Annie Lennox Part Two
Annie Lennox on stage in 2004
In 2003, Lennox released her third solo album, Bare. The album peaked at No. 3 in the UK and No. 4 in the US— her highest charting album in the US to date. She started her first tour as a solo artist to promote the album. The tour,just entitled Solo Tour, pre-dated the release of the album as well as visited both the USand also Europe, with just a two-night stop in the UK at Saddler‘s Wells Theatre in London. The album has been certified Gold in both the UK and the US as well as was nominated for Best Pop Album at the 46th Grammy Awards. The album was released with a DVD that included interviews and also acoustic versions of songs by Lennox.
In 2004, Lennox won the Academy Award for Best Song for “Into the West“ from the film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which she co-wrote with screenwriter Fran Walsh and composer Howard Shore. Lennox performed the song live at the 76th Academy Awards. The song also won a Grammy award as well as a Golden Globe award. She had previously recorded “Use Well the Days“ for the film, which incorporates a number of quotes from Tolkien in its lyrics. This includes on a bonus DVD consisted of with the “special edition“of the film‘s soundtrack CD. In mid-2004, Lennox started an extensive North American tour with Sting. In July 2005, Lennox performed at Live 8 in Hyde Park, London, together with Madonna, Sting, and also other popular musicians.
In 2005, Lennox and Stewart teamed up on two new songs for their Eurythmics compilation album, Ultimate Collection, of which “I‘ve Got a Life“ was released as a single in October 2005. The promotional video for the song includes Lennox and Stewart performing in the present day, with photos of previous Eurythmics videos playing on TV screens behind them. The single peaked at number fourteen in the UK Singles Chartas well as was a number-one US Dance hit. On November 14,2005, Sony BMG repackaged and also released Eurythmics‘ back catalogue as 2005 Deluxe Edition Reissues. Lennox alsoworked together with Herbie Hancock doing the song “Hush, Hush, Hush“ on his collaboration album, Possibilities in August 2005.
2007— 2008: Songs Of Mass Destruction And AIDS Activism
lengthy association with Stephen Lipson, Lennox‘s fourth solo album, Songs of Mass Destruction, was recorded in Los Angeles with veteran producer Glen Ballard (recognized for producing Alanis Morissette‘s album, Jagged Little Pill). It was released onOctober
1,2007, and was the last studio album of Lennox‘s contract with BMG. It peaked at No. 7 in the UK as well as No. 9 in the US. Lennox stated that she thought the album consisted of “twelve strong, powerful, really emotive songs that people can connect to“. If she accomplishes that, she says, “I can feel proud of it, no matter if it sells ten copies or 50 million.“ Lennox described it as “a dark album,
but the world is a dark place. It‘s fraught, it‘s turbulent. Most people‘s lives are underscored with dramas of all kinds: there‘s ups, there‘s downs— the flickering candle.“ She added, “Half the people are drinking or drugging themselves to numb it. A lot of people are in pain.“
The album‘s first single was “Dark Road“, released on September 24,2007. One more song on the album,“Sing“, is a collaboration between Lennox and also 23 prominent female artists: Anastacia, Isobel Campbell, Dido, Céline Dion, Melissa Etheridge, Fergie, Beth Gibbons, Faith Hill, Angelique Kidjo, Beverley Knight, Gladys Knight, k.d. lang, Madonna, Sarah McLachlan, Beth Orton, Pink, Kelis, Bonnie Raitt, Shakira, Shingai Shoniwa, Joss Stone, Sugababes, KT Tunstall, and Martha Wainwright. The song was recorded to raise money as well as awareness for the HIV/AIDS organization Treatment Action Campaign. Included amongst the group of singers are TAC activist members‘ very own vocal group called The Generics, whose CD of music influenced Lennox to make “Sing“. To promote Songs of Mass Destruction, Lennox started a primarily North American tour called Annie Lennox Sings, which lasted throughout October and also November 2007.
2008— 2009: The Annie Lennox Collection And Departure From Sony
Finishing out her contract with Sony BMG, Lennox released the compilation album The Annie Lennox Collection. Originally intended for release in September 2008, the release date was pushed back several months to enable Lennox to recover from a back injury. The compilation was eventually released in the US on February
17,2009, and in the UK as well as Europe on March
9,2009. Included on the track listing are songs from her four solo albums, one from the Bram Stoker‘s Dracula soundtrack, and also two new songs. One of these is a cover of Ash‘s single, “Shining Light“. The other is a cover of a song by the English band Keane, originally the B-side of their first single in 2000. Lennox renamed the song from its original title “Closer Now“ to “Pattern of My Life“. A limited 3-disc edition of the album included a DVD compilation including most of Lennox‘s solo videos since 1992, and likewise included a second CD of rarer songs including a version of R.E.M.‘s “Everybody Hurt“ with Alicia Keys as well as Lennox‘s Oscar-winning “Into the West“ from the third Lord of the Rings film. The album entered the UK Album Chart at No. 2 and also stayed in the top 10 for seven weeks.
Lennox‘s recording contract with Sony BMG concluded with the release of Songs of Mass Destruction and the subsequent retrospective album The Collection,as well as a lot was made in the press in late 2007/early 2008 regarding the noticeable bitterness between Lennox and also the record company. Lennoxmentioned that while on a trip to South Africa in December 2007 to appear at the 46664 campaign in Johannesburg, the regional company office of the label failed to return phone calls and e-mails she made to them for three weeks, as well as had totally failed to promote the Sing project as intended. Upon her return to the UK, Lennox met with the head of Sony BMG UK, Ged Docherty, that was “mortified“ by the problems she had experienced with the South African branch. However, the ordeal (partly inflamed when Lennox‘s frustration with the South African office was made public on her blog) resulted in press reports incorrectly stating that she was being dropped by Sony BMG. The record company themselves promptly refuted the rumor stating that Lennox‘s contract with them had merely been fulfilled which they hoped she would consider remaining with them. The British tabloid, Daily Mirror, subsequently published a retraction of it’s story regarding her being dropped by the label.
2010— 2013: Island Records And A ChristmasCornucopia
In August 2010, Lennox signed a new contract with Island Records in the UK and also Decca Records in the US (both part of the Universal Music Group). Her first release was a Christmas album entitled A Christmas Cornucopia, released on November
15,2010. The album is a collection of Lennox‘s interpretations of traditional festive songs such as “Silent Night“ and “The First Noel“, in addition to one new composition, “Universal Child“, which was released as a download-only single on October
13,2010. Lennox had previously showcased the song on the American Idol Gives Back TV show in April 2010. She sang the song “Angels from the Realms of Glory“ from the album for the TNT special Christmas in Washington.
A music video was produced for a second single from the album, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen“. Lennox likewise performed the track on the UK chat show Loose Women in December 2010, and was also interviewed. According to Metacritic, A Christmas Cornucopia has gained “generally favorable reviews“. Ian Wade of BBC Music provided the album a very favorable review, saying “this collection could find itself becoming as much a part of the holiday season as arguments with loved ones.” Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine awarded the album 3.5/5 as well as said “Lennox seems more inspired on A Christmas Cornucopia than she has in years.“ John Hunt of Qatar Today magazine gave the album 9/10and also said “in particular, the vocal work and musical arrangement of ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen‘ are impactful to the point of being intimidating.“
On June 4,2012, Lennox performed, as part of the Queen‘s Diamond Jubilee Concert, before Buckingham Palace in London andon August 12,2012 she performed “Little Bird“at the 2012 Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony.
2014— Present: Nostalgia
In October 2014, Lennox released her sixth solo album, Nostalgia. The album is a collection of Lennox‘s childhood favorite soul, jazz as well as blues songs. Critic Mike Wass of Idolator mentioned that Lennox “puts her own inimitable spin“on the selected tracks. The lead single “I Put a Spell on You“ received it’s first radio play on September
15,2014 by Ken Bruce on BBC Radio 2. Upon release, the album entered the UK and also US Top 10, and reached number one on the US Billboard Top Jazz Albums chart. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. On January
28,2015, Lennox performed a live concert at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles entitled An Evening of Nostalgia with Annie Lennox. The show aired on PBS in the US in April 2015, as well as was released on DVD and also Blu-ray internationally in May 2015.