[ ]   [ ]   [ ]                        [ ]      [ ]   [ ]
Massive Attack — Safe From Harm
Album: Blue Lines
Avg rating:
7.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2384









Released: 1991
Length: 5:13
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Midnight rockers, city slickers
Gunmen and maniacs
All are featured on the freak show
And I can't do nothing 'bout that, no

But if you hurt what's mine
I'll sure as hell retaliate

Telling us what is infectious and dangerous

You can free the world, you can free my mind
Just as long as my baby's safe from harm tonight

You can free the world, you can free my mind
Just as long as my baby's safe from harm tonight

Telling us what is infectious and dangerous
Friends and enemies, they find us contagerous
I was looking back to see
If you were looking back at me
To see me looking back at you

Lucky dippers, crazy chancers
Seems to be moving fast
What happened to the niceties of my childhood days?
Well, I can't do nothing 'bout that, no

But if you hurt what's mine
I'll sure as hell retaliate

I was
I was looking back to see if you were
I was looking I was
I was looking back to see if you were looking back at me
To see me looking back at you

You can free the world, you can free my mind
Just as long as my baby's safe from harm tonight

You can free the world, you can free my mind
Just as long as my baby's safe from harm tonight

Telling us what is infectious and dangerous
Friends and enemies, they find us contagerous
And they spread into your system like a virus
Yes, the trouble is it kind of makes you anxious

I was
I was looking back to see
If you were looking back at me
To see me looking back at you

I was
I was looking back to see
If you were looking back at me
To see me looking back at you

But if you hurt what's mine
I'll sure as hell retaliate

You can free the world, you can free my mind
Just as long as my baby's safe from harm tonight

You can free the world, you can free my mind
Just as long as my baby's safe from harm tonight
Comments (291)add comment
 milleronic wrote:
Love Massive Attack, but this song - ugh. 
I was looking back to see if you were looking back at me
To see me looking back at youRidiculous


 Did you forget junior high school?

 thewiseking wrote:
awww, thought we were gonna hear some Billy Cobham, then got hit with this lounge crap
 
This is some of the better "lounge crap" available, primarily due to Cobham's rhythm  genius.  Not bad but would really like to hear Stratus, Cobham or Beck's version which is also awesome..... 
your argument can be summed up as "Old Man shakes fist at cloud!"
First off, it is CLEARLY NOT Billy Cobham's SONG, it is a sample of one line of Cobham's song. This is consequently slowed down, looped, with new synth accents to create a NEW, ORIGINAL song.  Cobham didn't have a problem with it, as it not only put money in his pocket, but drove people to discover the original.  Don't have to believe me, listen to him: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p048n9qp


impediguy wrote:

Correction. Billy Cobham's Stratus was an original work "by its literal definition". The voice over and synths do not improve upon Cobham's work because their articulation and rhythms do not even match those of Stratus. So the only thing you can technically or literally say about this "song" is that they "added" an overdub to Cobham's recording. Whether that is an improvement or not is a matter of opinion, and it certainly is not mine. Moreover, Massive Attack's work cannot be original when it is founded upon Stratus. IMHO, it is flightless on it's own.
masterclass!
Massive Attack hat in den 90ern mit die beste Musik gemacht! Ich liebe gerade dieses Stück!
 milleronic wrote:
Love Massive Attack, but this song - ugh. 
I was looking back to see if you were looking back at me
To see me looking back at you

Ridiculous



 
I like it!

Who's fooling who?
I have just seen them at the Eden Sessions, Cornwall, England and they were pure class songs really stand the test of time. Ne of the best concerts I have been too, great musicians, great setting, great evening.  Support acts of Young Fathers and Azekel were also worth seeing.
Cool. all built on samples from Billy Cobham's Stratus. Everything old is new again, eh?
Crank it up!!!


free BILLY COBHAM! Delete the syrupy vocal overdub and cornball dated rap 
Love this.
When you have some time - check out Jeff Beck - Stratus - live at Ronnie Scott's session. 

