Massive Attack Criticize British DJ Pete Tong for ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ Cover
Massive Attack's "Unfinished Sympathy" has been given the cover treatment by British DJ Pete Tong — and the group doesn't sound all that happy about it.
The new version of the song, which you can stream above, comes from Tong's recent Ibiza Classics LP, which finds him reworking well-known hits by U.K. electronic acts with the backing of the Heritage Orchestra. It's a rather unique twist for music that generally isn't known for making its way into an orchestral setting, but the members of Massive Attack aren't impressed — as they explained to fans in a recent Facebook post, the new recording wasn't made with their permission, and they feel it undercuts the song's current mission as a means of raising refugee awareness during their live shows.
"Thanks for covering one of our songs on your nostalgia nightmare roadshow," begins the post, written by co-founder Robert Del Naja, a.k.a. 3D. "I don’t recollect you getting in touch to see if we would mind, but for your information: when we play that song we display photos of displaced people in refugee camps by the photographer Giles Duley on the screen to raise awareness for their plight and collect money for UNHCR."
The organization Del Naja referenced, the UN Refugee Agency, is spearheading a variety of missions around the world on behalf of displaced people, and always in need of more funding for the work — something Del Naja went on to suggest that Tong could be part of.
"If you do mean to carry on coining it, why don’t you divide your nightly profit by the number of songs you murder in your set, and hand the total of that one song over to UNHCR," concluded the post. "It would be the least you could do."
Listen to Massive Attack's "Unfinished Sympathy"