Can there be a more inappropriately titled album than Annie Lennox’s Medusa (1998)?
Medusa was, in Greek mythology, one of the three Gorgon sisters. A terrifying, winged creature with live poisonous snakes for hair, it was said that she turned anyone who looked upon her to stone. Unlike her two sisters, Stheno and Euryale, Medusa was not immortal and was slain by another mythical figure, the hero Perseus.
I suppose we could get all deep here and try to make something out of how Lennox might have been reflecting on no-one being perfect, following her first solo album, Diva (1992). But this feels a bit far fetched to me, so let’s just concentrate on Medusa‘s music.
The main part of the album is a set of cover-versions, some well known to me – such as the ubiquitous A Whiter Shade of Pale, but most not. Then there is a second half which is a recording of a one-off concert which Lennox performed in New York’s Central Park when the album was released. She did not tour to promote the album, so this was a special treat for a lucky few fans.
Overall, it is great to hear again Lennox’s high-quality, classy vocals. I was a big fan of the Eurythmics in the 1980s and we will get to their music a bit later on. With these tracks, meanwhile, I enjoyed the fresh renditions of Who’s That Girl and Here Comes the Rain Again. Other interesting tracks include Something So Right – a Paul Simon number, on which he performs with her.
This album was critically very badly received. But it has sold over 2 million copies – that’s ‘double-platinum’ status, pop-pickers! As for me, this is another album long-owned, and long-ignored for no good reason. I definitely have not been turned to stone having looked it out again – quite the opposite.
And talking of opposites, the next post will be about a type of music which is completely different to anything so far covered in this blog – can’t wait!