Oooooohhhh. Tasty.

With this record  , Massive Attack creates a new style of music for me. A alltime classic record!
Love Massive Attack, but this song - ugh. 
I was looking back to see if you were looking back at me
To see me looking back at you

Ridiculous


I love Massive Attack, but "contagerous" always gets me {#Lol}

 yes indeed..The perfecto remix smokes {#Fire} coloradojohn wrote:
Certainly one of the most trend-setting phenomena to come along in a very long time - and still tons of fun to hear with a good buzz on!

 

this song is good, but Oh my GOD the original by Billy Cobham is LUSCIOUS  : )
 impediguy wrote:

Correction. Billy Cobham's Stratus was an original work "by its literal definition". The voice over and synths do not improve upon Cobham's work because their articulation and rhythms do not even match those of Stratus. So the only thing you can technically or literally say about this "song" is that they "added" an overdub to Cobham's recording. Whether that is an improvement or not is a matter of opinion, and it certainly is not mine. Moreover, Massive Attack's work cannot be original when it is founded upon Stratus. IMHO, it is flightless on it's own.

 
I know what you mean; I too prefer Cobham's original tune to this one.  It was just a matter of semantics.
Cheers. {#Cheers}
 Proclivities wrote:

This song  is an "original work" by its literal definition, mainly because it is not "minus the voice" (vocals and lyrics).  They technically did "improve" upon it by adding to his recording.

 
Correction. Billy Cobham's Stratus was an original work "by its literal definition". The voice over and synths do not improve upon Cobham's work because their articulation and rhythms do not even match those of Stratus. So the only thing you can technically or literally say about this "song" is that they "added" an overdub to Cobham's recording. Whether that is an improvement or not is a matter of opinion, and it certainly is not mine. Moreover, Massive Attack's work cannot be original when it is founded upon Stratus. IMHO, it is flightless on it's own.
Quite likable.

Sorry people, arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin is not my forte. 
 impediguy wrote:

You assume that this song was an original work, which it is not.

Minus the voice, it is indistinguishable from Billy Cobham's song Stratus. Massive Attack's proceeds then should have gone solely to Cobham since they did not improve upon Cobham's song: the sole signature and quality of the song is Cobham's composition and performance. IMHO, Massive Attack debased Stratus.

BTW, I am a professional musical composer and performer who was once enrolled in a graduate program in computer music. That being said, I can assure you that there is no originality or artistry in Massive Attack's work.
 
This song  is an "original work" by its literal definition, mainly because it is not "minus the voice" (vocals and lyrics).  They technically did "improve" upon it by adding to his recording.
It's bester to play the original from Billy Cobham. It is great.
 DaidyBoy wrote:
I've just listened to Stratus on YouTube and, as untrained and incapable musician, I can detect similar DNA but see different animals entirely.  I thought the Cobham thing was superb, though.

 
The song Stratus occupies a full side of a vinyl LP. The background of Massive Attacks' vocal tracks is an exact replica of a very small portion of Billy Cobham's original recording, guitar riffs and all (I think it was Abercombe who played them). The vast majority of the 22+/- minute recording has a simple DNA resemblance to the portion that Massive Attack appropriated. Other parts, such as the intro, are a complete departure and bear no resemblance at all to the core motif.
I've just listened to Stratus on YouTube and, as untrained and incapable musician, I can detect similar DNA but see different animals entirely.  I thought the Cobham thing was superb, though.
 justin4kick wrote:

The song is still as excellent as it was then maybe it's you that is getting old?

 
I assume you mean that it has stood the test of time since 1991 since Billy Cobham wrote Stratus, the basis of Massive Attack's vocal track? The thing about "being old" is that we seniors remember the original work when it was released in the heyday of the true artist.
 ch83575 wrote:
This has not stood the test of time.

