The Cross of Changes (Press Release)

Virgin Germany 1993

"Old rules and habits have to be rejected and dismissed so that something new can be created" states Michael Cretu and thus created the project Enigma at the end of 1990. The Gregorian chants combined with dance rhythms created a wave of enthusiasm that swept everybody away: Bombay fortune tellers, London DJ's, Bangkok market tenders and Beverly Hills doctors, lawyers and attorneys all of them found their common ground in the music of Enigma.

Enigma (derived from Greek) is a multi-cultural phenomenon: people with different cultural assets, different beliefs and convictions and different complexions are rivetted and fascinated by Enigma alike. The secret of Enigma's magic is the dominating groove, the meditative repetition and the certainty that everything will dissolve in perfect harmony after the mounting tension.

Enigma is a completely new collage of sounds, rhythm and feeling for time: it is musical work with hardly anything in common with standard songs and their formats. Michael Cretu, who loved Bruckner's late Romanticism and who wanted to be a concert pianist, created a mile- stone of music history. Michael openly remarks: "I started writing hits the day I sold my piano".

Countless plagiarisms emerged over night, the typical sound of the Enigma flute was used in several hundred other music productions and almost every sequence of MCMXC a.D. was used in TV and movie productions. It is rather funny that the world-wide sales of Gregorian chants were boosted by Enigma's success and this reflects the tremendous impact that Enigma had. More than 12 million Enigma CDs were sold world-wide. MCMXC a.D. was awarded with gold, or respectively, platinum in 25 countries. MCMXC a.D. has been in the Billboard charts since 2.3.1991 - longer than any other German album. Michael Cretu was the most successful Virgin artist in 1991 and 1992.

Film producer Robert Evans asked Michael to write the title song for the motion picture Sliver featuring Sharon Stone. Michael wrote and arranged Carly's Song and Carly's Loneliness for the movie.

Despite all expectations, Michael took exactly 3 years to produce The Cross of Changes. Long before the last track was recorded, the pre-orders amounted to more than 1.4 million units. Michael wasn't going to be pressured: "Music is part of my soul - and this ultimately decides everything".

Consequently The Cross Of Changes shows many autobiographic traits and incorporates a lot of personal experience that Michael has made in those past three years since the incredible success of MCMXC a.D.. The Cross Of Changes is a musical step forward but it nevertheless incorporates all of the instinctive elements that MCMXC a.D. does but in a completely new guise.

Michael Cretu

1957

Born on May 18, 1957, in Bucharest.

1965

Lyzeum No. 2 in Bucharest, a college for young and very gifted musical talents. Main subject: Piano.

1968

Five months of study in Paris.

1975

Cretu moves to Bad Homburg and is successfully admitted to the Academy of Music in Frankfurt. Prof. Philipp Mohler, Head of Academy, is aware of Michael Cretu's extraordinary talent and supports him.

1978

Michael Cretu passes his final exam with distinction. He starts working as a studio musician and also arranges songs.

1980

First gold award as producer.

1983

Cretu's first album on Virgin is released as Legionare.

1985

Michael achieves top chart positions as writer, producer and keyboarder of Moti Special. Michael produces Sandra's first international no. 1 hit single Maria Magdalena - a number 1 single in more than 30 countries around the globe. Michael has produced 6 albums and a Greatest Hits album for Sandra.

1987

Michael Cretu works as a producer for Mike Oldfield and achieves gold status.

1988

Sandra Lauer and Michael Cretu get married.

1990

Enigma - MCMXC a.D. is released on December 3, 1990.

1993

Michael writes and arranges Carly's Song and Carly's Loneliness for the movie Sliver. In December the second Enigma album The Cross Of Changes is released.

Enigma Chart Positions

                    sadeness              MCMXC a.D.
                    single                album

territory           chart positions/sales awards

argentina*          -/-                   7/gold
australia           2/gold                2/gold, platinum
austria             1/gold                3/gold
belgium             1/gold, platinum      3/gold, platinum
brazil              1/-                   1/gold
canada              1/-                   7/gold, platinum
denmark             1/-                   7/silver
finland             6/-                   3/-
france              1/gold                1/gold, double-platinum
germany             1/gold, platinum      3/gold, platinum
greece              1/-                   1/silver
holland             1/gold                5/gold, platinum
hong kong**         1/-                   -/-
ireland             1/-                   -/-
israel              1/-                   -/gold
italy               1/silver              5/gold, platinum
korea*              -/-                   1/gold
malaysia**          1/-                   -/gold, platinum
mexico*             -/-                   -/gold
new zealand         2/gold                2/gold
norway              1/-                   4/silver
portugal            1/-                   1/gold, platinum
singapore           1/-                   1/gold, double-platinum
south africa        1/-                   1/gold, platinum
spain               1/-                   1/gold, platinum
sweden              1/gold, platinum      3/gold
switzerland         1/-                   2/gold, double-platinum
taiwan*             -/-                   3/gold, platinum
thailand            4/-                   -/-
turkey*             -/-                   -/gold
uk                  1/gold                1/gold, platinum
usa                 5/gold, platinum      6/gold, platinum
venezuela           1/-                   1/-

*  no official sales charts for singles
** airplay charts for single

Original document courtesy of Virgin Norway, translated by Joar Grimstvedt.
Document from later date courtesy of Virgin Germany. Reproduced without permission for private and research purposes only.

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