Enya (album)

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Enya (album).jpg
Soundtrack album by Enya
Released March 1987
November 1992 (Reissue)
Recorded 1986
Studio Aigle Studios
(Artane, Dublin, Ireland)
BBC Enterprises Studio Woodlands
(Wood Lane, London, England)
Length 39:06
41:04 (1992)
Producer Nicky Ryan
Enya chronology
Singles from Enya
  1. "I Want Tomorrow"
    Released: 1987
Enya chronology
Shepherd Moons
The Celts
The Memory of Trees
The Celts cover
Cover for the 1992 reissue of the album, titled The Celts
Singles from The Celts
  1. "The Celts"
    Released: 1992

Enya is the debut studio album by Irish singer, songwriter and musician Enya, released in March 1987 by BBC Records in the United Kingdom and by Atlantic Records in the United States. It was renamed as The Celts for the 1992 international re-release of the album by Warner Music. The album is a selection of music she recorded for the soundtrack to the BBC television series The Celts, aired in 1987. Four years into her largely unnoticed solo career, Enya landed her first major project in 1985 when producer Tony McAuley asked her to contribute a song to the soundtrack. After its director David Richardson liked her demo, Enya accepted his offer to compose the entire score. with her long time recording partners, producer and arranger Nicky Ryan and his wife, lyricist Roma Ryan.

Enya received mostly mixed reviews from critics when it was released in 1987. It was a mild commercial success, peaking at number eight in Ireland and number sixty-nine on the UK Albums Chart. The album continued to sell; it was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments of one million copies. Despite its commercial performance, the album helped Enya secure a recording contract with Warner after chairman Rob Dickins became a fan of its music. After the commercial success of Enya's next two albums, the album was reissued as The Celts which outperformed its original sales. It reached a new peak of number ten on the UK Albums Chart and sold a further one million copies in the United States.

Background and production[edit]

Following her work on the soundtrack to the romantic comedy film The Frog Prince (1984), Enya's first major project as a solo artist followed when, in 1985, she was invited by producer Tony McAuley to compose a track for the BBC television documentary series The Celts. She recorded a demo with "The March of the Celts" and submitted it to the project. Initially, each episode of the series was to feature a different composer, but series director David Richardson liked Enya's work so much, he commissioned her to compose the entire soundtrack.[1][2] Enya worked with her long time recording partners, arranger and producer Nicky Ryan and his wife, lyricist Roma Ryan. The album was recorded in two locations; at Aigle Studios, a studio installed in the Ryan's home, then located in Artane, a northern suburb of Dublin, Ireland, and the sound studio at the former site of BBC Enterprises at Wood Lane, London.

Enya includes a portion of the music composed for the series. A previously unreleased track from the sessions, "Eclipse", was released as a B-side on the 1992 single release of "The Celts". Another unreleased track, "Spaghetti Western Theme from The Celts", was released in 2005 as a B-side for the single of "Amarantine", in memory of McAuley following his death in 2003.

Several of the album's track titles are named after several things. Aldebaran is the brightest star in the constellation Taurus. Epona is a goddess in the Gallo-Roman religion. Cú Chulainn is a culture hero of the British Isles. Oisin is a boy's name in several Celtic languages. Boadicea was an Iceni queen who led a resistance against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire. "Dan y Dŵr", Welsh for "Under the Water", alludes to the intentional flooding of the Welsh village of Capel Celyn.

Filmmaker David Bickley reused music from the soundtrack in The Memory of Earth,[3] an instalment in his documentary trilogy Mythological Lands. "Boadicea" was also used in the soundtrack of the 1992 American film Sleepwalkers. "Epona" appears in the 1991 Steve Martin romantic comedy L.A. Story.

The album's front cover depicts Enya posing with stuffed wolves.[4]


Enya was first released in the UK in May 1987 through BBC Records, and later issued in North America by Atlantic Records. It reached No. 69 in the UK Albums Chart in June 1987.[5] In 1992, Warner Music reissued a remastered version of the album as The Celts.

1992 reissue[edit]

In November 1992, following Enya's rise in popularity, the album reissued as The Celts with remastering by Arun Chakraverty and cover art by Sooky Choi and photography by David Scheinmann. The tracks have slightly different running times than the original release. "Portrait (Out of the Blue)", however, is an extended version previously released as "Out of the Blue", the B-side to Enya's 1988 single "Orinoco Flow".

