Medusa (Annie Lennox album)

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Medusa
Studio album by Annie Lennox
Released 6 March 1995 (1995-03-06)
Recorded January - May 1994
Genre Pop, rock, adult contemporary, electronica, dance
Length 47:11
Label RCA (UK)
Arista (US)
Producer Stephen Lipson
Annie Lennox chronology
Diva
(1992)
Medusa
(1995)
Bare
(2003)
Singles from Medusa
  1. "No More I Love You's"
    Released: February 1995
  2. "A Whiter Shade of Pale"
    Released: May 1995
  3. "Waiting in Vain"
    Released: September 1996
  4. "Something So Right"
    Released: November 1996

Medusa is the second solo album by the Scottish singer Annie Lennox, released in March 1995. It consists entirely of cover songs, all originally recorded by male artists. It entered the UK Albums Chart at No. 1 and peaked in the United States at number 11, spending 60 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart. It has since achieved double platinum status in both the United Kingdom[1] and the United States.[2] and sold more than 6 million copies worldwide.

Background and release[edit]

The album yielded four singles in the United Kingdom: "No More I Love You's" (which entered the UK Singles Chart at No. 2, Lennox's highest ever solo peak), "A Whiter Shade of Pale", "Waiting in Vain" and "Something So Right".

The album was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the Grammy Awards of 1996, losing to Turbulent Indigo by Joni Mitchell, however, Lennox took home the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance award for her work on the first single "No More I Love You's". This album was re-released in late 1995 in a double jewel case containing the album Medusa and a nine-track bonus CD featuring the studio version of Paul Simon's "Something So Right" (with Simon guesting on vocals and guitar) and eight tracks recorded live from the concert in Central Park: "Money Can't Buy It", "Legend in My Living Room", her Eurythmics hits "Who's That Girl?", "You Have Placed a Chill in My Heart" and "Here Comes the Rain Again", along with "Why", "Little Bird" and "Walking on Broken Glass".[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[4]
Entertainment Weekly C−[5]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[6]
The New York Times (Mixed)[7]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[8]

Professional reviews for Medusa were mixed, ranging from favourable to outright hostile. Allmusic notes that critics "savaged"[9] the album upon release: Trouser Press was probably the most severe in its criticism, characterizing Lennox's interpretations of classic material as "obvious", "milquetoast" and "willfully wrongheaded" (although reviewer Ira Robbins did single out the track "No More I Love You's" for genuine, if backhanded, praise).[10]

Meanwhile, Rolling Stone gave the album a more positive, though still mixed review:

Annie Lennox called her justifiably popular solo debut Diva, but it's actually on the follow-up effort Medusa that she really starts acting like one. This wildly uneven album of cover versions starts with perhaps its highest point—a truly wonderful interpretation of "No More I Love You's", a relatively obscure British hit by The Lover Speaks. Unfortunately, Lennox doesn't work the same magic with more familiar material like Al Green's "Take Me to the River" and Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale".[11]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "No More "I Love You's""   Joseph Hughes, David Freeman 4:51
2. "Take Me to the River"   Al Green, Mabon Hodges 3:31
3. "A Whiter Shade of Pale"   Keith Reid, Gary Brooker, Matthew Fisher 5:17
4. "Don't Let It Bring You Down"   Neil Young 3:36
5. "Train in Vain"   Mick Jones, Joe Strummer 4:38
6. "I Can't Get Next to You"   Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong 3:09
7. "Downtown Lights"   Paul Buchanan 6:42
8. "Thin Line Between Love and Hate"   Richard Poindexter, Robert Poindexter, Jackie Members 5:53
9. "Waiting in Vain"   Bob Marley 5:40
10. "Something So Right"   Paul Simon 3:54
11. "Heaven" (Japanese bonus track) Richard Butler, Tim Butler 4:58

B-sides[edit]

Title Single(s)
"Ladies of the Canyon" "No More "I Love You's""
"Heaven" "A Whiter Shade of Pale"
"(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear"

Personnel[edit]

  • Annie Lennox – all vocals, keyboards, flute
  • Stephen Lipson – programming, guitar, keyboards, bass
  • Anne Dudley – orchestral, brass and string arrangements

Live in Central Park[edit]

DVD cover

Although no tour was held to promote this album, Lennox played a one-off concert in Central Park, New York City on 9 September 1995. This was subsequently released on video as Annie Lennox in the Park and on DVD as Annie Lennox Live in Central Park.

