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Walking on Broken Glass

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"Walking on Broken Glass"
Walking on Broken Glass.jpg
Single by Annie Lennox
from the album Diva
Released22 August 1992
GenrePop, soul
  • 4:12 (album version)
  • 3:58 (single mix)
  • 3:36 (radio edit)
LabelBMG, Arista
Songwriter(s)Annie Lennox
Producer(s)Stephen Lipson
Annie Lennox singles chronology
"Walking on Broken Glass"
Music video
"Walking on Broken Glass" on YouTube

"Walking on Broken Glass" is a song written and performed by Scottish singer Annie Lennox, taken from her 1992 album, Diva. The song reached number one in Canada, number eight in the United Kingdom and Ireland and number 14 in the United States.

Critical reception[edit]

AllMusic editor Thom Jurek called it a "ubiquitous" hit.[1] Jennifer Bowles from Associated Press described the song as a "more upbeat, mocking tune".[2] Larry Flick from Billboard wrote that it is a "study in stylistic contrasts; retro-soul vocal musing glides atop a pristine, keyboard-and string-anchored modern-pop environment." He noted that it is a "sophisticated, complex respite from the color-by-numbers fare that crowds radio airwaves."[3] Stephanie Zacharek from Entertainment Weekly said that "the jaunty, Caribbean-flavored "Walking on Broken Glass" (faintly reminiscent of Eurythmics' "Right by Your Side") is laden with sharp-edged metaphors for broken love affairs."[4] HuffPost wrote that Lennox "rolls out its words Joan Armatrading-style, proclaiming, "Every one of us is made to suffer, every one of us is made to weep." Then, almost to prove the opposite point, she happily gavottes with the groove."[5] Los Angeles Times said it was "the highlight of this solo debut album and one of the best tunes she’s ever had."[6] Kjell Moe from Nordlys stated that the song has "clear Kate Bush-references".[7] Pop Rescue noted it as a "pretty catchy track", adding that Lennox' vocals and the backing vocals all "shine perfectly".[8]

Music video[edit]

Directed by Sophie Muller, the music video is based in part on the 1988 film Dangerous Liaisons, and on period films dealing with the late 18th century, such as Amadeus. John Malkovich, who starred in the former film, is joined by Hugh Laurie, in garb similar to the 18th century dress he wore to play Prince George, The Prince Regent from Blackadder the Third.[9]

A screenshot from the "Walking on Broken Glass" music video

The setting of the video is that of a salon evening at Prince George's Carlton House, and is meant to represent an assembly of nobles and notables for an evening of society, gambling and dancing, the highlight of which is the arrival and feting of the newlyweds, the groom is played by Malkovich.

Lennox's character is striking in her somewhat unusual dress (a royal red in an environment dominated by white, a stage costuming technique designed to draw significant attention to her), and in wearing a 'Turkish' headdress hat in an environment dominated by wigs of the period. Lennox's character displays significant pique, as she is emotionally wounded by the appearance of her former lover on the arm of his new bride.

Throughout the video, she tries to communicate the conflicting emotions of jealousy, continued desire, and anger towards this man who still clearly holds her heart. In the process, she spurns the previously welcome advances of the Prince Regent (Laurie), and repels him, to his embarrassment. Lennox's character consumes glass after glass of champagne and grows ever more agitated, until she finally throws herself at Malkovich's character, to the shock and amusement of the partygoers. Lennox's character, furious and realizing that she has made a fool of herself, flees the party, only to be swept into Malkovich's arms when she reaches the foot of the stairs.

Track listings[edit]

CD single

1."Walking on Broken Glass" (Single Version)4:03
2."It's Alright (Baby's Coming Back)"4:18
3."River Deep, Mountain High"3:33
4."Here Comes the Rain Again"4:44
5."Walking on Broken Glass"3:50

Tracks 2-5 were recorded for MTV Unplugged in July 1992.

UK CD single

1."Walking on Broken Glass" (Single Version) 4:03
2."Legend in My Living Room" 3:45
3."Don't Let Me Down"Lennon/McCartney*3:49
  • Non-album studio track


  • Engineer – Heff Moraes
  • Producer – Stephen Lipson
  • Written by – Annie Lennox

Charts and certifications[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Annie Lennox - The Annie Lennox Collection". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Post-Eurythmics Lennox solos as 'Diva'". Portsmouth Daily Times. 4 October 1992. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. 15 August 1992. p. 82. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Diva". Entertainment Weekly. 15 May 1992. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  5. ^ "HuffPost Reviews : The Annie Lennox Collection". HuffPost. 27 March 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  6. ^ "ANNIE LENNOX; "Diva"". Los Angeles Times. 24 May 1992. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  7. ^ Moe, Kjell (10 April 1992). "På egen hånd". Nordlys (in Norwegian). p. 31. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  8. ^ "REVIEW: "DIVA" BY ANNIE LENNOX (CD, 1992)". Pop Rescue. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  9. ^ Billboard 7 Dec 2002 Billboard. Retrieved 7 November 2011
  10. ^ Ryan Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  11. ^ " – Annie Lennox – Walking on Broken Glass" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 1863." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  13. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 1874." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  14. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  15. ^ " – Annie Lennox – Walking on Broken Glass". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  16. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Annie Lennox". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  17. ^ " – Annie Lennox – Walking on Broken Glass" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  18. ^ " – Annie Lennox – Walking on Broken Glass". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  19. ^ "Notowanie nr557" (in Polish). LP3. 23 October 1992. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  20. ^ " – Annie Lennox – Walking on Broken Glass". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  21. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  22. ^ "Annie Lennox Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  23. ^ "Annie Lennox Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  24. ^ "Annie Lennox Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  25. ^ "Annie Lennox Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  26. ^ "The RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1992" (PDF). RPM. Vol. 56 no. 25. 19 December 1992. p. 8. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  27. ^ "British single certifications – Annie Lennox – Walking on Broken Glass". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 26 April 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Walking on Broken Glass in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]

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