Orinoco Flow (Sail Away) – Enya

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………………on October 29th of 1988 the beautiful haunting ballad “Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)” by Enya tops the UK Pop Chart. This was Enya’s first hit. It got a lot of exposure and was released as a single after getting airplay on The Steve Wright Show on BBC Radio One in the UK. Enya went on to become one of the best-selling female singers in the world and Ireland’s best selling solo artist. The Orinoco River flows across South America. It is about 1,300 miles long and goes through parts of Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil. The song’s title refers to Orinoco Studios in London, where this and the rest of the Watermark album was recorded. It is not known if it was a dual reference to the South American river as well. The lyricist on this track was Roma Ryan, the wife of the song’s producer Nicky Ryan. In 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, Ryan said: “Orinoco Flow was a very difficult song to work on, because we had it shelved a few times. We would work on it for a while, leave it, then go back to it again, but in the end we said ‘This is good.’ All the time it was an album track and only at the very end was it decided it might be good as a single.” The video was an extension of the Watermark album sleeve. Enya commented (also in 1000 UK #1 Hits), “We were so happy with the cover which was basically a picture of me, but there layers and layers of beautiful imagery revolving around me that were hand painted on, and this is what we achieved with the video.” The song reached #24 in the US.