Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Songs of Annie Lennox

Feeling a bit exhausted today after suffering through allergies, working late on my CEO Report for the upcoming Board of Directors meeting, and then a lot of work on the Unchained Love Playwright Competition. I did a run of show for the event, and a press release announcing the directors and actors that I'll put out tomorrow. It's like having two jobs, but without the extra pay. But I'm excited about the event, and I think I might have a surprise or two up my sleeve as well. Either way, I'm definitely going to be relieved when it's all over.

So tonight I was thinking about how much Annie Lennox I've been listening to lately. A friend of mine posted the question on Facebook, "What the sexiest song you know?" Among all the more sexually explicit songs was this gem off the 1992 Diva album, "Money Can't Buy It." It is not only a sexy song, it's also a very sexy video, with a two-and-a-half minute opening without a single cut. It's such an incredibly intimate and challenging take.

Of course, my own addition to the list (along with the entire "Avalon" album from Roxy Music) was one of my favorites, an obscure single that I play for anyone I can get to sit still and listen, "Lovesong for a Vampire" from the soundtrack to Bram Stoker's Dracula. I actually found this song by buying her CD single of "Little Bird" (also from Diva) where it was included as a bonus. If you're listening to it on typical computer speakers, it might not sound like much, but if you have a monstrous, apartment-rattling subwoofer like mine, the "heartbeat" is breathtakingly intense. Plus, it's just a beautiful love song. The video is pretty awful though (unlike the last one) so I can't recommend watching it. Just listen.

I also heard today on my iPod one of her songs from the album "Songs of Mass Destruction" that Tara put on a mix once called "Dark Road." It's a more complex song, full of emotions, and the video mines every bit of it - as coolly intense as she is in "Money Can't Buy It" she's full of emotional fireworks here. It's heartbreaking and breathtaking at the same time.

Tying back to the Great American Songbook that is one of my favorite genres, Annie Lennox also did a cover of Cole Porter's "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" for to benefit AIDS/HIV awareness. The video was originally scheduled to have been directed by British director Derek Jarman but he became too unwell to direct at the time of shooting and so Ed Lachlan stepped in. The home movies shown on the screen are those of Derek Jarman as a child.

Finally, here's one of the songs that made it on to my Oscar winning songs sampler CD that I made for the Oscar party in March, the poignant and powerful "Into the West" from 2003's Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Has it really been 11 years since we saw the Grey Havens?