Diva (Annie Lennox album)

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Diva
Annie Lennox - Diva Album Cover.jpg
Studio album by Annie Lennox
Released 6 April 1992
Recorded Mayfair Studios and The Church, London
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 Dr Annie Lennox OBE, released in 1992. The album entered the UK album chart at number 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 US, 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, during which she gave birth to her eldest daughter. 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
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[4]
Chicago Sun-Times3/4 stars[5]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[6]
Entertainment WeeklyC[7]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[8]
Q4/5 stars[9]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[11]
Slant Magazine4.5/5 stars[12]
The Village VoiceC+[13]

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.[10]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Lennox, except where otherwise noted.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Why"Annie Lennox4:53
2."Walking on Broken Glass"Lennox4:12
3."Precious"Lennox5:08
4."Legend in My Living Room"Lennox, Peter-John Vettese3:45
5."Cold"Lennox4:20
6."Money Can't Buy It"Lennox5:00
7."Little Bird"Lennox4:48
8."Primitive"Lennox4:19
9."Stay by Me"Lennox6:28
10."The Gift"Lennox, The Blue Nile4:52
Bonus tracks on CD
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
11."Keep Young and Beautiful"Al Dubin, Harry Warren2:17
12."Step by Step" (Japanese edition only)Lennox4:49

B-sides[edit]

Title A-side(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 was 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]

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]

In 2011, Dr Lennox received an OBE from the HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace for her charity work.

Lennox was awarded a doctorate from the Royal Academy of Music in 2017, recognising her contribution to music as a record-breaking singer and song-writer.

In 2018, Dr Lennox took office as Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University; an honour celebrated by the people of her native Scotland.

Brit Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1993
[14]
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 Nominee/work Award Result
1993 Diva Album of the Year[15] Nominated
Best Pop Vocal Performance - Female[16] Nominated
Diva
(Performer: Annie Lennox; Director: Sophie Muller; Producer: Rob Small)
Best Long Form Music Video[17] Won

Certifications[edit]

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

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

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BPI Searchable database Archived 11 January 2013 at WebCite
  2. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Database Archived 22 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  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". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Sachs, Lloyd (24 May 1992). "Annie Lennox, 'Diva' (Arista)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 6 October 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8. 
  7. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie (15 May 1992). "Diva". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 30 August 2011. 
  8. ^ Hunt, Dennis (24 May 1992). "Annie Lennox; 'Diva' Arista". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "Annie Lennox: Diva". Q (68): 79. May 1992. 
  10. ^ a b Evans, Paul (25 June 1992). "Annie Lennox: Diva". Rolling Stone (633): 41. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  11. ^ Randall, Mac (2004). "Annie Lennox". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. p. 483. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  12. ^ Henderson, Eric (1 September 2004). "Annie Lennox: Diva". Slant Magazine. Archived from the original on 7 November 2007. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (1 December 1992). "Turkey Shoot". The Village Voice. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  14. ^ "The BRITs 1993". brits.co.uk. British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  15. ^ "GRAMMYs' Best Albums 1990–1999". grammy.org. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  16. ^ "The 35th Grammy Awards Nominations : General Categories". articles.latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. 1993-01-08. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  17. ^ "Past Winners Search". grammy.com. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  18. ^ "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
  19. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Annie Lennox – Diva". Music Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  20. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Annie Lennox; 'Diva')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  21. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Annie Lennox – Diva" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 2011-11-10. 
  22. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  23. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  24. ^ "British album certifications – Annie Lennox – Diva". British Phonographic Industry.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Enter Diva in the search field and then press Enter.
  25. ^ "American album certifications – Annie Lennox – Diva". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  26. ^ "australian-charts.com Annie Lennox - Diva" (ASP). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  27. ^ "austriancharts.at Annie Lennox - Diva" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  28. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2011-10-31
  29. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Annie Lennox - Diva" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  30. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). infodisc.fr. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  31. ^ "Album Search: Annie Lennox - Diva" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  32. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1992" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  33. ^ 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" Check |url= value (help). oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  34. ^ "charts.org.nz Annie Lennox - Diva" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  35. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Annie Lennox - Diva" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  36. ^ "swedishcharts.com Annie Lennox - Diva" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  37. ^ "Annie Lennox - Diva - hitparade.ch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  38. ^ "Chart Stats - Annie Lennox - Diva" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  39. ^ "allmusic ((( Diva > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  40. ^ "Austriancharts.at - Jahreshitparade 1992" (in German). Hung Medien. Archived from the original (ASP) on 4 August 2015. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  41. ^ "Hitparade.ch - Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1992". Swiss Music Charts (in Swedish). Hung Medien. Archived from the original (ASP) on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  42. ^ a b "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
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  44. ^ "Billboard.BIZ - Year-end Charts - Billboard 200 - 1993". billboard.biz. Retrieved 2011-11-07.