Information[edit]

  • Director: Joe Dyer
  • Recorded: Live at Central Park, Summerstage, New York City, 8 September 1995
  • Release date: December 1995 (video); December 2000 (DVD)
  • Label: BMG/Arista
  • Run time: 90 minutes

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Money Can't Buy It" (Lennox)
  2. "Legend in My Living Room" (Lennox, Vettese)
  3. "Walking on Broken Glass" (Lennox)
  4. "No More "I Love You's"" (Hughes, Freeman)
  5. "Who's That Girl?" (Lennox, Stewart)
  6. "You Have Placed a Chill in My Heart" (Lennox, Stewart)
  7. "Waiting in Vain" (Marley)
  8. "I Love You Like a Ball and Chain" (Lennox, Stewart)
  9. "Little Bird" (Lennox)
  10. "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" (Lennox, Stewart)
  11. "Train in Vain" (Jones, Strummer)
  12. "Why" (Lennox)
Promotional video clips
  1. "No More "I Love You's"" (Hughes, Freeman)
  2. "A Whiter Shade of Pale" (Reid, Brooker, Fisher)
  3. "Waiting in Vain" (Marley)
  4. "Something So Right" (Simon)

Awards[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
1996
[12]
Medusa Best Pop Vocal Album Nominated
"No More I Love You's" Best Pop Vocal Performance - Female Won

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Argentina (CAPIF)[13] Gold 30,000x
Austria (IFPI Austria)[14] Gold 25,000x
Canada (Music Canada)[15] 2× Platinum 200,000^
France (SNEP)[16] Gold 188,700[17]
Germany (BVMI)[18] Gold 250,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[19] Gold 25,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[20] Gold 50,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[21] Gold 50,000^
Sweden (GLF)[22] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[23] Gold 25,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[24] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[25] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[26] 2× Platinum 2,000,000*

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

Charts[edit]

Chart precession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
Greatest Hits by Bruce Springsteen
UK number-one album
18–24 March 1995
Succeeded by
Elastica by Elastica
Canadian RPM 100 number-one album
18–29 March 1995
Succeeded by
No Need to Argue by The Cranberries

References[edit]

  1. ^ BPI Searchable database
  2. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Database
  3. ^ Amazon.com: Medusa/Live in Central Park: Music: Annie Lennox
  4. ^ Allmusic review
  5. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  6. ^ Rosenbluth, Jean (1992-03-26). "Record Review: ANNIE LENNOX; "Medusa" Arista". articles.latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  7. ^ Holden, Stephen (1995-11-10). "CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK;They're Adults, And Sound It". Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  8. ^ Rolling Stone review
  9. ^ savaged
  10. ^ http://trouserpress.com/entry.php?a=annie_lennox
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ Strauss, Neil (1996-01-05). "New Faces in Grammy Nominations". nytimes.com (The New York Times). Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  13. ^ "Discos de oro y platino" (in Spanish). Cámara Argentina de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  14. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Annie Lennox – Medusa" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Annie Lennox in the field Interpret. Enter Medusa in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  15. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Annie Lennox – Medusa". Music Canada. 
  16. ^ "French album certifications – Annie Lennox – Medusa" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  17. ^ "Les Albums Or". infodisc.fr. SNEP. Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
  18. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Annie Lennox; 'Medusa')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  19. ^ "Norwegian album certifications – Annie Lennox – Medusa" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. 
  20. ^ "Polish album certifications – Annie Lennox – Medusa" (in Polish). Polish Producers of Audio and Video (ZPAV). 
  21. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959-2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1991-1995". Iberautor Promociones Culturales. ISBN 8480486392. 
  22. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  23. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Annie Lennox; 'Medusa')". Hung Medien. 
  24. ^ "British album certifications – Annie Lennox – Medusa". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Medusa in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  25. ^ "American album certifications – Annie Lennox – Medusa". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
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  31. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2011-11-07
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  42. ^ "allmusic ((( Medusa > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
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