Posts Tagged ‘Enigma’


July 10, 2013

It’s rare we receive feedback about one of our jingles, even rarer that such feedback contains courtroom drama, 90s number one hits (in Norway and Greece), venomous centipedes and tragic death. But this email from Claire from Cork has it all:

In one of your bits in the middle of the podcast, Olly has recorded a piece which goes as follows:

“Hello I’m the monk out of 90s band Enigma.
Helen, answer me this.
What was that all about?”

I’ll tell you exactly what that was all about.
It was an Ami (indigenous peoples of Taiwan) traditional song.

In 1988, husband and wife duo Ying-nan Hsiu-Chu Kuo sang the song in Paris as part of a cultural exchange, where they were paid $15 a day. It was recorded by Maison des Cultures du Monde and later put on CD of ‘Taiwanese Aboriginal Songs’.

Then, Michael Cretu of Enigma fame got his grubbly little hands on it and began sampling – resulting in the classic ‘Return to Innocence’. The Kuos then took their asses to court along with EMI for violation of copyright.

They won the case which was then settled out of court in 1999 for an undisclosed amount. Cretu still maintains that he was of the impression that the song was part of the public domain.

Mr Kuo died in 2002 from a venomous centipede bite. Hsiu-Chu died a few months later.

All this drama, from a piece of elevator music.