 
The song is still as excellent as it was then maybe it's you that is getting old?
Seeing them live again after 10 years away they were still sensational. We need to hear more like this please RP
Certainly one of the most trend-setting phenomena to come along in a very long time - and still tons of fun to hear with a good buzz on!
Great song! {#Clap}
This has not stood the test of time.
This track is one of their weakest. Not a fan. 
*Blank stare*
 whomhow wrote:
Let's leave Cobham's theme along - Massive Attack by themselves are great! BTW they've just released new EP - it's fine as usual. 

 
What's this song got to do with Massive Attack?
Let's leave Cobham's theme along - Massive Attack by themselves are great! BTW they've just released new EP - it's fine as usual. 
          Future

      A fire is born.
  Tell me for a fortune.
   Holds a dangerous?
  
  
Contaigerous?    is that a word?    I loved Tricky and most of his other projects in the 90s during the Bristol Trip Hop scene but my opinion of him fell sharply when in an interview he said that he regretted agreeing to do "The Fifth Element" because it was a shitty kids movie.    I dont think its a kids movie and not particularly shitty.
This is not great Massive Attack
This is however epic Billy Cobham.
This fusion stuff from the 70s is mostly forgotten. Too bad, it was our urban stoner soundtrack "back in the daze" 
 BillG wrote:

Part of the deal with sampling previous recordings (a totally legitimate component of electronic music creation IMHO) is the payment of royalties to the composer & performer of the original recording and — often — including credits as well. To me that fails the definition of "ripping-off".  

 
You assume that this song was an original work, which it is not.

Minus the voice, it is indistinguishable from Billy Cobham's song Stratus. Massive Attack's proceeds then should have gone solely to Cobham since they did not improve upon Cobham's song: the sole signature and quality of the song is Cobham's composition and performance. IMHO, Massive Attack debased Stratus.

BTW, I am a professional musical composer and performer who was once enrolled in a graduate program in computer music. That being said, I can assure you that there is no originality or artistry in Massive Attack's work.
Lesser artists borrow; great artists steal.
Igor Stravinsky, a light weight. 
 impediguy wrote:

The name of the tune that Jeff Beck played live at Ronnie Scontt's in 2007 that contained the so called "ripped-off" bass line was Stratus. In other words, Jeff Beck was performing Billy Cobham's song Stratus, which was released in 1973 on the album Spectrum.

However, "The bass, guitar, and drums (on the song Safe From Harm) are sampled from the song "Stratus" by Billy Cobham, from his album Specturm." So Massive Attack unabashedly "ripped-off" all the instrumentals, including solos, from Billy Cobham. In fact, Massive Attacked added so very little to Cobham's Stratus, that it's still his song. Therefore, the credit and good ratings for this song, in my opinion, belong entirely to Billy Cobham.

So Jeff Beck is innocent, acquitted and shall be praised for playing a tribute to Cobham, while Massive Attack shall be sent to the gallows for receiving recognition for and turning a profit on unabashedly ripping-off Cobham on their album Blue Lines, which by the way, was released in 1991.

 
Part of the deal with sampling previous recordings (a totally legitimate component of electronic music creation IMHO) is the payment of royalties to the composer & performer of the original recording and — often — including credits as well. To me that fails the definition of "ripping-off".  
 dragon1952 wrote:

Jeff Beck song bass line ripoff big time. Can't think of the tune but watch the Jeff Beck Live at Ronnie Scott's DVD and you'll hear it. with Tal Wilkenfeld playing the same bass line.

 
The name of the tune that Jeff Beck played live at Ronnie Scontt's in 2007 that contained the so called "ripped-off" bass line was Stratus. In other words, Jeff Beck was performing Billy Cobham's song Stratus, which was released in 1973 on the album Spectrum.

However, "The bass, guitar, and drums (on the song Safe From Harm) are sampled from the song "Stratus" by Billy Cobham, from his album Specturm." So Massive Attack unabashedly "ripped-off" all the instrumentals, including solos, from Billy Cobham. In fact, Massive Attacked added so very little to Cobham's Stratus, that it's still his song. Therefore, the credit and good ratings for this song, in my opinion, belong entirely to Billy Cobham.

