Diva (Annie Lennox album)
|Studio album by Annie Lennox|
|Released||6 April 1992|
|Recorded||Mayfair Studios and The Church, London|
|Genre||Pop, soul, adult alternative|
|Annie Lennox chronology|
|Singles from Diva|
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. It was also a success in the US, where it was a top 30 hit and has been certified double platinum. 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
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.
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|Los Angeles Times|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|The Village Voice||C+|
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.
All songs by Lennox, except where otherwise noted.
|2.||"Walking on Broken Glass"||Lennox||4:12|
|4.||"Legend in My Living Room"||Lennox, Peter-John Vettese||3:45|
|6.||"Money Can't Buy It"||Lennox||5:00|
|9.||"Stay by Me"||Lennox||6:28|
|10.||"The Gift"||Lennox, The Blue Nile||4:52|
|Bonus tracks on CD|
|11.||"Keep Young and Beautiful"||Al Dubin, Harry Warren||2:17|
|12.||"Step by Step" (Japanese edition only)||Lennox||4:49|
|"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
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.
- Director: Sophie Muller
- VHS release date: 6 April 1992
- DVD release date: 26 September 2000
- Label: Sony BMG
- Run time: 45 minutes
- "Legend in My Living Room"
- "Money Can't Buy It"
- "The Gift"
- "Walking On Broken Glass
- "Keep Young And Beautiful"
- 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
- Luís Jardim – percussion
- Steve Jansen – drum programming
- 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
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.
|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|
|1993||Diva||Album of the Year||Nominated|
|Best Pop Vocal Performance - Female||Nominated|
(Performer: Annie Lennox; Director: Sophie Muller; Producer: Rob Small)
|Best Long Form Music Video||Won|
|Austria (IFPI Austria)||Gold||25,000*|
|Canada (Music Canada)||2× Platinum||200,000^|
|Norway (IFPI Norway)||Gold||25,000*|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||4× Platinum||1,200,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||2× Platinum||2,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- BPI Searchable database Archived 11 January 2013 at WebCite
- RIAA Gold and Platinum Database Archived 22 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
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