9 of Annie Lennox's best ever songs

18 April 2018, 16:25

Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox is one of Scotland's greatest pop exports, both as a solo artist and as part of Eurythmics.

She has sold over 80 million records worldwide, and has even earned the title of the "most successful female British artist in UK music history".

We've picked just a handful of her greatest songs that makes a perfect Annie Lennox beginners' guide.

1. 'Why'

This ballad was taken from her debut 1992 album Diva, and she later revealed that it was a personal song about going solo.

She wasn't sure that she could write songs by herself without David A Stewart, or what her next step will be. It took her about 10 minutes to write. "It's weird," she said, "Some songs are like that, while others are not." It won the 1992 Ivor Novello Award for 'Best Song Musically and Lyrically'.

2. 'Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)'

This Eurythmics track remains one of the most iconic synthpop tracks of its era. It was a huge hit worldwide, reaching number two in the UK and number one in the US.

According to Annie, the song is about the unhappy time she felt after the breakup of first band The Tourists. She said: "[It's] basically me saying: 'Look at the state of us. How can it get worse? I was feeling very vulnerable. The song was an expression of how I felt: hopeless and nihilistic'."

However, Stewart thought the lyrics were too depressing, and added the 'hold your head up, moving on' line to make it more uplifting.

3. 'No More 'I Love You's'

This was originally a track by The Lover Speaks in 1986. Annie ended up covering it on her covers album Medusa in 1995, reaching number two in the UK.

Asked why she chose to cover the song, she told The Independent: "When the song was released it made a mild murmur in the charts, but I don't think it ever really became a hit. There are quite a few songs floating around which should have touched the consciousness of the nation - they should have made their mark, and this is one of them.

"I thought, well, I might be sticking my neck out to do this, but I really wanted to give it another chance because it's a magnificent song. The lyrics are extraordinary, poetic and abstract - the perfect sort of vehicle for me."

4. 'Walking on Broken Glass'

Also taken from her debut album Diva, this was another top 20 hit in both the UK and US.

Its video was based on the 1988 movie Dangerous Liaisons, with elaborate costumes inspired by the film. Actor John Malkovich, who starred in the movie, also appeared in the video, along with Hugh Laurie.

5. 'There Must Be an Angel'

Eurythmics released this from their fifth album Be Yourself Tonight in 1985, reaching number one in the UK.

The song featured Stevie Wonder on the harmonica. When Annie and Dave went to Los Angeles to record the song, they weren't sure if or when Stevie would show up, as he had his own schedule.

"It was getting very late and we were getting pessimistic whether he'd even turn up at all," Annie told Q. "Finally he showed up, and he was really an adorable person. He had these braids on his hair with beautiful gold beads, and when he plays he shakes his head so the beads make a loud noise. The man is a supreme musician, worth waiting for."

6. 'Little Bird'

Taken from Annie's debut album Diva, this song reached number three in the UK.

Annie later performed this song during the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony in London in 2012, and it was also used in the movie Striptease starring Demi Moore.

7. 'Dark Road'

Annie released this as the first single from her 2007 album Songs of Mass Destruction.

It became the first single to have its video premiere on Amazon.com, signalling the start of a new streaming boom that would dominate a decade later.

8. 'Into the West'

Annie co-wrote this song with Lord of the Rings movie co-writer Fran Walsh and composer Howard Shore, for the soundtrack of Return of the King in 2003.

It appears during the end credits of the Oscar-winning film, and elements of the song appear throughout the movie.

9. 'Don't Let It Bring You Down'

Annie recorded this haunting cover of Neil Young's classic folk song for her covers album Medusa in 1995.

It was later used during the climax of the Oscar-winning 1999 movie American Beauty.