Annie Lennox – The Biography Reviews

Sunday Express 23 February 2003 - Top 5 Books On Music Makers

Despite their subject's almost obsessive privacy, the authors, who are both fans, present a detailed life story of the working-class girl from Aberdeen who became a pop legend. Ex-lovers, musicians, photographers, stylists, record company executives and producers help to present the full story from childhood to Eurythmics.

***** Extraordinary book!, September 4, 2001 
Reviewer: Damon Devine from Los Angeles, CA
This book is a MUST for anyone who has followed Annie Lennox throughout her entire career! With mind boggling research, some never before published photos and incredible insight, you find yourself unable to put it down. It leaves no question unanswered, and gives insight into this enigmatic woman, like no other biography has been able to. All holes in stories of the past are quickly filled in in this book. There are very intelligent commentaries on every song Annie has ever recorded, with and without Eurythmics. The authors talk to ex-lovers, friends and co-workers in Annie's life, and uncover literally everything you could want to know. Highly recommended.

***** Interesting Reading, July 31, 2001 
Reviewer: Madelaine Waters from New York 
I loved this book as it really captured Annie Lennox for me. She's such an extraordinary woman who on one hand likes to keep herself to herself and on the other writes all her experiences down in her songs. It's amazing that she's managed to juggle family and a pop career and I hope she makes another comeback soon!

***** What a woman, July 31, 2001 
Reviewer: Simon Ross from Boston
I'm a relatively new Annie Lennox fan and I really enjoyed this book. I disagree that this is just 'rehash' - as the authors couldn't speak to Annie (and let's face it, she's never going to write her own memoirs), they've put her quotes in context with the events and opinions and memories from other people who were there at the time. This is what most biographers do when the book isn't authorised. I think it's a really interesting read and certainly lets us get as close as we ever will. I also enjoyed the music and video breakdown - I never realised she wrote so much about her life in her songs.

*** Hit-and-miss July 1, 2001 
Reviewer: Little Ghost from Los Angeles, CA
As a longtime Annie Lennox fan, I concede that I already knew most of what this book "reveals" about her. And I praise the co-authors for being thorough. To their credit, they did uncover evidence of early demos and unreleased songs that had been held back from fans in the past.

This book is at its best during its analysis of Annie's music, covering everything from Annie's very first record with The Catch in 1977, through each and every Tourists and Eurythmics album in the late 1970's and 1980's, and all of Annie's 1990's output (both as a solo artist and with the recently-reunited Eurythmics). The authors break down each album song by song, and devote at least a paragraph to an analysis of each song -- in the order in which the songs appear on the album -- in terms of its musicality and its emotional impact on the listener. This is where the authors really shine.

Another one of this book's strengths is that the authors give A.L. fair treatment. A.L.'s legendary diva tantrums have been tabloid fodder for her entire career, but the authors of this book take care not to present the artist out of context; instead, they rather sympathetically explain Annie's side of each story while also allowing rebuttals from those who were on the receiving end. The authors interviewed several people close to Lennox. In particular, their interviews with Annie's ex-boyfriend Peter Ashworth were enlightening. These interview quotes provide the most original material in this book.

Non-fans (and possibly even lukewarm fans) will find a lot to enjoy in the book. To its credit, this book is the only one to cover the entire scope of Annie's life and career. While the flurry of mid-80's Eurythmics biographies provided much recyclable material throughout the early chapters of this book, the fact that few biographies appeared later means that the authors of this book had to forge ahead on their own to cover the more recent years of A.L.'s life and career. They write well... theirs is a light and breezy style occasionally dripping with dry British humour (read their description of the video for "Do You Want To Break Up?" in particular... they're not afraid to admit when the quality of Annie's work falls below her usual high standards). They manage to maintain an overall tone in the book that treats Annie Lennox respectfully. Even when talking about delicately sensitive matters like the death of Annie's son, or potentially tabloid-rich tales about her divorces, they maintain a non-sensationalistic approach.

Bottom line: this book covers it all, from Annie's birth in 1954 to the concerts she and Dave Stewart performed in the year 2000. But if you're an ardent fan, don't expect to find much new material here; instead enjoy the very full account of Annie's life and career pieced together in an unchallenging, familiar, and easy-to-digest format.

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