In 1993 Diva, the first solo album to be released by Annie Lennox was met with critical acclaim from fans and new listeners alike, and broke the mould of other top charting acts of the time. SO many fans (me included) really did not know what to expect. A BMG rep that was in contact with me kept teasing me with snippets of information, and kept saying, whatever it is you are expecting, it will be different. Different it was, and a real departure from recent Eurythmics music, Annie Lennox’s solo career arrived in a thundering juggernaut. After 2 succesfull appearances on Top Of The Pops to perform “Why”, there was no reason why the album wasn’t going to do well.
In fact, Diva was included in Q magazine’s list of the “50 Best Albums Of 1992” and Rolling Stone magazine described the album as “…state-of-the-art soul pop…” and it is included in Rolling Stone’s “Essential Recordings of the 90’s” list. Several songs from the album were released as singles over the following year with “Why”, “Walking on Broken Glass” “Cold” and “Little Bird” being the most successful.
The song “Keep Young And Beautiful” was also included on the CD release as a bonus track (the original vinyl album had only ten tracks) and 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 album won Best British Album at the 1993 Brit Awards. That same year, it was also nominated for the Grammy for Album of the Year.
The Rolling Stone commented:-
State-of-the-art soul pop, Annie Lennox’s solo debut is sonically gorgeous; it also declares her aesthetic independence. Ace session men polish Diva’s gloss, and producer Stephen Lipson 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.
Annie Lennox also 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 Annie during her 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”.
Diva has lasted the test of time, many female songwriters and performers all cite Annie Lennox as an inspiration, and today we congratulate Annie Lennox on this the 20th Anniversary Of Diva.
From all of us at The Ultimate Eurythmics Website – Congratulations Annie!