So Jeff Beck is innocent, acquitted and shall be praised for playing a tribute to Cobham, while Massive Attack shall be sent to the gallows for receiving recognition for and turning a profit on unabashedly ripping-off Cobham on their album Blue Lines, which by the way, was released in 1991.
All I hear is Billy Cobham, overlaid with lame lyrics and song. In other words, everything Massive Attack added to Cobham's Stratus sucks.
Love Massive. I remember some really chilled out evenings, helped along by this band. Thanks for that, it was great.
Great song, great band.
So many solid songs that grab you with the music and that beautiful strong and soulful voice keeps you listening. yes. Since I heard Mezzanine I'm a big Masauce Attack fan!

more please 😃 
I tried freeing worlds and minds before, but it turned out worlds and minds really like to be stuck in a gravity field or a skull.
 dragon1952 wrote:

Jeff Beck song bass line ripoff big time. Can't think of the tune but watch the Jeff Beck Live at Ronnie Scott's DVD and you'll hear it. with Tal Wilkenfeld playing the same bass line.

 
Ripoff ... possibly; I have not watched the concert for a while.

Do note that the concert was in 2007 and the Massive "Blue lines" album was released in 1991.


 Schu wrote:
Love the bass line. 
 
Jeff Beck song bass line ripoff big time. Can't think of the tune but watch the Jeff Beck Live at Ronnie Scott's DVD and you'll hear it. with Tal Wilkenfeld playing the same bass line.
 sirtezza wrote:
 OK but if you take away Billy and his mates there is very little left.  like hanging a wet sock in front of the Mona Lisa and taking a selfie.....Proclivities wrote:

It's called "sampling".  On the album, Billy Cobham is credited as one of the composers of this tune - so there is no "stealing" or "ripping" involved.  

 

 
it's a good tune...you have issues with change, I think
Would be nice to hear 'Looking Back' (from which the rappy bit in 'Safe From Harm' is taken, i believe). I'm familiar with the Dr. Feelgood version of 'Looking Back' but i dunno if they wrote it or not.

Cheers

PS. the Dr. Feelgood version of 'Looking Back' is on the 'B'-Side of the 'Baby Jane' Single. One of the few 12" singles i bought back in the night (LOL)
Thats a Dr Feelgood joke by the way :-)
You should also play original track from Billy Cobham's album (great drummer): Spectrum. A bit more jazz rock/fusion would be highly appreciated!!
Thanks to RP anyway to play so many nice and great music!

(dragging of images into post editor is not allowed)

Nice piece I first heard on the soundtrack to The Insider. 
Yeah wow!  Thank you RP yet again. {#Good-vibes}
Wow...
Dark, mysterious and mesmerising. 8
 Peter_Bradshaw wrote:
{#Bananapiano}  Has to be a BIG fat 10 for Bristol's finest.  Godlike song from a Godlike album
 
Regards from Bristol.  By the way, Shara Nelson's solo album was pretty good in its day, too.
 Proclivities wrote:

It's called "sampling".  On the album, Billy Cobham is credited as one of the composers of this tune - so there is no "stealing" or "ripping" involved.  

 
Thank you. A mind is like a parachute. It only works when it's open.
Always bummed when I realize this isn't Billy Cobham.
 timbetty wrote:
Not only the baseline (bass line) is from Billy Cobhams Stratus, the synthesizer line is ripped as well.

 
It's called "sampling".  On the album, Billy Cobham is credited as one of the composers of this tune - so there is no "stealing" or "ripping" involved.  
10
 {#Yes}played loudly on an audiophile system  babyachilles wrote:
This song blew me away when I first heard it (surprisingly only a few years ago), and it still blows me away every time I hear it. Just an awesome jam.