In 2009, a remastered version of The Celts exclusive to Japan was released as a Limited Edition on SHM-CD with "Eclipse" as a bonus track.[6]

Sampling of "Boadicea"[edit]

"Boadicea" has been sampled by numerous artists. The Fugees sampled it for their song "Ready or Not" on The Score (1996). A lawsuit against the group for copyright infringement was prepared as they had not asked for permission and did not give her credit. However, after Enya found the group were not gangsta rappers, Enya she decided not to follow through with the suit. As a compromise, later pressings of The Score included stickers placed on the cover giving Enya credit.[7]

In 2003, Mario Winans sampled "Boadicea" for his song "I Don't Wanna Know". Producer P. Diddy personally contacted Enya for permission and gave her 60 percent of the royalties,[8] and included her name on the song's subtitle as "Mario Winans featuring Enya and P. Diddy". It went on to reach No. 2 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart in 2004. "Boadicea" was sampled on the single "You Should Really Know" by The Pirates featuring Shola Ama, Naila Boss and Ishani which peaked at No. 8 in the UK. "Boadicea" with "Ready or Not" was sampled by Nina Sky on their single "Time to Go" featuring Angie Martinez, from the mixtape presented by Cipha Sounds. In 2008, Italian DJ Francesco Zeta sampled "Boadicea" for his song "Fairyland". In 2011, a small sample of "Boadicea" was used on "Der erste Winter" by German singer Cassandra Steen for the album Mir so nah. She made another version the following year, subtitled "ReAmp", that also used the sample. In 2012, hip hop artist Meek Mill sampled "Boadicea" on his mixtape Dreamchasers 2 on a song named after the Fugees' song, "Ready or Not". In 2016, Salvatore's song "Dive" sampled "Boadicea", and Enya was credited as a featured artist.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[9]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[10]
AllMusic 3/5 stars[11]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[12]

Enya/The Celts received mixed reviews from music critics.

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Enya; all music arranged by Enya and Nicky Ryan; all lyrics by Roma Ryan, except where noted below.

1987 release[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Length
1. "The Celts"   Enya, Roma Ryan 2:56
2. "Aldebaran" (Dedicated to Ridley Scott) Enya, R. Ryan 3:05
3. "I Want Tomorrow"   R. Ryan 4:00
4. "March of the Celts"   Enya, R. Ryan 3:15
5. "Deireadh an Tuath" (Irish for "End of the Tribe") Enya, R. Ryan 1:42
6. "The Sun in the Stream"     2:54
7. "To Go Beyond (I)"     1:19
8. "Fairytale"     3:02
9. "Epona"     1:35
10. "Triad"
  • a. "St. Patrick" (Trad.)
  • b. "Cú Chulainn"
  • c. "Oisin"  
11. "Portrait"     1:23
12. "Boadicea"     3:30
13. "Bard Dance"     1:23
14. "Dan y Dŵr" (Welsh for "Under the Water") R. Ryan 1:41
15. "To Go Beyond (II)"     2:58

1992 reissue[edit]


  • Enya – arranger
  • Nicky Ryan – arranger, producer, engineer on "Aldebaran" and "March of the Celts"
  • Nigel Read – engineer (all other tracks)
  • Mario Moscardini – sleeve design, art direction
  • Martyn J. Adleman – photography
  • David Scheinmann – photography (1992 reissue)
  • Sooky Choi – designer (1992 reissue)
  • Bruce Talbot – executive producer
  • Sam Feldman – remastering at Atlantic Studios, New York City




  1. ^ "Watermark press release issued by Geffen Records". Geffen Records (USA). January 1989. Retrieved 22 March 2016. 
  2. ^ "On Her Shoe: An Exclusive Interview with Enya". Inside Borders. January 2001. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "Enya.com". 2007-03-07. Retrieved 2007-03-26. 
  4. ^ Azerrad, Michael (May 1989). "Enya: Clannad's Little Sister Sails Away". Musician. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  5. ^ Official UK Charts
  6. ^ http://eil.com/shop/moreinfo.asp?catalogid=459825
  7. ^ "Irish Voice article at archive.org". 1997-02-18. Archived from the original on 2005-04-07. Retrieved 2007-03-26. 
  8. ^ "Where HipHop and Libertarianism Meet: "Sasha Frere-Jones in New Yorker"". 2004-06-28. Retrieved 2007-03-26. 
  9. ^ AllMusic review
  10. ^ Los Angeles Times review
  11. ^ AllMusic review
  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. ^ a b "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1993 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "AustraliaEnyaThe_CeltsalbumCertRef" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  14. ^ "American album certifications – Enya – Enya". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  15. ^ Young, David (11 July 2007). "UU Honours Musician Enya". University of Ulster. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "Argentinian album certifications – Enya – The Celts". Argentine Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms Producers. 
  17. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Enya – The Celts" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. 
  18. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Enya; 'The Celts')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  19. ^ "RIAJ > The Record > April 1998 > Certified Awards (February 1998)" (PDF). Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  20. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Enya – The Celts". Recorded Music NZ. 
  21. ^ "Spanish album certifications – Enya – The Celts" (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"
  22. ^ "British album certifications – Enya – The Celts". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter The Celts 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
  23. ^ "American album certifications – Enya – The Celts". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  24. ^ "University Of Ulster News Release - UU Honours Musician Enya". news.ulster.ac.uk. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 

External links[edit]