The Cross of Changes Album is by Enigma, the German musical project. Their second studio album was released on the 6th of December 1993 under the record labels Virgin worldwide and Charisma in the United States.
Enigma’s project leader, Michael Cretu, a Romanian-German musician and producer, wrote, recorded and produced music for The Cross of Changes album at his mansion’s private studio called A.R.T. Studios, located at Ibiza, Spain.
The second offering follows the unanticipated global success of Enigma’s first album, MCMXC a.D., released on the 10th of December 1990. Their first album peaked inside the Top Ten in ten countries and topped the UK Albums Chart.
The Cross of Changes album features samples from a diverse range of recording artists, including Vangelis, U2, A Positive Life and Kuo Ying-nan and Kuo Hsiu-chu. The album also uses vocal samples of Mongolian and Native American war chants.
Michael Cretu also borrowed from Led Zeppelin for the track ” I Love You … I’ll Kill You “, where he uses a sample from Led Zeppelin’s ” Battle of Evermore “, which featured on their 1971 untitled album, commonly known as Led Zeppelin IV.
Along with various samples, the album also features vocals from Andreas Harde, who is credited as Angel X, Louisa Stanley and Sandra Cretu, the German pop singer better known as Sandra. Once married to Michael Cretu, she also was the lead singer of the successful pop trio, Arabesque.
The Cross of Changes album gave Enigma their second successful release, selling over two million copies in the United States and eight million worldwide.
It has been certified 2x Platinum in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. In Norway, Germany and Switzerland it has been certified Platinum with Gold in France, the Netherlands, Austria and Sweden.
The lead single, ” Return to Innocence “, was released on the 4th of January 1994. The single features the English vocals of Angel X and Sandra, with sampled chants from Amis ( indigenous people who live along the east coast of Taiwan ) husband and wife Difang and Igay Duana.
They later sued Michael Cretu for unpaid royalties and songwriting credits, which was then settled out of court.
The drumbeat used on ” Return to Innocence ” was sampled from ” When the Levee Breaks “, a Led Zeppelin song from their Led Zeppelin IV album. The beat is credited to Led Zeppelin’s drummer John Bonham.
The original version of ” When the Levee Breaks ” was first recorded in 1929 by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie.
” Return to Innocence ” reached number four in the United States, three in the United Kingdom and topped the singles charts in Ireland, Norway and Sweden.
The Cross of Changes album became a commercially successful release for Enigma. In the United States, the album peaked at number nine on the 14th of May 1994 and spent sixty-three weeks on the Billboard 200. Other Billboard Chart positions were nine on the Top Album Sales and fourteen on the Catalog Albums Chart ( 1997 ).
In the United Kingdom, it entered the UK Albums Chart on the 19th of February 1994 at ninety-one, finally topping the chart for one week. The album spent nine weeks in the Top Ten and fifty-two weeks in the Top 100.
Enigma is a German musical project formed in 1990 by Michael Cretu, a Romanian-German musician and producer. At a young age, Michael began learning the piano with his teachers predicting he’d go on to become a concert pianist in adulthood.
In the 1970s Michael became interested in electronic music, exchanging piano keys for a synthesiser. During the next decade, he worked as a producer with many artists, including Sandra, the German pop singer and his wife at the time.
Michael also released records under his name with varying levels of success. After moving to the island of Ibiza with Sandra, he built a recording studio, and the idea for the new age project was born.
To date, Enigma’s Album releases are eight studio, one compilation, one remix and four box sets.
They have also released one Extended Play, twenty-four singles and five DVDs. Enigma has sales over 8.5 million certified albums in the United States. Their estimated sales worldwide are in the region of 70 million.
The project has accumulated over one hundred Gold and Platinum certifications and has received three Grammy nominations.
The Cross of Changes Album Track Listing:
1. Second Chapter
2. The Eyes of Truth
3. Return to Innocence
4. I Love You … I’ll Kill You
5. Silent Warrior
6. The Dream of the Dolphin
7. Age of Loneliness ( Carly’s Song )
8. Out from the Deep
9. The Cross of Changes