Diva (Annie Lennox album)

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Diva
Studio album by Annie Lennox
Released 6 April 1992
Genre Pop, soul, adult alternative
Length 49:55
Label RCA (UK)
Arista (US)
Producer Steve Lipson
Annie Lennox chronology
Diva
(1992)
Medusa
(1995)
Singles from Diva
  1. "Why"
    Released: March 1992
  2. "Precious"
    Released: May 1992
  3. "Walking on Broken Glass"
    Released: August 1992
  4. "Cold"
    Released: October 1992
  5. "Little Bird"
    Released: February 1993

Diva is the debut solo album by the Scottish singer-songwriter Annie Lennox, released in 1992. The album entered the UK album chart at no.1 and has since sold over 1.2 million copies in the UK alone, being certified quadruple platinum.[1] It was also a success in the U.S. where it was a top 30 hit and has been certified double platinum.[2] Diva won Album of the Year at the 1993 Brit Awards, and was nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards the same year.

Background and reception[edit]

Following the informal dissolution of Eurythmics in 1990, Lennox took some time away from the music industry to have her first child. She commenced working on her first solo album in 1991 with producer Stephen Lipson. Though she had been accustomed to co-writing material with Dave Stewart during her years with Eurythmics, eight of the ten tracks on Diva were written solely by Lennox herself, with two tracks being co-written by her. Upon its release, the album debuted at number one in the UK Album Charts and would eventually yield five hit singles, three of which reached the Top 10 (although they had continued to achieve number one albums, Eurythmics had not scored a UK Top 10 single since 1986). Diva was ultimately certified quadruple platinum in the UK, more than any of Eurythmics' studio albums.

The song "Keep Young and Beautiful" was included on the CD release as a bonus track (the original vinyl album had only ten tracks). Another bonus track, "Step by Step", appeared on the Mexican and Japanese editions of the album and was also included as the B-Side on the single "Precious". The song was later recorded by Whitney Houston for the 1996 film soundtrack The Preacher's Wife and subsequently became a hit single.

The headdress worn by Lennox on the album's cover (and seen in several of the album's videos) was obtained from the London-based costume company Angels. It had been used previously in the James Bond film Octopussy.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[4]
Entertainment Weekly 5/12 stars(C)[5]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[6]
The New York Times (Positive)[7]
Q 4/5 stars[8]
Robert Christgau C+[9]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[10]
Slant Magazine 4.5/5 stars[11]

In 1993 the album was included in Q magazine's list of the "50 Best Albums Of 1992". Rolling Stone magazine (6/25/92, p. 41) described the album as "...state-of-the-art soul pop..." and it is included in Rolling Stone's (5/13/99, p. 56) "Essential Recordings of the 90's" list.

In their review, Rolling Stone commented:-

  • State-of-the-art soul pop, Annie Lennox's solo debut is sonically gorgeous; it also declares her aesthetic independence. Ace sessionmen polish Diva's gloss, and producer Stephen Lipson (Pet Shop Boys, Propaganda) operates in hyperdrive, but these eleven songs are fiercely those of a sister doing things for herself. Three years after her last outing with Dave Stewart, her cohort in Eurythmics, Lennox voids any notion that he was her Svengali and she merely the MTV beauty with stunning pipes. Writing nearly all of Diva, she manages a whirlwind tour of mainstream R&B and retains her singular persona – an ice queen thirsting to be melted by love.(RS 633)[12]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Lennox, except where otherwise noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Why"   Annie Lennox 4:53
2. "Walking on Broken Glass"   Lennox 4:12
3. "Precious"   Lennox 5:08
4. "Legend in My Living Room"   Lennox, Peter-John Vettese 3:45
5. "Cold"   Lennox 4:20
6. "Money Can't Buy It"   Lennox 4:58
7. "Little Bird"   Lennox 4:48
8. "Primitive"   Lennox 4:16
9. "Stay by Me"   Lennox 6:26
10. "The Gift"   Lennox, The Blue Nile 4:52

B-sides[edit]

Title Single(s)
"Step by Step" "Precious"
"Don't Let Me Down" "Walking on Broken Glass"
"River Deep, Mountain High" (Live) "Cold"
"Feel the Need" (Live)
"Love Song for a Vampire" "Little Bird" (double A-side)

Diva video album[edit]

Lennox simultaneously released a video album for Diva, featuring promotional videos for seven of the album's tracks. The video album was directed by Sophie Muller who had worked with Lennox during her later years with Eurythmics. Some months after its first release, the Diva video album was reissued as Totally Diva, and featured two additional promotional videos that had been made since the original release ("Walking On Broken Glass" and "Precious"). The only omissions from the video album were "Little Bird" (the video for which had not yet been made at this time), and the album track "Stay By Me" for which no video has ever been made.

