'Sadeness' Tops on Euro Charts

Billboard January 26 1991

Dateline: London

One of the most bizarre and controversial music combinations of recent years has just become the No. 1 single in its seventh European country.

Sadeness by German session band Enigma has now topped the chart in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, and the U.K. However, its interweaving of traditional Gregorian religious chanting with an up-tempo beat and erotic sounds has not been to everybody's taste.

When the record was proclaimed single of the week by Dutch national radio network TROS, the station received three bomb threats from listeners said to be shocked by what they had heard. Another national broadcaster, KRO, which has a strong Roman Catholic background, refused to play Sadeness, saying it was "pure blasphemy."

The man behind the Enigma project is Rumanian-born Michael Cretu, who has a degree in music from the Frankfurt Music Conservatorium. He began producing records in 1981 and has worked successfully with German acts Peter Cornelius, Hubert Kah, and Moti Special, and as a solo artist.

"For me, Enigma represents a free creative field without any stylistic barriers," he says. "I do not plan to copy or ride a wave of prior success."

The single is slated for U.S. release next week on Charisma. Udo Lange, managing director of Virgin, Germany, which first released the record, says, "We realize the U.S. is an entirely different market, but feel confident that the record will appeal to the American public since the musical elements are so unique. Besides, we know the Americans have got taste."

Reproduced without permission from Billboard Magazine for private and research purposes only.