THE CROSS OF CHANGES
The Cross Of Changes - the title
The title of Enigma’s second album is not particularly difficult to interpret, but there are many different levels on which such interpretation can be attempted. It can be easily deduced that the title refers to a Christian symbol. This deduction can be confirmed by listening to the whole album, and especially one if its tracks, “Silent Warrior”. Then it becomes blatantly obvious that “The CROSS of Changes” picks up on the main subject of the previous album “MCMXC a.D.” and that the criticism of the Church is continued here
The quotation on the inside of the cover
A quotation can be spotted on the inside of the cover. It is not featured in any of the lyrics, but in some way it still refers to each and every one of them, especially “The Eyes Of Truth” and “The Cross Of Changes”. Both pieces touch upon the subject of understanding the existence of a higher and wiser being, who can satisfy the spiritual needs of a man and decide his fate.
I tried to find Him on the Christian cross, but he was no there;
I went to the Temple of the Hindus and to the old pagodas,
but I could not find a trace of Him anywhere.
I searched on the mountains and in the valleys but neither in the
heights nor in the depths was I able to find Him.
I went to the Caaba in Mecca, but He was no there either.
I questioned the scholars and philosophers but He was beyond their
understanding. I then looked into my heart and it was there where He dwelled that I
saw Him; He was nowhere else to be found
Jelaluddin Rumi’s wisdom is impressive. Only recently people started to notice that “somewhere else” is not necessarily equivalent to “somewhere better”. If all they do is travel from one country to another, from one planet to another, they will not achieve anything great. Believing that “the grass is always greener on the other side” is a significant problem for the human race. Take Jelaluddin’s faith for example – he thought he would find God in temples or in Mecca, but in the end he found what he was looking for only when he looked into himself. Happiness is found inside ourselves. And so is the truth. We will not get closer to the truth by travelling to other continents. The most important journey is the one we take when we look into our souls. Of course it is beneficial to be on the move – it makes you braver and more patient. But it also makes you aware that there is more to life than just travelling the world. Some may take endless journeys and never actually make it to anywhere. Others may not travel at all and still live an eventful life. But what is more, some of them might make it even further… by taking the journey into themselves. Travelling is definitely worth it – not only because of the pleasure of exploring the world, the skills acquired and experience gained, but also the opportunity to draw the aforementioned important conclusions.
Jelaluddin Rumi – a biographical overview
Jelaluddin Rumi (exactly Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, or more popularly simply Rumi) – a Persian poet and mystic born in 1207. He is widely known by the sobriquet Mawlawī, which is a term of Arabic origin, meaning “my master”. He served as an Islamic teacher in Konya, a city located in Anatolia, south of Turkey, at the foot of the Taurus Mountains. The Mausoleum of Mevlâna in Konya and the headquarters of the Mevlevi Order have been popular pilgrimage destinations to this day. The members of this order, similarly to other mystics, lived in monasteries called tekke or mevlevihane (both terms are of Turkish origin). They also had a set dress code and a set ceremony of religious rituals. In Europe, they are more commonly known as the Whirling Dervishes due to their famous practice of whirling (performing quick turns on the right foot to the rhythm of instrumental music) as a form of dhikr (remembrance of God). The oldest written pieces found in the area of modern Turkey date back to the Seljuq Empire of 13th century. This literature was usually concerned the subjects of religion and mysticism. Jeladuddin Rumi, who wrote in Persian, and his son Sultan Veled, who wrote partly in Turkish, were one of the first known writers of that region. In his collection of poems, Masnavi-I Ma’navi (Rhyming Couplets of Profound Spiritual Meaning”, Rumi talked about the various dimensions of a Sufi spiritual life. The poems contained Neoplatonic ideas, Pantheist beliefs and an original theory of evolution. Rumi was the founder of the Mevlevi Order (Whirling Dervishes). He died in 1273.
Jelaluddin Rumi and Sufism
Sufism (Arabic: Tasawwuf) is defined as the inner mystical dimension of Islam, the practitioners of which seek to find the truth of divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God. The movement grew out of early Islamic asceticism of the 7th/8th century (the word Sufism derives from the Arabic term for a mystic, ṣūfī, which is in turn derived from ṣūf, “wool,” plausibly a reference to the woollen garment of early Islamic ascetics). Practitioners of Sufism mostly belonged to the middle class. The development of Sufism varied according to the territory, due to influence of local religions and philosophies, such as Manichaesim, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Neoplatonism, or Persian philosophy. Hasan of Basra, who died in 728, is usually credited as the establisher of Sufism. Sufism follows one of the four schools of thought of Sunni Islam and rejects rationalistic Islamic theology, which was why the orthodox theologians initially fought against it. The Muslim theologian Al-Ghazali (1058-1111) combined the orthodox theology (kalam) and Sufism together. The philosophical mysticism still remained under the influence of the Neoplatonic theory of emanation, which was reflected in Arabian, Persian and Turkish literature of that time (e.g. works of Rumi, Jami). The everyday mysticism evolved into the system of orders (Sufi orders). In the 60s, a philosophy spread around Europe and the USA, according to which Sufism was a universal form of wisdom that predated Islam. It emphasized that Sufism could be attached to any religion, as the way in which Sufis saw the world was universal. One of the followers of this philosophy was Idreis Shah.
Islamic Mysticism: Sufi and Dervishes
The complex Islamic Mysticism has always had to face the opposition of the orthodox Islam followers, such as the sovereigns, warriors and law scholars. Mysticism is in many ways connected to non-Islamic religions and it considers itself a perfect state of balance between rejection of the outside world and vocation to the inner renewal of faith. The spiritual principles of Islamic Mysticism are not only based on Koranic praise of asceticism but also on linking Islam with coexisting religions of other cultures. It is therefore impossible to deny that Mysticism was influenced by Christian orders, Hindu or Buddhist monks, Persian Neoplatonists and Gnostics. The initial faithful asceticism soon morphed into a deliberate search for God, which was characterised by the principles of fearfulness and trust in God, turning away from the world and looking for inner peace. The main purpose of life was to fully rely on God (tawakkul), devote oneself to God (taslim) and confide oneself to God’s care (tafwid). Meditation (fikr) became an important aspect of life, same as constant thinking about God (dhikr). Intuitive cognition of God, which allowed the mystics to internally assess the faith of particular people, was more important for them than the wisdom of scholars or superficial adherence to the rules. The conflict between Islamic Mysticism and orthodox Islam originated in the faith principles. Orthodox Islamists were very suspicious of both the mystics’ use of visual language, which originated mostly in the ancient Persian metaphysics of Light, and their admonishing calls for reforms. The mystics’ followers worshipped them as if they were saints. The resentment between the two branches built up to such an extent that it became impossible to avoid frequent confrontations. The conflict reached its culmination point when one of the notable mystics, Mansur al-Hallaj, was executed in 922. A great mystic and theologian Al-Ghazali (1058-1111) tried to reconcile mysticism with the orthodox Islam. An Andalusian mystic Ibn Arabi (1165 – 1240) believed in the possibility of finding God and unifying with him by improving one’s internal faith. One of the pieces of literature which has particular significance to Islamic Mysticism is the collection of poems by Jelaluddin Rumi (1208 – 1273), Masnavi-I Ma’navi. These passionate poems show Rumi’s extraordinary skill and ability to paint vivid pictures with words. In 12th century, tight mystical communities were established (tariqa). They included regular orders and fraternities as well as more informal associations. Their members were called “sufi”, probably because they wore woollen garments (“suf” means wool in Arabic). These communities followed a similar set of rules to the ones of Buddhist and Christian orders, and were constructed according to a specific hierarchy. All the members of the order had to be unconditionally obedient to their Sufi master (sheikh). There was a rule which said: “your behaviour towards your master should be the one of a dead body towards the person washing it”. The orders also acted as charities and priesthoods. In the early days, some of them also took upon the role of guardians of the Islamic territories (ribat) and thereby set an example for the medieval Christian military orders. The members of these Islamic communities were called dervishes(the origins of this Persian word are not entirely clear though). The individual orders usually differed from each other when it came to structures of the community and monasteries. A few Sufi orders, such as the Libyan Senussi established in 19th century, gained some recognition on the political scene and represented the Islamic reformatory movements.
The pictures on the inside of the cover
The picture on the left is entitled “The microcosmic man” and has been taken from the encyclopaedia “Utriusque Cosmi Historia” by Robert Fludd (Oppenheim, 1617). This diagram is supposed to sum up all the knowledge available to a man and describe the world according to the theories of macro- and microcosm. In this picture, the macrocosm is symbolised by the zodiac signs and planets, with the man, symbol of microcosm, inscribed inside the macrocosmic circles. The traditional Gnosticism, to which Fludd’s beliefs belong, claimed that the creator of the universe, Demiurge, personifies the dualism: he is good and evil, he is light and darkness. He was the beginning of time and so the beginning of cosmos, but at the same time he exists outside time. The mentality of this period was characterised by the belief that the motion of the universe is caused by a mechanical force (a rope!). This view became more popular several dozen years later, when Isaac Newton published his Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Latin for Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy) in 1687. This work stated the universal laws of mechanics, nowadays known as Newton’s laws of motion.
The graphic on the left has been taken from “The Threefold Life of Man” (1620) written by Jakob Böhme (1575 – 1624), one of the most famous German mystics and theosophists. Böhme, born in Upper Lusatia, was a self-educated shoemaker. After he had learnt how to read, the only book he knew was the Bible. He lived a very pious, simple and truthful life. Several times in his life, he was suddenly struck by a supernatural urge to write – these works made up a whole collection of mystical, religious books of rationalist, protestant character. He did not get recognised by the critics until later. Jacobi and Hegel even hailed him one of the best modern German philosophers.
The graphic on the left has been taken from a mystic work “Three Books of Occult Philosophy” by Agrippa. Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim was born in Cologne in 1486. He was one of the most educated people of his time. Having graduated from medical school, he completely devoted himself to magic. He was persecuted and accused of witchcraft because of that, but many noble men still kept in touch with him. At the end of his life, he dropped occultism and even started strongly criticising it, switching to scepticism and biblical devotion. All this caused him to get accused of heresy. He died in 1535 in Grenoble as a poor man. Agrippa was thought to be a powerful magician, and his dog, which was always at his side – a friendly demon. “Three Books of Occult Philosophy” is a cabbalistic, mystic piece of work. As the title suggests, it was published in three instalments; however, a fourth book was added to the collection after Agrippa’s death. John Weyer, Agrippa’s apprentice and a famous demonologist, claimed this grimoir to have been forged. A supplement to this book, “Heptameron, or Magical Elements”, was published as well.
Most people who had a look at the back cover of Enigma’s second album have probably noticed that the track numbers have been placed inside particular symbols. These symbols should be seen as the visual representation of the track numbers, where the number of lines which make up the symbol is the same as the digit it represents. One is inscribed inside a circle because a circle is only made up of one line; three is inside a triangle, four – a square, etc. This relationship should not be too difficult to figure out for a skillful eye.
The Eyes Of Truth
In “The Eyes Of Truth” (track no. 11) we can hear samples of a Mongolian song entitled “Alsyn gazryn zereglee”, taken from the album entitled “Mongolie, Vocal and Instrumental Music”. The piece is sung by a Mongolian singer Adilbish Nergui. The lyrics go as follows:
Alsin gazrin zereglee
Aduu shig mal shig torolzonoo khuoo
Alia khongor huugee
Aisuy baihadnn bayarlalaa
Kholin gazrin zeereglee
Khoi shig mal shig torolzonoo khuoo
In “The Eyes Of Truth” we can find influences from other sources too. Take for example the album “Songs From The Victorious City” (1991) by Anne Dudley and Jaz Coleman. In the song in question Cretu used music from Dudley and Coleman’s piece “A Survivor’s Tale” (track no. 9). Jaz Coleman is a member of the band Killing Joke. The band was formed in 1979, when the development of the post-punk movement had only just started. Post-punk emerged in the wake of the punk movement, when some of the artists ultimately became disillusioned with the style. It was closely related to the development of ancillary genres such as new wave, industrial, new romantic, darkwave, gothic rock, etc. Killing Joke is seen as the last great band of the punk revolution of the 70s, though very unique and unlike any of the other bands of that time. Killing Joke was not just one of many bands – it was exceptional. They looked for inspiration somewhere else – and they found it. They did not bother with trying to bring rock’n’roll back to life as some punk groups did back then. They were ahead of their time and did not care about the past. Jaz Coleman stressed multiple times that he was not interested in rock’n’roll and other things that teenagers listened to at that time. His musical education focused only on classical music and nothing else up until he turned 16. With the emergence of punk, everything changed very quickly. The new environment was an unprecedented challenge; the explosion of new music and the discovery of previously unfamiliar inspirations favoured all the bold musicians out there. When Jaz Coleman met Kevin “Geordie” Walker (guitar), Martin “Youth” Glover (bass) and Paul Fergusson (drums), Killing Joke was founded. Anne Dudley was the leader of the British band Art of Noise, founded in the 80s by the music producers Trevor Horn and J.J. Jeczalik. Anne Dudley and The Art of Noise collaborated with The Cairo Symphony Orchestra on the project entitled “Songs From The Victorious City”, which later became an inspiration for Michael Cretu.
Anne Dudley – a biographical overview
Anne Dudley was born on 7th May 1956 in Chatham, England. She attended the Royal College of Music. She was a member and one of the founders of a popular British 80s band, The Art of Noise. Making use of her extensive knowledge of composing, arranging and recording music, she composed her first film score in 1987, for the comedy “Hiding Out”. She quickly became a popular composer for British TV shows and films – mostly low budget projects. She won a Brit Award for the soundtrack to “Buster”, starring Phil Collins. A breakthrough in her career happened in 1992, when she wrote the film score for the widely acclaimed drama, “The Crying Game”. In 1997, Dudley won the “Best Original Musical or Comedy Score” Oscar for her music to the comedy “The Full Monty”. That made her the second female composer in history to have won an Oscar. Her music competed against the soundtracks of such films as “Men in Black” or “Anastasia”. In 1998, she composed another great piece of film music, this time for the superb drama “American History X”, the directorial debut of Tony Kaye.
In “The Eyes Of Truth” we can also hear the influence of other performers, one of which is Peter Gabriel. Cretu was inspired by his album “Us” (1992), particularly the track “Kiss That Frog” (the cover of this single is presented on the left). Peter Gabriel was 15 when he joined the band The Milords as the drummer. However, he left them a year later to join Spoken Word, which he also left after a few months. In July that year, him and his friend, Tony Banks, started a new band called “The Garden Wall”. Their first song was “She Is Beautiful” (which, after a few modifications and under a different title, was later included in the repertoire of Genesis). They collaborated with “The Anon”, a music group founded by Mike Rutherford and Anthony Philips. Members of both groups enjoyed working together so much that they decided to join forces and start a new band with Peter as the lead singer. The band, Genesis, would later become one of the greatest rock bands in history.
Another source of inspiration for Cretu was “Ultraviolet (Light My Way)” (1991), a song by U2, from the album entitled “Achtung Baby” (cover on the left). U2 sold 100 million CDs throughout their 28-year-long career. Despite all the obstacles, they are still the same group from Dublin and one of the best rock bands in the world, with a dozen famous hits to their name. According to the tradition of the late 70s, U2 was formed before its members even knew how to make music – but they claim that they felt raw energy and an extraordinary spiritual bond right from the start. In the heat of the punk music craze, U2 refused to follow the dark and empty visions of new wave bands and chose the contrasting path of a youthful hopefulness instead. Their first EP, entitled “U2 3”, was published in 1979 for CBS records and was only available in Ireland. U2 organised a promotional concert tour themselves, which clearly showed that they had a set mission to complete. Even though they did not get any big record contract offers after several demo concerts in London, the last show of the tour sold out completely and 2000 fans came to see the band play in Dublin. That was a huge accomplishment for a band which technically did not even have a record label. In January 1980, U2 won in five categories of the vote organized by the Irish music magazine “Hot Press”. In April that year, the band signed a contract with Island Records and published their first single a month later – “11 O’Clock Tick Tock”. For the next three years, U2 were on a constant winning streak, primarily due to very frequent concerts and the intensity of performances, in which Bono, the leader of the band, used extraordinary measures to get the audience’s attention. He would climb the speaker stacks with no protection whatsoever, swing on the edge of balconies in concert halls, or turn his back to the audience and stage dive (leap from the stage onto the crowd below). Steve Lillywhite produced U2’s first three albums: “Boy” (1980), “October” (1981) and “War”(1983). “War” was their first album to reach the top of the charts and included great hits such as “New Year’s Day” and “Two Hearts Beat As One”. These three albums had defined U2’s unique, timeless and boundless style.
As you can see, Cretu had quite a few sources of inspiration when writing “The Eyes of Truth”. Another one of them was “Dreaming While You Sleep” from Genesis’ album “We Can’t Dance” (1991). One could write a whole series of books about Genesis, so we will only present a short commentary on the album “We Can’t Dance” here:
The fans had to wait five years for another album. “We Can’t Dance” was a pleasant surprise – in addition to a considerable amount songs designed to hit the top of the charts, the CD also included a few more ambitious pieces. “Driving The Last Spike” and “Fading Lights” stand out the most in this aspect. Both tracks are over 10 minutes long, which leaves plenty of time for incredible instrumental passages, piano and drum solos being especially good. This album also includes a monotonous piece based on a simple guitar riff, which has, ironically, become a great hit. This piece, “I Can’t Dance”, owes its success mostly to the original music video in which Phil imitates Michael Jackson’s signature dance moves.
The very last source of inspirations for “The Eyes Of Truth” was a song entitled “Mare Tranquilitas” from Vangelis’ album “Abledo 0.39” (1975). Vangelis’ real name is Evanghelos Odyssey Papathanassiou. He was born on 29th March 1943 in Volos, Greece. He became interested in music when he was four. Two years later he had his first performance, in which he presented his original compositions. His real career began in the 60s when he joined the band “Aphrodite’s Child”, and is still going strong. In his lifetime, the artist has set up his own recording studio, won an Oscar (for the score for the film “Chariots of Fire” in 1982), and recorded the famous album “A Tribute to El Greco” in collaboration with Montserrat Caballé and tenor Konstantinos Paliatsaras. That album was only available at the National Gallery, sold as a work of art. In 1976, the album “Albedo 0.39” was released. It is a concept album around space and space physics, containing songs such as “Pulstar” (which later became the inspiration for Cretu’s album “The Energy of Sound”, recorded as T.A.A.W.), “Mare Tranquillitatis” (which features original recordings of astronauts’ conversations from the Moon – these were also used in the background of “The Eyes of Truth”), and “Sword of Orion”. The title track, “Albedo 0.39”, was based on the monotonous recitation of the physical parameters of an astronomical object called… the Earth (there are visible similarities between this track and Enigma’s piece “The Gate” from their album, “The Screen Behind The Mirror”). This was Vangelis’ first album that made it to the charts, with “Pulstar” and “Alfa” amongst the best selling singles of that time.
Return To Innocence
In one of the most iconic songs by Enigma, “Return To Innocence”, Cretu used samples of a Taiwan aboriginal chant known in English as “Song Of Joy (Jubilant Drinking Song)”. It is sung in an aboriginal indigenous language, which is only spoken, not written. The chant is performed by an 80-year-old aboriginal couple – Difang Duana (Kuo Ying-nan) and his wife Igay (Kuo Hsiu-chu). The couple comes from Taitung County, south Taiwan. They do not speak Chinese or Taiwanese(!), only Amis and Japanese. Their music reflects their culture and lifestyle. Cretu ended up having fair legal problems due to his use of the chant “Song Of Joy”. Cretu stated that he had been led to believe that the recording had been in the public domain, and that he did not intentionally violate the Kuos’ copyright.
On the photo (from the right): Igay (Kuo Hsiu-chu) and Difang (Kuo Ying-nan). Difang and Igay sued Virgin Records America, Michael Cretu and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for copyright infringement. Samples of the aboriginal couple’s music were used in Enigma’s song “Return to Innocence” from the album “The CROSS of Changes”, which sold 6 million copies around the world. Unfortunately, the couple did not get credited for their samples anywhere, which made them press charges against Virgin America, Charisma Records, Mambo, Capitol-EMI, Enigma, Cretu, and the IOC, for having used their music without permission. In one of the interviews, the artists admitted that they’d had no clue about what was happening with their chant until they heard “Return To Innocence” being played at the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, 1996. Difang said: “I was shocked. I was watching the Olympics when suddenly, I heard our chant. My friends were asking me why I didn’t tell them I published an album. And that was when I got angry – when people told me someone was selling our chant without asking us for permission first. Huand Hsiu-Ian, the couple’s lawyer, demanded that Difang and Igay are credited in all further releases of “Return To Innocence”, that each of them receives a Platinum Record Award with both their names on it, and that a charity helping respect the aboriginal music and honour is set up. It is worth noting that the samples were taken by Cretu from a compilation entitled “Polyphonies Vocales Des Aborigenes De Taiwan”, published by a French organisation Maison des Cultures du Monde (MCM). Enigma bought the rights to use one of the tracks from this album – “Jubilant Drinking Song”. Jurgen Thürnau, Enigma’s manager and the owner of Crocodile Music Management, said that when “The CROSS Of Changes” was still in the making, the discussions about copyrights to these samples were held only between Enigma and MCM, no third parties. Thürnau commented: “We bought the copyrights from the French publisher. We paid them a certain amount of money for them and did not find out until much later that they, in fact, did not own these copyrights.” MCM is a non-profit organisation funded by the French Ministry of Culture.
The background music in “Return To Innocence” (particularly the rhythmical drum part) is very similar to the one in “When The Leeve Breaks” by Led Zeppelin, from the album “Led Zeppelin IV” (1971). Led Zeppelin was founded in 1968 in London. The band members were: Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham. It was started by Jimmy Page, whose musical debut was in the band called “The Crusaders” in 1959. In July 1968, Page started a new band called The New Yardbirds. The name was later changed to LED ZEPPELIN. The group published their first album “Led Zeppelin I” in 1969. When this album was in the making, all the members were going through a phase of enthrallment by the music of Jimi Hendrix and The Cream. Led Zeppelin’s debut album quickly became a revelation and other hard rock bands soon started to follow their example. Songs such as “Good Times Bad Times” or “Communication Breakdown” can be found on this CD. Their next album, “Led Zeppelin II”, was composed during the USA concert tour and recorded that very same year. “Whole Lotta Love”, arguably the most famous song in rock music history, can be found on that album. In October 1970, their third album, “Led Zeppelin III”, was recorded. It was not similar to the previous albums at all and it conquered the world with the novelty of the sound. It contains a lot of songs and ballads inspired by folk music. However, it did not receive good reviews from the critics. Their next album, the fourth one, was their greatest artistic achievement up to date. It featured the ballad “Stairway to Heaven” written by Robert Plant. The fans loved it, and so it set the bar very high for other artists. The song starts off simple and slowly branches off into a complex, dynamic, hard rock masterpiece. The following albums, however, were neither that ambitious nor interesting. “Houses Of The Holy”, their fifth album, was published in March 1973. There was a strong musical and thematic disparity between the individual tracks on this album. The next album, “Physical Graffiti”, was published in 1975. It was harshly criticised for repeating mainstream patterns and denounced as cliché and unworthy of Led Zeppelin. Of course some gems could be found there too, such as “Kashmir” – a dynamic composition enriched with oriental orchestra sound. In March 1976, the album “Presence” was released. It was recorded in Munich and reminded the fans of the initial sound of Led Zeppelin’s music. It contained magnificent blues and hard rock songs, which gave the group a chance to get back to their glory days. The cover featured a mysterious little figure, which was supposed to act on the imagination of the audience. Their next album, “The Song Remains The Same” was published in October 1976 and contained the soundtrack of the film of the same title. This film was actually a recording of the group’s concert in Madison Square Garden in 1973. Their second-to-last CD, “In Through The Out Door” was published in 1979, after a very long break caused by some unexpected events, such as death of Robert Plant’s son. On 25th September 1980, John Bonham died from alcohol poisoning. Shortly after, the group disbanded. Nevertheless, another album was published in 1982. “CODA” contained pre-recorded pieces which had never been published. The album commemorated the deceased member of Led Zeppelin, famous drummer John Bonham.
I Love You... I'll Kill You
It is clearly evident that “I Love You… I’ll Kill You” was inspired by the album “Led Zeppelin IV” too. This time it was the third track, “The Battle Of Evermore”. In “I Love You… I’ll Kill You” we can hear Cretu’s dramatic voice screaming out the words “Bring it back, bring it back psychopath”. A very similar phrase can be found in “The Battle Of Evermore”: “Bring it back, bring it back…”. Therefore, the claims about Enigma’s second album being heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin’s music are fully justified.
The vibe and harmonious background music of “I Love You… I’ll Kill You” also brings to mind the song “The Wizard” by Black Sabbath, from the album “Black Sabbath” (1970). Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1967. Initially named Polka Tulk, the band changed their name to Earth, but after some time they decided to settle on the name “Black Sabbath” (inspired by the 1963 horror film “Black Sabbath” starring Boris Karloff and directed by Mario Bava). The band initially consisted of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward. During the period 1975 to 1977 the band also collaborated with Gerald Woodroffe. In November 1977, Osbourne abruptly quit the band for a few months and so David Walker filled in for him until Osbourne had a change of heart and rejoined the band in 1978. Osbourne left the band for good in 1979. He was replaced by Ronnie James Dio, a former Rainbow vocalist. In September, the group brought in drummer Vinny Appice to replace Bill Ward, who had quit the band. In November 1982, Dio and Appice left Black Sabbath to start their own band. Black Sabbath settled on former Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan to replace Ronnie James Dio in December 1982. Ward rejoined the band in June 1983 but was unable to tour because of the pressures of the road, and quit the band soon after. He was replaced by former Electric Light Orchestra drummer Bev Bevan for the summer world tour, who would also later join the band for some of their recording sessions. In 1984, Gillan left Black Sabbath to rejoin Deep Purple, which was reforming after a long hiatus. This caused Black Sabbath to be put on hold for a while. The band started performing again in 1985, in a completely new line-up of young blues enthusiasts from low-income working families.
Black Sabbath’s first album, recorded after two years of provincial club performances in countries such as FRG, mirrored the music of bands like Cream or Led Zeppelin (this influence is particularly evident in “The Wizard”). The album also featured a cover of The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation’s “Warning”. Black Sabbath may not have had the best musical technique or the most original compositions; nevertheless fans of rock music were very enthusiastic about their debut album. The tracks on this album differed from each other significantly and were performed with great skill and momentum. The demonic and unsettling vibe of the songs (“Black Sabbath”, “The Wizard”, “N.I.B.”) was emphasized by the loudness of the music and the addition of special sound effects such as thunders and hollow bongs of a bell. Osbourne’s shrill, metallic voice and nearly hysterical interpretation of songs fit this repertoire very well.
The beginning of “I Love You, I’ll Kill You” is also very similar to Genesis’ song “Fading Lights” from the album “We Can’t Dance” (1991).
The opening sequence of Engima’s piece “Silent Warrior” is very similar to Genesis’ song “Tonight Tonight Tonight” from the album “Invisible Touch” (1986). The cover of this album is presented on the left. “Invisible Touch” received mixed reviews upon its release and is said to be one of the worse albums by Genesis. Nevertheless, it remains their best-selling studio release, with over 6,000,000 copies having been sold in the United States alone.
Age Of Loneliness
“Age Of Loneliness” features samples from the aforementioned compilation “Mongolie, Vocal and Instrumental Music”. The Mongolian chant used by Cretu was entitled “Tosonguyn oroygoor” (The Summit of Mount Toson) and performed by Dechinzundui Nadmid. It is also worth mentioning that “Age Of Loneliness” is actually a revised version of an earlier Enigma song, “Carly’s Song”. The story behind “Carly’s Song” is quite an interesting one. Robert Evans, film producer, asked Michael Cretu to compose the soundtrack for his new film, “Sliver”. Unfortunately, Cretu was busy working on Enigma’s second album at the time, so he could not accept Evans’ proposition – getting involved in that project would have required him to move to Los Angeles for six months and his schedule was too tight for that. However, after giving it some thought and the producer’s endless persuasions, Cretu decided to compose a piece for that film. And that’s how “Carly’s Song” was brought to life. The main character, Carly Norris, was played by the beautiful movie star Sharon Stone. She was accompanied by William Baldwin. Other songs by Enigma featured in the film include “Carly’s Loneliness” and “Principles Of Lust”.
Out From The Deep
“Out From the Deep” begins with female melodic sighs, which can also be heard later in the background throughout the whole song. These sounds were sampled from the piece “The Calling” by Synaesthetic, from the album “A positive life” (1995).
Marcin Klebba, Adrian Rode (authors)
Marcin Papke (translation, images and review)