If you want to talk about one of the classiest pop songs of the ’90s, you wouldn’t have to look any further than Annie Lennox’s debut disc Diva, which yielded several top 10 hits around the globe, although she just hit the Top 40 in the US with two singles. In fact, Diva only reached #23 in America, which was a bit stunning to me, given how pervasive that disc was in my life when it came out. While songs like “Little Bird”, “Precious”, and “Walking on Broken Glass” are all great songs, it is “Why” that has to be considered a highlight of Annie’s career.
The first few notes instantly transport me to an isolated room, where a woman rehashes just what went wrong in her relationship, and what she may have done to brought it on. Amazingly, Annie’s first solo video perfectly captures the song, and adds an additional layer of weariness to the protagonist’s story. You’ll have to click through for the original, but the live version shows an additional layer of depth that only comes from a classic song having time to age and live.
“Why” is a great song. Makes you scratch your head why it didn’t do better on the charts? It’s funny, a friend of mine didn’t care for Annie as a member of Eurythmics, but she loves her solo work. Funny, right?
What a magnificent lead off song from an amazing album. Just wonderful – I love what she does on this album. Little Bird is glorious.
The first “real” song I loved was apparently Annie’s “Walking On Broken Glass” (to the point that my parents put it on a mixtape for me with the theme song to Pippi Longstocking, if that gives my age at the time away) and, years later, Diva was one of the first albums I owned. A nostalgic attachment is always going to link me to “Walking,” but as I’ve grown up, “Why” has come to make so much sense and to have a real beauty to it. It’s a classic, even under the most stringent definition of the word.
What a great association! For me, “Why” will always be New York City, because it was out around the time that I took my first real trip there.
I love Diva, in fact, I considered it my favorite album for many years. And “Why” is the best track on it. “Little Bird,” “Legend in My Living Room,” “Stay By Me” are really great too. Oddly, although I love the whole thing, I’ve never been particularly fond of “Walking on Broken Glass,” despite it being the biggest hit.
There is something a bit hokey to me about “Glass”, but there is also no denying it is a great song.