exclusively on the Heligoland Remixed EP released digitally and for free on Massive Attack’s Facebook page 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.

Tim Goldsworthy Dub – A dub remake of the original Tim Goldsworthy remix, which was only released for a limited time in early 2010 as part of the Heligoland Remixed online EP.

Notable Quotes

3D on Tunde’s lyrics in Pray for Rain – “I can relate to the lyrics in “Pray For Rain” a lot. Lyrically, it’s like a parable and it kind of reminds me a bit of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian: a kind of crazy apocalyptic Western with a sense of connection with the spiritual world as well, which I really dig.” [The Independent – February 2010]

Tunde Adebimpe on Pray For Rain taking over 4 years to finish – “It was actually like four years later. I get an email from 3D, going ‘Oh man, we think it’s time to finish the track.’ [laughs] And I’m like, ‘What track?’. He sent it over again and I was like ‘Ohhhh’ and it all like, blocked together in my head. I was like, ‘You guys really take your time on a record.’ I guess they can afford to but I had completely forgotten about it. Yeah, so he sent it and we went to a studio in Manhattan, just for a day and, you know, put some stuff down. I told them they could shift things around or take things out, whatever they wanted to do, because it was really quick. They basically just used everything and it was really cool, it was really nice to hear it come out after such a long time.” [Stereogum.com – November 2014]

Neil Davidge on recording with Tunde and TV On The Radio – “The drums carry the bulk of “Pray for Rain. We did a rough edit and flew to New York to work with Dave Sitek and Tunde Adcbimpe of TV on the Radio in Williamsburg. Tunde came in, and we fired up “Pray for Rain,” and straight away he got it. He’s singing all those harmonies!” [Electronic Musician Magazine – March 2010]

Lyrics

Jerry Fuchs who played the drums on Pray for Rain, tragically died in a freak elevator accident in November 2009, before the release of Heligoland. The album was partially dedicated to his memory.

Jerry Fuchs who played the drums on Pray for Rain, tragically died in a freak elevator accident in November 2009, before the release of Heligoland. The album was partially dedicated to his memory.

In deepest hollow of our minds
A system failure left behind
And their necks crane
As they turn to pray for rain
And their necks crane

Dull residue of what once was
A shattered cloud of swirling doves
And their eyes change
As they learn to see through flames
And their necks crane
As they turn to pray for rain
And their eyes change
As they learn to see through flames
And their necks crane
As they turn to pray for rain

Drops on rocks fall fast and fleeting
Hearts and wings commence to beating
Woods unseen with all believing
Vision walls fall all receding
Vision walls fall all receding
Drops on rocks come fast and fleeting
Rhythm laws unleash their meaning
Usher us into the dreaming
Vision walls fall all receding
Hearts and wings commence to beating
All unending all completing
Vision walls fall fast and fleeting
Vision walls fall all revealing
Vision walls fall all revealing
Vision walls fall all revealing
Vision walls fall all revealing

In deepest hollow of our minds
A system failure left behind
Dull residue of what once was
A shattered cloud of swirling doves
And their eyes changed
As they learned to see through flames
And their necks craned
As they prayed for rain

Promo Video

The promo video for Pray for Rain was directed by Jake Scott, who is the son of famed film director Ridley Scott. The video premiered online on the 19th November 2010 and was the last video produced for Heligoland.

The promo video for Pray for Rain was directed by Jake Scott, who is the son of famed film director Ridley Scott. The video premiered online on the 19th November 2010 and was the last video produced for Heligoland.

Like the majority of the other promo videos produced for Heligoland, the Pray for Rain video was produced by Black Dog Films, a film production company based in London. The director of the video was Jake Scott, who has directed many other videos for Black Dog Productions, and who also happens to be the son of famed director Ridley Scott. Mr. Scott runs with the gently rolling dreamscape that is Massive Attack’s Pray For Rain with this equally dreamy soft-focused episode of a bewildered old man starting his day.

The Pray for Rain video was released online on the 19th November 2010 (the same week the Atlas Air E.P was released), and was the last promo video produced and released for the Heligoland album.

External Links