 




Love the bass line. 
This song blew me away when I first heard it (surprisingly only a few years ago), and it still blows me away every time I hear it. Just an awesome jam.
 dtown40 wrote:
IMO.... only thing worse then this music, would be having a root canal. YUK!

 
Than....then was wrong, just saying.
10 - end of discussion!
 dtown40 wrote:
IMO.... only thing worse then this music, would be having a root canal. YUK!

 
What if your dentist was playing this over his Muzak system DURING said root canal?

<Mind Blown> {#Eek} 
{#Bananapiano}  Has to be a BIG fat 10 for Bristol's finest.  Godlike song from a Godlike album
after seeing the comments about cobham, I listened to hip pockets from '76 and I swear he was channeling Zappa. So it all goes round.
IMO.... only thing worse then this music, would be having a root canal. YUK!
Wonderful. Only on RP
Great song.  Better album.  Tricky's work on here is just fabulous.  
 timbetty wrote:
Not only the baseline is from Billy Cobhams Stratus, the synthesizer line is ripped as well.

 
Jeff Beck did Stratus on the Live at Ronnie Scott's vid with female bass prodigy Tal Wilkenfeld playing that bass line. Awesome bass line, awesome vid and awesome bassist! (not too mention a complete ripoff on this particular song)
 timbetty wrote:
Not only the bass line is from Billy Cobham's Stratus, the synthesizer line is ripped as well.
 
I saw these guys interviewed once, and they were the most  pretentious pricks you could possibly imagine. Not surprised that they're stealing their music.
 timbetty wrote:
Not only the baseline is from Billy Cobhams Stratus, the synthesizer line is ripped as well.

 
And the "looking back to see if...." is lifted straight from Popa Chubby.
Not only the baseline is from Billy Cobhams Stratus, the synthesizer line is ripped as well.
 Kchambers wrote:
At least part of this song seems to have been 'lifted' in totality from Billy Cobham's Stratus.  What's with that. . . . .

 

and a little part lifted from an old John Mayall song-Looking back to see if you were looking back, etc
The bass line resembles Sade,  no ordinary love
 Rockyinmyradio wrote:

It is.. Billy Cobham from the Spectrum album I believe.. one of the greatest drummers of the 70's and 80's.
 
yeah the bassline - when the song started i thought it was stratus.
Massive Attack recently released a remastered version of this brilliant album.
i'm amazed.....i love this tune  and it's hip-hop.....{#Bounce}
 ambrebalte wrote:

{#Drummer} nice reference!
 
It is.. Billy Cobham from the Spectrum album I believe.. one of the greatest drummers of the 70's and 80's.
 gypsyman wrote:
Every time I hear the beginning, I could swear it was Billy Cobham........
 
{#Drummer} nice reference!


Happy New Year, from hell.
 rockpommel16 wrote:
This post apparently contained an image that was dragged into the post editor. Sorry, but any text contained in the post after this point has been lost.
 vandal wrote:


Troll

Troll
 

I used to think you were the biggest asshole on the board.  Now, I get your humor.   {#Lol}

Some good rock from early 90s!


Needs more bass..wait...that may be me
Every time I hear the beginning, I could swear it was Billy Cobham........
Nothing but good songs and great bass lines today...... {#Yes}
 godspeed wrote:
First heard this song on a killer soundtrack to Greg Stump's ski movie Groove Requiem..in the key of ski.
Notable favorites:
Seal
Alpha Blondy
Bjork...previous played as well tonight, thx Bill.
The Doors
808 State
...and the list goes on, however it was a loooong time ago.;-)
 

808 State!  The Orb!  Chemical Bros!  Crystal Method!   It was a long time ago.
Remember Stumpy's movie Ptex, Lies, and Videotape?  Billy Idol's best song ever (Shangrila) set to otherworldly underwater surfing sequences inside the waves at Tavirua.... that film and that music made the girls' clothes just fall off... :-)  
yeah loving this one also. Great album. This track is up there with unfinished symphony and hymn of the big wheel. 
At least part of this song seems to have been 'lifted' in totality from Billy Cobham's Stratus.  What's with that. . . . .
Diggin it      got it turned way up
I wish these guys were more steady in their production quality... Good-to-Great and then Whaaaa....? maybe its me
 billybob123 wrote:
Classic tune.  Takes me back to the first Bush war.
 

