Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Songoftheday 7/6/16 - From Bissau to Palau in the shade of Avalon, from Fiji to Tiree and the Isles of Ebony...


"Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)" - Enya
from the album Watermark (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #24 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's song of the day comes from Irish "new age" songstress Enya, who started out her career as a member of her family's band Clannad in the early 80s. After a couple of years ago, she was convinced to depart and begin a solo career, with producer Nicky Ryan and his lyricist wife Roma helping her out. In 1985 she released her self-titled debut album, which served as the soundtrack to the BBC series The Celts (the title track from the series would eventually land Enya a #29 hit in the UK in 1992). On the strength of the popularity of that disc, she was signed to Warner Brothers (Geffen in the States), and proceeded to record her second and breakthrough album Watermark, which was released in the fall of 1988. The first single from the project was the ethereal "Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)", written by the artist with Roma. Not named for the Venezuelan river in the title but rather the recording studio she worked in, "Orinoco Flow" rode on a cloud of multi-layered harmonies sent along with plucked string instruments, name checking lands as far away as the Ross Dependencies in Antarctica and Bali in Indonesia to Khartoum in Sudan. She even got a nod to the man who signed her contract, Rob Dickins, in there. What wasn't in there was a drum of any sort...


"Orinoco Flow" became Enya's first American hit, reaching the pop top-40 in April of 1989. The single also reached the top ten on both the Adult Contemporary (#7) and Modern Rock (#6) radio charts in Billboard magazine. Internationally, the song was a huge success, topping the British chart for three weeks, going #1 in Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and her native Ireland, and top ten in Germany (#2), Sweden (#2), New Zealand (#2), Australia (#6), and Austria (#8).

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's the Irish music juggernaut Celtic Woman covering the song of one of their country's best-known artists...


...and lastly, Enya performing the song live in France in 1989, where admittedly the studio tricks that helped her vocals are lacking here, which is probably why she doesn't tour...


Up tomorrow: A "fixated" new wave act returns with not one but two new lead singers in order to expand...


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