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Retro Top Ten: This week in 1988


Enya’s international career took flight with ‘Orinoco Flow’

Enya’s international career took flight with ‘Orinoco Flow’

Enya’s international career took flight with ‘Orinoco Flow’

'Orinoco Flow' is the song that provided Enya with a springboard to international fame and fortune. Released as the lead single from the Donegal singer's second solo album 'Watermark', it had a three-week run at the top of the UK singles chart and was a top thirty hit in the US.

Enya (Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin) began her musical journey in 1980 when she joined her siblings and uncles on Clannad as keyboard player and backing singer. She left to pursue a solo career two years later, taking with her Clannad manager and producer Nicky Ryan, and his wife Roma Ryan, as her lyricist.

1985 was a pivotal year: on the urging of Nicky, the name was changed from Eithne to Enya (to make it easier to pronounce), and Enya was commissioned to write music for the six-part BBC TV documentary series 'The Celts'. When a selection of that music was released in 1987 as Enya's debut album, it attracted the ear of Warner Music UK chairman Rob Dickins and a recording contract was duly offered and signed.

Clannad fan Dickins recognised Enya's talent but didn't foresee the commercial success. Famously, he said: 'Sometimes you sign an act to make money, and sometimes you sign an act to make music. This was clearly the latter ... I just wanted to be involved with this music.'

Credited as a producer on the Watermark album, he is referenced in the lyrics of 'Orinoco Flow', in the line 'We can steer, we can near, with Rob Dickins at the wheel'.

Enya's career took dramatic flight after the success of 'Orinoco Flow' and 'Watermark'.

The girl from Gweedore is now one of the best-selling music artists of all time with sales of 26.5 million albums in the United States alone, and an estimated 75 million records worldwide.

She is Ireland's bestselling solo artist and the country's second-bestselling artist after U2.

1 Orinoco Flow Enya

2 Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi Kylie Minogue

3 Girl You Know It's True Milli Vanilli

4 Stand Up For Your Love Rights Yazz

5 Kiss Art of Noise featuring Tom Jones

6 One Moment In Time Whitney Houston

7 We Call It Acieed D Mob featuring Gary Haisman

8 She Makes My Day Robert Palmer

9 Wee Rule Wee Papa Girl Rappers

10 A Little Respect Erasure

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