Information[edit]

  • Director: Sophie Muller
  • VHS release date: 6 April 1992
  • DVD release date: 26 September 2000
  • Label: Sony BMG
  • Run time: 45 minutes

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Why"
  2. "Legend In My Living Room"
  3. "Precious"
  4. "Money Can't Buy It"
  5. "Cold"
  6. "Primitive"
  7. "The Gift"
  8. "Walking On Broken Glass"
  9. "Keep Young And Beautiful"

Personnel[edit]

  • Annie Lennox – keyboards, vocals
  • Paul Joseph Moore – keyboards
  • Marius de Vries – keyboards, programming
  • Peter-John Vettese – keyboards, programming, recorder
  • Edward Shearmur – piano
  • Kenji Jammer – guitar, programming
  • Steve Lipson – guitar, keyboards, programming, producer
  • Doug Wimbish – bass
  • Gavyn Wright - violin
  • Dave Defries – trumpet
  • Keith LeBlanc – drums
  • Louis Jardim – percussion
  • Steve Jansen – drum programming

Production[edit]

  • Produced by Stephen Lipson
  • Recorded and engineered by Heff Moraes (also MIDI manager)
  • Mixed by William (Bill) O'Donovan
  • Ian Cooper – mastering
  • Anton Corbijn – photography (inner cover)
  • Satoshi – photography (front cover)
  • Laurence Stevens – design

Accolades[edit]

Brit Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
1993
[13]
Diva Best British Album Won
Annie Lennox (performer) Best British Female Artist Won
Stephen Lipson (producer) Best British Producer Nominated
"Walking on Broken Glass" Best British Video Nominated

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
1993 Diva Album of the Year[14] Nominated
Best Pop Vocal Performance - Female[15] Nominated
Diva
(Performer: Annie Lennox; Director: Sophie Muller; Producer: Rob Small)
Best Long Form Music Video[16] Won

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Austria (IFPI Austria)[17] Gold 25,000x
Canada (Music Canada)[18] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Germany (BVMI)[19] Gold 250,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[20] Gold 50,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[21] Gold 25,000*
Sweden (GLF)[22] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[23] 4× Platinum 1,200,000^
United States (RIAA)[24] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Charts[edit]

Chart procession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
Adrenalize by Def Leppard
Walthamstow by East 17
UK number-one album
18 – 24 April 1992
6 – 12 March 1993
Succeeded by
Up by Right Said Fred
Are You Gonna Go My Way by Lenny Kravitz
Preceded by
Carboni by Luca Carboni
Italian FIMI Chart number-one album
11 May – 1 June 1992
Succeeded by
Live at Wembley '86 by Queen

References[edit]

  1. ^ BPI Searchable database
  2. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Database
  3. ^ Rosen, Barbara (25 August 1998). "For Rent: 150 Years of Stars' Costumes". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  4. ^ Parisien, Roch. Diva (Annie Lennox album) at AllMusic
  5. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie (1992-05-15). "Diva Review". ew.com (Entertainment Weekly). Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  6. ^ Hunt, Dennis (1992-05-24). "Record Rack: ANNIE LENNOX; "Diva" Arista". articles.latimes.com (Los Angeles Times). Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  7. ^ Holden, Stephen (1992-09-11). "Critic's Notebook; For Adult Pop Music, A Quiet Sonic Boom". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  8. ^ Q (5/92, p.79)
  9. ^ Robert Christgau review
  10. ^ Rolling Stone (6/25/92, p.41)
  11. ^ Slant Magazine review
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ "The BRITs 1993". brits.co.uk. British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  14. ^ "GRAMMYs' Best Albums 1990–1999". grammy.org. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  15. ^ "The 35th Grammy Awards Nominations : General Categories". articles.latimes.com (Los Angeles Times). 1993-01-08. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  16. ^ "Past Winners Search". grammy.com. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  17. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Annie Lennox – Diva" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved 2012-02-17.  Enter Annie Lennox in the field Interpret. Enter Diva in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  18. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Annie Lennox – Diva". Music Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  19. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Annie Lennox; 'Diva')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  20. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Annie Lennox – Diva" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 2011-11-10. 
  21. ^ "Norwegian album certifications – Annie Lennox – Diva" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  22. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  23. ^ "British album certifications – Annie Lennox – Diva". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Diva in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  24. ^ "American album certifications – Annie Lennox – Diva". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
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  27. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2011-10-31
  28. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Annie Lennox - Diva" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  29. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  30. ^ "Album Search: Annie Lennox - Diva" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  31. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1992" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  32. ^ アニー・レノックス-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック "Highest position and charting weeks of Diva by Annie Lennox". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  33. ^ "charts.org.nz Annie Lennox - Diva" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  34. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Annie Lennox - Diva" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  35. ^ "swedishcharts.com Annie Lennox - Diva" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
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  37. ^ "Chart Stats - Annie Lennox - Diva" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  38. ^ "allmusic ((( Diva > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
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  40. ^ "Hitparade.ch - Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1992" (ASP). Swiss Music Charts (in Swedish). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  41. ^ a b "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  42. ^ "Billboard.BIZ - Year-end Charts - Billboard 200 - 1992". billboard.biz. Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
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