Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 72
Sun. April 7, 2013

“I Want You”
Madonna & Massive Attack


“♫ Want
you to
want me
baby/ just
like I want
you ♫”

So how did Motor City’s Material Girl, Madonna, make beautiful music with Massive Attack? Madonna talked about this massive collaboration when she explained, “The reason I worked with Massive Attack was [producer] Nellee Hooper. I asked Nelle Hooper to work on my last record [1994’s Bedtime Stories] and when he was working on it, the guys from Massive Attack would come by and hang out at the studio because they’re friends with Nelle. [Massive Attack] said to me at the time, we’d love to work with you sometime in the future. So when the Marvin Gaye tribute album [Inner City Blues] came up, Nelle called me and said, ‘Would you like to work with Massive Attack?’ and I said, Yes. It’s because of my friendship with Nelle.”

Even though, Nellee Hooper would go on to not only produce Bedtime Stories and become good friends with Madonna, there was a time when he, Daddy G and 3D from Massive Attack were nervous of meeting the Material Girl. Blaming their actions on being “in a pretty bad state of disrepair,” Daddy G told Dazed & Confused, “Me and Nellee and 3D went over to stay with her for the National Cup because she really wanted to meet us. But we were absolutely petrified about meeting her (laughs). So every time she came to look for us, we’d be hiding under the beds in her huge ten bedroom house so we didn’t have to bump into her. We were there for about ten days and she was real pissed off on the last day when we were leaving without saying hello. So she rang us to ask what we were doing trying to avoid her in her own house. And that set the precedent for us to work with her.”

Actually when it came down to studio time, only Nelle and Robert “3D” Del Naja got to work with Madonna. 3D reminisced his time recreating Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You” when he said, “[Madonna] sang it really well, she had it sorted out, you could tell she knew the song, she’d really worked fucking hard on it. Fucking good.” Later Del Naja said this to Channel V TV, “It was quite freaky for me because I’m just a Bristol boy. She was singing in my ear as we were playing the music down, giving me her version of it. I wasn’t taking any notice at all really. I was just thinking about how mad it is. She is such an icon it takes you a while to adjust. When she was in the vocal room, it was amazing. We did a few takes just to cover it, but she sung it so well we could have done it in one take. It was that beautiful.”

Massive Attack created the sensual canvas of rhythms for Madonna to undress her silky vocal while softly crooning Marvin’s very carnal lyrics. 3D, Daddy G and Mushroom must have felt the erotic inspiration because Massive Attack took the sultry atmosphere from the “I Want You” sessions and four years later would go on to create the soundtrack to your bedroom encounters, the masterpiece that will become Mezzanine. You can hear where the atmospheric sound fruits of “Angel” and “Teardrop” were first tasted while in the studio with Madonna. Even though recorded in 1994, “I Want You” still has that timeless Massive Attack coital, pre, post and otherwise entertained rhythms that leave you in strings of ecstasy. It’s no wonder, while looking back after Massive Attack released their greatest hits and remixes Collected, 3D said this about the bands work with Madonna on “I Want You,” “Sexy nostalgia from 97[sic]. Madonna getting down with us in a pre ‘Angelo D’Angelo’ style for the Marvin [Gaye] tribute album, [Inner City Blues].”

Relive the passion, turn down the lamps, light some candles and get turned on by this lusty Massive Attack and Madonna tribute to Marvin Gaye. A seduction classic that craves to become the carnal soundtrack for you next private encounter. How can you resist the coming of Madonna and Massive Attack? “I Want You” will leave you breathless and satisfied.

And if you’re really turned on, I dare you to try the stripped Orchestra Version of “I Want You”: