The Very Best of Enya is a greatest hits album from Irish musician Enya. The album was announced by Enya on her official site on 26 August 2009 and released on 23 November 2009. According to the website, it includes Enya's favorite songs as chosen by her, Nicky and Roma Ryan.
Two versions of the album were released: a standard single-disc edition containing only the audio tracks, and a two-disc deluxe edition featuring a DVD collecting a number of her music videos. It made top 20 in almost twenty countries.
The album spent 56 non-consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard New Age Albums chart.http
An announcement on Enya's official website stated that the release of the album was scheduled for 16 November 2009. Roma Ryan confirmed the rumor to the media. The release date was later postponed until 23 November 2009 (and until 1 December 2009 for the U.S. and Japan). On 19 September 2009, the album cover artwork was revealed by Roma Ryan via the official Enya forum, Unity.
*All vocals and instrumentation performed by Enya
*Arranged by Enya and Nicky Ryan
*Engineered and mixed by Nicky Ryan
*Lyrics by Roma Ryan
*Recorded at Aigle studio
*Design and art direction by Peacock
Charts and Certifications
Certifications and Sales
ReferencesThis text has been derived from The Very Best of Enya on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
Enya (born Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin, , 17 May 1961) is an Irish singer, instrumentalist and composer. The media sometimes refer to her by the Anglicized name, Enya Brennan; Enya is an approximate transliteration of how Eithne is pronounced in the Gaoth Dobhair dialect of the Irish language, her native tongue.httphttp
She began her musical career in 1980, when she briefly joined her family band Clannad, before leaving to perform solo. She gained wider recognition for her music in the 1986 BBC series The Celts. Shortly afterwards, her 1988 album Watermark propelled her to further international fame and she became known for her unique sound, characterised by voice-layering, folk melodies, synthesised backdrops and ethereal reverberations.
She continued to enjoy steady success during the 1990s and 2000s; her 2000 album A Day Without Rain sold 15 million copieshttp and she was named the world's best selling female artist of 2001. She is Ireland's best-selling solo musician and is officially the country's second-largest musical export after the band U2. Her album sales stand at 70 million as of 2009, with over 26 million in album sales in the US. Her work has earned her four Grammy awards and an Academy Award nomination. She has performed works in 10 languages.
Life and career
1961-1983: Musical upbringing and Clannad
Enya was born and brought up in Gweedore (known in Irish as Gaoth Dobhair), County Donegal. She is part of an Irish-speaking and musical family, the sixth of nine children. Her grandparents were in a band that played throughout Ireland, her father was the leader of the Slieve Foy Band before opening Leo's Tavern, and her mother played in a dance band and later taught music at Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair. From a young age, Enya appeared in many pantomimes onstage at Gweedore's local theatre and sang with her siblings in her mother's choir at St. Mary's Catholic church, Derrybeg. She attended Loreto Community School in Milford, County Donegal and then moved away to attend college wanting to become a classical pianist, continuing her studies in music and also studying watercolour painting. Enya has four brothers and four sisters, several of whom formed the band An Clann As Dobhar in 1968. They renamed the band Clannad in the 1970s.
In 1980, Enya worked with Clannad, the band composed of her siblings Máire (Moya), Pól, and Ciarán and twin uncles Noel and Pádraig Duggan. Enya played the keyboard and provided backing vocals on their album Crann Úll (1980), although she was not officially a member of the group until the 1981 release Fuaim, when she appeared on the cover. During that same year, Enya was also a member of Ragairne, the band of Altan front-woman Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh.
In 1982, shortly before Clannad became famous for "Theme From Harry's Game", producer and manager Nicky Ryan left the group and Enya joined him to start her own solo career. Enya then formed her own recording studio, named "Aigle", which is French for "Eagle".
1984-1987: Career beginnings, The Frog Prince, and The Celts
Enya recorded two solo instrumental pieces called "An Ghaoth Ón Ghrian" (Irish for "The Solar Wind") and "Miss Clare Remembers" that were released on the 1984 album Touch Travel. She was first credited as Enya (as opposed to Eithne) for writing some of the music for the 1984 movie The Frog Prince, which was released on a soundtrack album of the same title. Another early appearance on record followed in 1987, where Enya provided spoken (not sung) vocals on Sinéad O'Connor's debut album, The Lion and the Cobra. The title of the album is a partial English translation of Enya's Irish reading of Psalms 91:13 (KJV: "Thou shalt tread on the lion and the adder...") in the song "Never Get Old".
Enya was contracted to provide music for the soundtrack of the 1986 BBC television documentary The Celts. The music she produced was featured on her first solo album, Enya (1987), but it attracted little attention at the time. The B-Side single "Eclipse" is actually a reversed and modified version of Enya's song "Deireadh An Tuath", from this 1987 album Enya. The song "Boadicea", also from this album, would later be sampled by The Fugees on their single "Ready or Not" (1996), causing a brief stir because the group neither sought permission from Enya nor gave her credit initially, and by Mario Winans, who did give her credit (the Winans track, "I Don't Wanna Know" which features a rap by P. Diddy and is officially credited to all three artists, became Enya's highest charting single in the U.S., when it peaked at #2 on the Hot 100 in 2004).
1988-1999: International breakthrough; Watermark, Shepherd Moons and The Memory of Trees
Enya achieved a breakthrough in her career in 1988 with the album Watermark, which featured the hit song "Orinoco Flow" (sometimes incorrectly known as "Sail Away"). "Orinoco Flow", featuring Jay Tyree, reported to be named after Orinoco Studios (now Miloco Studios), where it was conceived, topped the charts in the United Kingdom, peaked at number 2 in Germany and the Watermark album sold eleven million copies.
Three years later, she followed with another hit album, Shepherd Moons, which sold twelve million copies and earned Enya her first Grammy Award. The songs "On Your Shore" and "Exile" (from Watermark) and "Epona" (from Enya) were featured in the 1991 film L.A. Story. "Ebudae" was also featured on the soundtrack to the Robin Williams film Toys, while the 1990 film Green Card had "River", "Watermark", and "Storms In Africa". "Book Of Days" was featured prominently in the movie Far and Away, with an English-lyric version created for the film then replacing the old Gaelic-language version on all pressings of the Shepherd Moons album from 1993 onwards. In 1993, her recording of "Marble Halls" from Shepherd Moons was featured in the Martin Scorsese film, The Age of Innocence.
In 1992, a re-mastered version of the Enya album was released as The Celts including a longer, modified version of "Portrait", which was re-named as "Portrait (Out of the Blue)". Four years after Shepherd Moons, she released The Memory of Trees (1995), another Top Five success in both the UK and Germany, as well as her first Top 10 album in the U.S. Singles released from the album were "Anywhere Is" and "On My Way Home".
In 1997, Enya released her greatest hits collection, Paint The Sky With Stars: The Best of Enya, again a Top Five smash in the UK and Germany, which featured two new songs: "Paint the Sky With Stars" and "Only If..."; "Only If..." later became a single. ("Only If You Want To", is an early version of "Only If...". It appears on a promotional Japanese CD called, The Best of Enya, and does not include the French lyrics.) She was offered the chance to compose the score for James Cameron's 1997 film Titanic, but declined. A 1989 recording of Enya singing an Irish language version of "Silent Night" ("Oíche Chiúin") has been reissued over the years, including The Christmas EP (which otherwise contained several non-holiday related previously issued recordings by Enya) and the 1997 edition of the charity album A Very Special Christmas.
Ansett Australia extensively used "Storms in Africa" for promotional purposes when the airline re-branded itself in the 1990s. The 1992 film Sleepwalkers features "Boadicea" as the film's signature tune.
2000-2004: A Day Without Rain and The Lord of The Rings
Following a five-year break, Enya released the album A Day Without Rain in 2000, featuring 37 minutes of new material (34 minutes on the U.S. version). The album is Enya's most successful to date, peaking at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. The first single, "Only Time", was used in the film Sweet November and received U.S. radio airplay in late 2000. In May 2001, NBC began using "Only Time" to accompany commercials for their television series Friends, which helped the song get airplay on top-40 radio.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, "Only Time" was used as a soundtrack in many radio and television reports about the attacks. Enya released a special edition of the song, and a maxi single was issued on 20 November 2001 featuring a pop mix, with proceeds donated to the families of victims. "Only Time" peaked at number 10 on the U.S. Hot 100, number 12 on the Pop Chart and hit number one on the Adult Contemporary and Hot Adult Contemporary charts. In Germany, "Only Time" re-entered the German single charts at number 1 and the album A Day Without Rain reached number one some weeks later.
Enya won the Echo Award for best selling international single in Germany of 2001, and received a nomination for best selling album.
In 2001, Enya recorded "May It Be", which was featured in the first installment of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Fellowship of the Ring, and was her second consecutive single to enter the German charts at number one. The video features scenes from the Peter Jackson film.VH1.com -
Enya, self-admittedly, composes music slowly. A new song called "Sumiregusa" ("Wild Violet") was based on a Japanese poem by Roma Ryan. In September 2004, the song was used in Japan as part of an advertising campaign for Panasonic. Warner Music Japan stated that Enya's next album was scheduled for release in Japan in mid-November. Enya issued a press release on her official Web site on 19 September stating that this was a mistake and no new album was immediately forthcoming.
2005-present: Amarantine, And Winter Came and The Very Best of Enya
In November 2005, a new album, entitled Amarantine, was released. It reached the Top 10 in both the UK and the U.S., and peaked at number 3 in Germany. The album won the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album for 2007, Enya's fourth.
In 2006, Enya released several Christmas-themed CDs with newly recorded material. On 10 October 2006, Sounds of the Season: The Enya Holiday Collection was released containing six songs: the previously released "Oíche Chiúin" (a.k.a. "Silent Night") and "Amid the Falling Snow", new recordings of the standards "Adeste Fideles" (a.k.a. "Oh Come All Ye Faithful") and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" as well as two original songs, "Christmas Secrets" and "The Magic of the Night". This CD was released only in the United States in an exclusive partnership with the NBC television network and the Target department store chain. Enya was awarded the World's Best-Selling Irish Act award at the World Music Awards in London on 19 November 2006.
In late November, two new editions of Amarantine were released. In the UK it was reissued as Christmas Edit: Amarantine with a second disc containing the four new Christmas songs previously issued on Sounds of the Season (the original album already had "Amid the Falling Snow" while "Oíche Chiúin" is a recording dating back to 1988, which had already been featured on numerous collections). The U.S. received a special version of this release (Amarantine - Deluxe Collector's Edition), which also included three postcards and a copy of Roma Ryan's book Water Shows the Hidden Heart, which is referenced on the original album. Canadian fans could choose from the Special Christmas Edition of Amarantine or an EP entitled Christmas Secrets, which contained only the four new songs.
By mid-2007, Enya claimed to have sold 80 million albums. An American businessperson has coined the phrase "enyanomics" to explain Enya's ability to sell millions of records without giving any live performances.
On 29 June 2007, Enya received an honorary doctorate from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Shortly after, on 10 July 2007, Enya received a second honorary doctorate from the University of Ulster.
In March 2009, Warner Music Japan released Enya's first 4 albums in a new format, called SHM-CD. On 23 November 2009, Enya released a new album called The Very Best of Enya. It includes most of her hits from 1988 to 2008. In 2010, singer Rihanna sampled Enya's song "One By One" on a song from her new album Loud.http
Musical style and other projects
As a musical group, Enya represents a partnership between three people: Enya herself, who composes and performs the music; Nicky Ryan, who produces the albums; and Roma Ryan, who writes the lyrics in various languages, except Gaelic, in which Enya will render the lyrics herself. Enya performs all percussion, instruments, and vocals in her pieces unless specified. Although there are certain pieces where acoustic instruments are featured, almost all sounds of her pieces are created by a synthesiser. Her trademark sound is achieved by layering her voice as many as 80 times.
Her signature sound uses simple arrangements with extensive multi-tracking vocals. The vocals are each performed individually, and are layered together to form a virtual choir, although all the voices are Enya herself. In "Cursum Perficio" of the album Watermark, Enya reaches a C an octave below middle C. Later in the piece, she sings a high A-flat above the treble clef.BBC.co.uk - BBC.co.uk - Enya's vocal range is mezzo-soprano.
On the album Amarantine, Enya sings in Japanese and Loxian, a language invented by Roma Ryan. The vocabulary is formed by Enya singing the notes to which Roma provides the phonetic writing. There is no official syntax for Loxian. While most of her songs are sung in English, some of Enya's songs are sung entirely in Irish or Latin. Enya has also sung songs written entirely or partially in Welsh, Spanish, French, and even languages created by J. R. R. Tolkien. Enya has performed several songs relating to J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, including 1991's "Lothlórien" (instrumental), and 2001's "May It Be" (sung in English and Quenya), and "Aníron" (in Sindarin)—the latter two, which she composed, appearing in Peter Jackson's movie The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and its soundtrack album. "May It Be" was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Enyas performances are "semi-live", using playback music and singing. She has given live performances on various television shows, events and ceremonies (her most recent appearance was in Gaoth Dobhair in the summer of 2005, which coincided with a tribute event to the Brennan family that took place in Letterkenny), but she has yet to do a concert.
She does not classify her music as belonging to the New Age genre. When asked what genre she would classify her music as belonging to, she would reply, "Enya".
:This is only a partial listing of albums produced by Enya. For a full listing of albums, singles and chart positions see Enya discography.
*1991: Shepherd Moons
*1995: The Memory of Trees
*2000: A Day Without Rain
*2008: And Winter Came...
; Compilation albums
*1992: The Celts (Enya re-release)
*1997: Paint the Sky with Stars: The Best of Enya
*2009: The Very Best of Enya
In 2000, Warner Music released Enya: The Video Collection on DVD in Europe, South Africa and Asia, collecting all her videos from "Orinoco Flow" up to and including "Wild Child", except for the video from "Book of Days", which was replaced by a live TV performance due to licensing complications relating to the video's use of footage from the film Far and Away. This release was a successor to an earlier collection of videos entitled Moonshadows, which was released on VHS and laserdisc in 1992. The DVD release also included interviews and features on the making of two videos.
A North American (Region 1) release of the Video Collection DVD was announced on several occasions during 2000-2001, but it did not occur; the reason for which has never been officially stated. At one point it was announced that the release had been delayed in order to allow the inclusion of the video for "May it Be", while the (now defunct) fan sites reported that a dispute over the sound quality of the release led to it being withdrawn.
Bootleg copies from Asia have circulated at the retail level in some parts of Region 1 since 2000. As late as 2005 online retailers such as Amazon.com continued to list the DVD as "coming soon".
In November 2009, the deluxe version of the compilation release The Very Best of Enya included a DVD bonus disc containing most (but not all) of the music videos from the 2001 release, along with the documentaries from that release, and videos from Enya's post-2001 albums. This time the release of the DVD (formatted as Region 0) included North America.
As a member of her family's band Clannad, Enya formed a friendship with producer/manager Nicky Ryan. After working with Ryan for seven years, Clannad began looking for another producer. Differences in opinion about the future marketing of the band resulted in an acrimonious split among the group, causing Ryan and Enya to part company with Clannad to pursue a solo career. Following the split, Enya moved in with Nicky and Roma Ryan and constructed a small studio in a shed. Enya began giving piano lessons to earn some income, while the Ryans waited for inspiration to strike. Eventually a call from the BBC resulted in a commission to score music for The Celts television documentary series, and larger success slowly followed.
Beginning with Watermark, Enya began to attract the attention of stalkers, several of whom succeeded in breaking into her castle and attacking some of the staff. As a result, Enya spent an estimated €250,000 on security measures for her home, Manderley Castle in Killiney, County Dublin (named after Maxim de Winter's house in her favourite book and black and white movie, Rebecca). In 1996, a man, who had been seen in Dublin wearing her photograph around his neck, stabbed himself after being ejected from her parents' pub in Gweedore, County Donegal.
In 2006, Enya made it to the number three spot in the ranks of wealthy Irish entertainers with an estimated fortune of €109 million (i.e., £75 million or US$165 million). This was enough to take her to number 95 in the Sunday Times Rich List 2006 of the 250 Wealthiest Irish People. Times Online article - not found on 14 February 2007
While some critics have labeled her music as a fusion of "Celtic new age" and "world music," Enya believes this is because they are not familiar with her background. "My influences are with Irish music, church music and classical music," she says in a 1997 interview. "When I was growing up, I was listening to quite a lot of diverse music, and I was lucky that it wasn't just one particular type of music." Enya was raised Catholic and her faith continues to inspire her music. "It's difficult when you've been brought up Catholic," Enya says, "to turn completely away from it. What I found in my twenties was I got more involved with the spiritual side of it. I've been known to go to church when there's nobody else there. It's very therapeutic when it's quite empty. It's so hard in a moment of despair not to say a prayer. Instead of abandoning (Catholicism), which is impossible to do, I kind of tried to turn it around and make it work for me. There is this calmness that is absolutely wonderful." In 2000, she further explains how she makes Catholicism work for her: "I consider myself to be a spiritual person, not necessarily a religious one, although I have to say that one of the highlights of my career was when I performed at the Vatican for the Pope and had an audience with him. My core beliefs would revolve around the idea that we should live to the best of our abilities -- we should live and let live."
In addition to performing for the Pope, the singer participated in a live broadcast on British television for Christmas Eve in 1997, before she flew home to County Donegal to join her family at midnight Mass. She still sings in her mother's choir every Christmas at midnight Mass, at St. Mary's Church.
Enya loves cats. In an interview published in 1988, when asked about pets, she replied: "I've got a cat. I love cats; at one stage I had twelve. It was just bliss. They'd all lie around in the sun and then come up and climb around my neck."Number One magazine, 2 November 1988. Her favourite classical composer is Sergei Rachmaninoff. Her hobbies include watching romantic black and white films, collecting artwork, reading, and watercolour painting. To this day, Enya's father runs Leo's Tavern; a pub in Meenaleck, West Donegal, where she and her siblings launched their careers. Thousands of fans visit the pub hoping to meet her, but she rarely makes an appearance there. She only visits her family, who still live in Gweedore, for Christmas and her birthday. She lives in a castle mansion in Killiney, South Dublin.
The following is a list of music videos that were released by Enya by year order:
* Trains And Winter Rains (2008)
* It's In The Rain (2006)
* Amarantine (2005)
* Wild Child (2002)
* May It Be (2001)
* Only Time (2000)
* Only If (1997)
* On My Way Home (1996)
* Anywhere Is (1996)
* Book Of Days (1994)
* The Celts (1992)
* Caribbean Blue (1991)
* How Can I Keep From Singing? (1991)
* Exile (1990)
* Evening Falls (1989)
* Storms In Africa (1989)
* Orinoco Flow (1988)
* I Want Tomorrow (1987)
* Aldebaran (1987)
Enya has won four Grammy Awards for Best New Age Album to date:
#Grammy Awards of 1993, Best New Age Album for Shepherd Moons
#Grammy Awards of 1997, Best New Age Album for The Memory of Trees
#Grammy Awards of 2002, Best New Age Album for A Day Without Rain
#Grammy Awards of 2007, Best New Age Album for Amarantine
Also, "May It Be" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song at the 2002 ceremonies, but it lost to Randy Newman's "If I Didn't Have You" from Monsters, Inc.
*List of best-selling music artists
ReferencesThis text has been derived from Enya on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0