That was the reason that the "Blue lines" album was first released under the name "Massive"... the record company (?) would not allow them to use "Massive Attack" because of that minor "police action".
Genius segue. Blastin' my ears off. 
 borderlessworld wrote:
This album is one of my earliest conscious encounters with music. Back in the days, when I was young :)
Until this album came out I had thought the "electronic music" is not for me.
Solid 9. 
 

You are not even 40 and consider yourself old?

This song/band is not "electronic music" (at all!!!).


Just 7.2!? People... this should be at least an 8 average. We need to bump that color shade.

26 folks voted "1"...

Beatniks, deaf or dement?


EXXXTREMEL SEXY (try it)!!

And certainly a 10!!!


What a great song!
 coy wrote:

not excessive - expressive
atleast that's what i think when they turn to look for the source of music as they walk by my house 
 
The louder this is played the more sultry she sounds...
This album is one of my earliest conscious encounters with music. Back in the days, when I was young :)
Until this album came out I had thought the "electronic music" is not for me.
Solid 9. 
 trissi wrote:
must listen, really loud. I like when the neighbors walk by and take a gander at my house due to excessive sound emanating from the windows.
 
not excessive - expressive
atleast that's what i think when they turn to look for the source of music as they walk by my house 
 seven7 wrote:
Seems like this album has stayed contemporary for some time (IMHO). Good stuff.
 
I was just thinking that bits of it are starting to sound dated...  Still, I love the hell out of it!
First heard this song on a killer soundtrack to Greg Stump's ski movie Groove Requiem..in the key of ski.
Notable favorites:
Seal
Alpha Blondy
Bjork...previous played as well tonight, thx Bill.
The Doors
808 State
...and the list goes on, however it was a loooong time ago.;-)
Seems like this album has stayed contemporary for some time (IMHO). Good stuff.
It was this kind of new music that U2 incorporated into the creation of Auchtung Baby..... 
The version by the Temptations was better.
Nice funky groove. Sounding good tonight.
"It is a great banquet, and paying for it if you're able is a great way to show appreciation - but this plate of shrimp is a bit off."

Avoid the green ones - they're not ripe.
Not plagiarized, sampled.  Sheesh


 energilc wrote:
Best bass riff ever!!
 

Strangely the exact same riff as either a Lenny White or a Stan Clarke track I had in my youth. Not terribly sure but I think the album was Lenny White's Astral Pirates.

Edit: I now see below, thewiseking had it as Billy Cobham... probably right! As much as I like Massive Attack, that has to have been fairly plagiarised!

 trissi wrote:
must listen, really loud. I like when the neighbors walk by and take a gander at my house due to excessive sound emanating from the windows.
 
Loud enough to drown out the incessant coughing from the office next door.

Go home when you are sick, idiot. No one wants your germs and your job is not that important. 
Don't really like the rapping, otherwise nice groove. Rap always seems so affected to me.
must listen, really loud. I like when the neighbors walk by and take a gander at my house due to excessive sound emanating from the windows.
Massive Attack really set the standard for dining room soundtracks in trendy restaurants
Best bass riff ever!!
Ah, the relentless and impenetrable sound of difficult listening music.
kdogg73 wrote:
Don't you people come here for the musical diversity? Or are you lost?
Absolutely, wonderfully lost. Does diversity mean obediently liking everything you're fed? I must not be very diverse.

Marcuse wrote:
Great question. You have to wonder sometimes. It's like getting invited to a great banquet for free and complaining about the food. Oy.
It is a great banquet, and paying for it if you're able is a great way to show appreciation - but this plate of shrimp is a bit off.