Return To Innocence

Album: The Cross of Changes (1994)
Charted: 3 4

Songfacts®:

  • This was the lead single from The Cross of Changes, the second album from the electronica/new age music act Enigma. The song was an international hit, topping the charts in over 12 countries including Greece, Norway, Sweden and Ireland and reaching the Top 10 in many other territories.
  • The song was based on a native Taiwanese chant by a Taiwanese tribesman Kuo Ying-nan and his wife Kuo Hsiu-chu, who had recorded the track in Paris in 1988 during a cultural exchange. The sampled chanting was the subject of a series of lawsuits and the case was finally settled out of court in 1999 for an undisclosed amount of money. As a result the two Taiwanese Amis singers to this day receive 100% of the royalties for the song.
  • The song's drum beat was sampled from the Led Zeppelin song "When the Levee Breaks."
  • The song was used to promote several types of media in the mid 1990s, including being used in a television commercial to advertise the 1996 Summer Olympics.
  • This was used as the closing theme in Disney's live-action 1995 comedy movie Man of the House.
  • The music video, which was shot in Malaga, Spain, starts in black-and-white showing an old man dying. The clip then switches to color as his life is shown backwards and the clip ends with him being baptized as a baby. A white unicorn, representing innocence and purity, features several times throughout the visual, galloping in reverse.

Comments: 6

  • Willie Mai from TaiwanIt is an all-too-common story of stealing a great catchy tune and publishing it in a different part of the world with no credit to the original musicians. In this case, the artist was an indigenous Taiwanese couple, Difang and his wife Agay, who sang the Ami drinking song. They were never paid any royalties for the song, even after it was used as the 1996 Olympic Games theme song in Atlanta. In the late 90s, Enigma and the record companies were sued for stealing the hook to the song, and they were found guilty. They paid Difang some money in an out of court settlement under an agreement that there would be no punishment or further payment needed.
  • Lola from SpainI'm glad to know it is located in Malaga, because when I saw this video I was all the time thinking how similar was the landscape to my surroundings. Nevertheless I think it was located at some other place, because the snowy mountains can't be from Malaga, I dare say they're Sierra Nevada, in Granada.
  • Edmund from PhilippinesI’m curious to know the names of those actors, teens and kids who participated in the Return to Innocence music video and where are they now. I’m sure they’ll be happy to see the number of views, likes and comments on youtube. Definitely, the old man dying from the start is dead in real life.
  • Robert Heitner from 60423Its a joke the Singers of the Chant receive 100%, clearly a corrupted court. There are many parts of a song. Their was at most 1/5th of the song. Led Zeppelins beat was a bigger part and they didn't demand anything.
  • Chi Girl from NigeriaI always loved this song. Is it really possible that 100% of the royalties go to the Taiwanese guys even though the verses were original? The chorus was stolen.
  • Zabadak from London, EnglandThe video shows an old man dying then his life in reverse, to his childhood: hence, returning to innocence...
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