Possession (Sarah McLachlan song)
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (January 2014)|
Canadian edition (Nettwerk)
|Single by Sarah McLachlan|
|from the album Fumbling Towards Ecstasy|
|Released||September 10, 1993|
|Sarah McLachlan singles chronology|
The song appears twice on the album as the first track and as a hidden track: a solo piano version following the last track "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy."
In 1994 McLachlan was sued by Uwe Vandrei, an obsessed fan from Ottawa, Ontario who alleged that his love letters to her had been the basis of "Possession". Vandrei's lawsuit never came to trial as he committed suicide in autumn 1994.
In an interview with Rolling Stone three years later, McLachlan said, "And this one person wasn't the only guy ... there were a lot of letters from other people saying the same kind of thing ... Writing the song 'Possession' was very therapeutic."
The original version of the video features a remixed background track and depicts Sarah McLachlan wrapped in white cloth, as Eve, as Potiphar's wife, and other such biblical references, depicting vanity, deceit, corruption, intimacy and other taboos of conservative society. As McLachlan explained, "Oh it's so lofty, it's pompous now. I was trying to dispel that by showing a bunch of female archetypes using historical paintings, ‘Venus’, ‘Adam and Eve’, ‘Salome's Last Dance’. I wanted to show all women possessing all these different archetypes. I also had myself suspended in the air and wrapped in gauze, as if my personality and my sexuality were bound. Throughout the video I was being unraveled by unseen forces, and I came out in end strong and free and - Ta Da! - there I was my own self. Yes, it was pretty lofty [...] and the label told me..." The video was directed by McLachlan herself, and features her friends and band members.
The video for the US market released in 1994 features the original album version of the song being played by McLachlan and her band in a cathedral-style hall. It was directed by Julie Hermelin.
- Nettwerk / W2-6319 (Canada)
- "Possession" (Version I)
- "Possession" (Version II)
- "Fear" (Jane's Mix)
- Arista / 07822-12662-2 (US)
- "Fear" (Jane's Mix)
- "Mary" (Early Version)
- "Black" (Live at Harbourfront, Toronto), taken from Live EP
In addition to the two different versions of "Possession" appearing on the Fumbling Towards Ecstasy album, a live recording of the song is available on McLachlan's live concert album Mirrorball. A fourth version, the Rabbit in the Moon remix, is available on two different McLachlan remix albums: Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff and Remixed.
Another version was recently recorded exclusively for iTunes.
Canadian alternative rock band Evans Blue covered this song on their first album The Melody and the Energetic Nature of Volume. Smile Empty Soul also has a cover of the song on their album B-Sides. The German gothic novel rock band ASP covered this song on their EP Werben.
- Hrynyshyn, James (18 January 1995). "Object of Obsession". Ottawa X Press. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- Silberger, Kathy (25 December 1997). "I think the success of Lilith got rid of some of that old-school, pig-dog mentality". Rolling Stones. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- As quoted in Scene (April 1994).
- Canadian version at YouTube
- Possession on YouTube (licensed content by Sony BMG)
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics