Shepherd Moons

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This article is about the album by Enya. For the astronomical bodies, see planetary ring.
Shepherd Moons
Enya3.jpg
Studio album by Enya
Released 4 November 1991
Recorded 1989–1991 at Aigle Studios, Dublin, Ireland and SARM West Studios, London, England[1]
Genre
Length 43:09
Label WEA
Producer Nicky Ryan
Enya chronology
Watermark
(1988)
Shepherd Moons
(1991)
The Celts
(1992)
Singles from Shepherd Moons
  1. "Caribbean Blue"
    Released: November 1991
  2. "How Can I Keep from Singing?"
    Released: 1991
  3. "Book of Days"
    Released: July 1992
  4. "Marble Halls"
    Released: 1994

Shepherd Moons is the third studio album from the Irish musician Enya, released in November 1991 on WEA Records. Following the worldwide commercial success of her previous album, Watermark (1988), Enya proceeded to record a follow up in 1989 with lyricist Roma Ryan and producer Nicky Ryan. Shepherd Moons continued to display Enya's sound of layered vocals and synthesized sounds with influences of Celtic music.

Shepherd Moons was a commercial success upon release, reaching No. 1 in the UK and No. 17 in the US where it stayed on the chart for 199 consecutive weeks[2] and sold over 5 million copies. Four singles from the album were released between 1991 and 1994; the most successful was "Caribbean Blue" which peaked at No. 13 in the UK. The album won Enya a Grammy Award for Best New Age Album in 1993. A limited edition remaster was released on Super High Material CD in Japan in 2009 with bonus tracks.[3]

Production[edit]

Background[edit]

Following the unexpected worldwide success of her previous album Watermark (1988) and its lead single "Orinoco Flow", Enya began work on a follow up in 1989 with her lyricist Roma Ryan and producer Nicky Ryan. She described her change in herself since Watermark: "The difference between that album and 'Shepherd Moons' is that I've mellowed".[4] As with Watermark, Enya sings in English, Gaelic, her first language, and Latin.[5]

Recording[edit]

Shepherd Moons was recorded in two locations, Nicky Ryan's home studio in Dublin named Aigle Studios and SARM West Studios in London,[1] with new equipment purchased from the profits from Watermark.[6] The success of Watermark put "a lot of pressure" on Enya when it came to writing new material for the album. She added, "I kept thinking 'Would this have gone on Watermark? Is it as good?' Eventually I had to forget about this and start on a blank canvas and just really go with what felt right in the studio."[7] In some parts on the album, Enya recorded 500 layered voices without sampling or replication. When the melody to a song was completed, Roma Ryan would write lyrics to it.[7]

Release[edit]

Shepherd Moons was released in the UK in November 1991; it was released in North America under Reprise Records. It was a commercial success, reaching No. 1 in the UK for one week and No. 17 in the US. In the US, the album sold over 250,000 copies in its first week[7] and went on to sell 5 million copies.

Four tracks were released as singles; "Caribbean Blue" was the most successful and peaked at No. 13 in the UK singles chart. The others were "How Can I Keep from Singing?", "Book of Days", and "Marble Halls", released in 1994 after it appeared in the 1993 film The Age of Innocence.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[8]
Chicago Tribune 2.5/4 stars[9]
Entertainment Weekly B (1992)[10]
A− (1993)[11]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2.5/5 stars[12]

In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Ned Raggett rated the album four-and-a-half stars out of five.[8]

Awards[edit]

In 1993, Enya was awarded a Grammy Award for Best New Age Album for Shepherd Moons. She also won a IFPI Platinum European Award, a Billboard Music Award, and a National Association of Recording Merchandisers Award for Best Selling Album.[13]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Roma Ryan, all music composed by Enya and all songs produced by Nicky Ryan. All vocals, keyboards and percussion performed by Enya.

No. Title Length
1. "Shepherd Moons"   3:42
2. "Caribbean Blue"   3:58
3. "How Can I Keep from Singing?"   4:23
4. "Ebudæ"   1:54
5. "Angeles"   3:57
6. "No Holly for Miss Quinn"   2:40
7. "Book of Days[a]"   2:32
8. "Evacuee"   3:50
9. "Lothlórien"   2:08
10. "Marble Halls"   3:53
11. "Afer Ventus"   4:05
12. "Smaointe..."   6:07

Chart performance[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Argentina (CAPIF)[33] 3× Platinum 180,000x
Australia (ARIA)[34] 3× Platinum 210,000^
Belgium (BEA)[35] 2× Platinum 100,000*
Brazil (ABPD)[36] Platinum 250,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[37] 3× Platinum 300,000^
France (SNEP)[38] Gold 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[39] Gold 250,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[40] Platinum 15,000x
Japan (RIAJ)[41] Gold 100,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[42] 2× Platinum 200,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[43] Platinum 15,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[44] 5× Platinum 500,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[45] Gold 25,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[46] 4× Platinum 1,200,000^
United States (RIAA)[47] 5× Platinum 5,000,000^
Summaries
Worldwide 12,000,000[48]

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

Personnel[edit]

Musicians
Production
  • Nicky Ryan – producer, engineer, mixer, arranger
  • Rob Dickins – executive producer
  • Gregg Jackman – engineer, mixing
  • Robin Barclay – assistant engineer
  • David Scheinmann – photography
  • The New Renaissance – wardrobe

Footnotes[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Early editions of Shepherd Moons included a version of "Book of Days" with Gaelic lyrics. Later editions feature a version in English that was originally recorded for the soundtrack to Far and Away (1992).
Citations
  1. ^ a b Shepherd Moons (Media notes). Yes. WEA Records. 1991. 9031 75572 2. 
  2. ^ http://www.musicweek.com/story.asp?sectioncode=2&storyCode=1035793
  3. ^ http://eil.com/shop/moreinfo.asp?catalogid=459819
  4. ^ Jackson, Joe (26 October 1991). "Shepherd Moons Rise over the Watermark". Irish Times. Retrieved 2 January 2016. 
  5. ^ Burke, Molly McAnally (31 October 1991). "I Hear The Angels Sing". Hot Press. Retrieved 2 January 2016. 
  6. ^ Applefeld, Catherine (2 January 1992). "Enya faces music through feelings". Billboard. Retrieved 2 January 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c Sullivan, Jim (4 December 1991). "Enigmatic Enya moves ahead with new album Shepherd Moons". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2 January 2016.  line feed character in |title= at position 42 (help)
  8. ^ a b AllMusic review
  9. ^ Chicago Tribune review
  10. ^ Entertainment Weekly review 1
  11. ^ Entertainment Weekly review 2
  12. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 280. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  13. ^ http://www.enya.com/about_albumsingle.php
  14. ^ "australian-charts.com Enya - Shepherd Moons" (ASP). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "austriancharts.at Enya - Shepherd Moons" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 55, No. 9". RPM. 22 February 1992. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Enya - Shepherd Moons" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  18. ^ "Album Search: Enya - Shepherd Moons" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  19. ^ "Hungarian Albums Chart". Mahasz.hu. Retrieved 3 November 2009. 
  20. ^ "エンヤ-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック" [Highest position and charting weeks of Shepherd Moons by Enya]. oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  21. ^ "charts.org.nz Enya - Watermark" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  22. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Enya - Shepherd Moons" (ASP). Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  23. ^ "Afyve charts Enya - Shepherd Moons" (ASP). Retrieved 21 October 2015. 
  24. ^ "swedishcharts.com Enya - Shepherd Moons" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  25. ^ "Enya - Shepherd Moons - hitparade.ch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  26. ^ "Enya > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  27. ^ "allmusic ((( Shepherd Moons > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  28. ^ a b "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Archived from the original on 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
  29. ^ "ARIA Charts - End of Year Charts - Top 50 Albums 1992". aria.com.au. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  30. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on 2012-12-08. Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  31. ^ "Billboard.BIZ – Year-end Charts – Billboard 200 – 1993". billboard.biz. Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  32. ^ "Billboard.BIZ – Year-end Charts – Billboard 200 – 1995". billboard.biz. Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  33. ^ "Argentinian album certifications – Enya – Sheperd Moons". Argentine Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms Producers. 
  34. ^ NO certyear WAS PROVIDED for AUSTRALIAN CERTIFICATION.
  35. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 2007". Ultratop & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. 
  36. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Enya – Shepherd Moons" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. 
  37. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Enya – Shepherd Moons". Music Canada. 
  38. ^ "French album certifications – Enya – Shepherd Moons" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select ENYA and click OK
  39. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Enya; 'Shepherd Moons')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  40. ^ "Irish album certifications – Enya – Sheperd Moons". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  41. ^ "Japanese album certifications – エンヤ – シェパード・ムーン" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan.  Select 1992年5月 on the drop-down menu
  42. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Enya – Shepherd Moons" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. 
  43. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Enya – Shepherd Moons". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. 
  44. ^ "Spanish album certifications – Enya – Shepherd Moons" (PDF) (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España.  Select the "Chart", enter ' in the field "Year". Select ' in the field "Semana". Click on "Search Charts"
  45. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Enya; 'Shepherd Moons')". Hung Medien. 
  46. ^ "British album certifications – Enya – Shepherd Moons". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Shepherd Moons in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  47. ^ "American album certifications – Enya – Shepherd Moons". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  48. ^ Cizmar, Martin (10 November 2009). "Enya's Greatest Hits Coming Soon... Wait, Enya Had Hits?". Phoenix New Times Village Voice Media. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Greatest Hits II by Queen
UK number one album
16 November 1991 – 22 November 1991
Succeeded by
We Can't Dance by Genesis