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Return to Innocence

"Return to Innocence" is a song by Romanian-German musical group Enigma. It was released on January 4, 1994 as the lead single from their second album, The Cross of Changes.

"Return to Innocence"
Enigma Return to Innocence single cover.jpg
Single by Enigma
from the album The Cross of Changes
Released4 January 1994
FormatCD, cassette, 12" (30 cm)
Recorded1993 A.R.T. Studios, Ibiza
GenreNew-age, worldbeat
LabelVirgin / EMI
Songwriter(s)Michael Cretu, Kuo Ying-nan, Kuo Hsiu-chu, John Bonham
Producer(s)Michael Cretu
Enigma singles chronology
"Carly's Song"
"Return to Innocence"
"The Eyes of Truth"
Music video
"Return to Innocence" on YouTube

It became one of the project's most popular international singles, reaching number one in over 10 countries (including Greece, Norway, Sweden and Ireland), number three on the UK Singles Chart, the top five in Austria, Canada,[1] Germany, Iceland, New Zealand, Netherlands, Switzerland and South Africa. It reached the top 20 in Italy and France. It was also the project's biggest hit in America, reaching number two on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart, number four on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number six on the US Top 40 Mainstream.[2]



The song's melodic and talking vocals in English are provided by Angel X (Andreas Harde), and a short talking vocal by Sandra ("That's not the beginning of the end, that's the return to yourself, the return to innocence"), while an Amis people chant is repeated, which opens the song. Difang and Igay Duana, from the Amis, were in a cultural exchange program in Paris in 1988 when their performance of the song was recorded by the Maison des Cultures du Monde and later distributed on CD. The producer of Enigma, Michael Cretu, later obtained the CD and proceeded to sample it. In addition, the drum beat of the song was sampled from the Led Zeppelin song "When the Levee Breaks", played by John Bonham.[3]

The song was used to promote several types of media in the mid-1990s, including film and TV commercials. In autumn 1994, the song was featured in an episode of the TV show My So-Called Life. In 1995, the song was used as the closing theme in Disney's live-action film Man of the House, as well as in the opening and closing of an Outer Limits episode. In 1996, the song was further popularised when it was used in a television advertisement to promote the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Julien Temple directed the video, which depicts a man's life in reverse, starting with him dying and ending with his baptism as a baby. (See also List of Enigma videos#The Cross of Changes).

Legal disputeEdit

In March 1998, Difang and Igay Duana sued Cretu, Virgin Records, and a number of recording companies for unauthorised usage of their song without credit.[4][5] The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money and all further releases of the song were credited (including royalties) to the Duanas (aka the Kuos -- their Chinese name).[6] Cretu has stated that he had been led to believe that the recording was in the public domain and that he did not intentionally violate the Kuos' copyright.[7]

Track listingEdit

4-track CD single

  1. Radio Edit – 4:03
  2. Long & Alive Version (remixed by Curly M.C. and Jens Gad) – 7:07
  3. 380 Midnight Mix (remixed by Jens Gad) – 5:55
  4. Short Radio Edit – 3:01

5-track CD single

  1. Radio Edit – 4:03
  2. Long & Alive Version (remixed by Curly M.C. and Jens Gad) – 7:07
  3. 380 Midnight Mix (remixed by Jens Gad) – 5:55
  4. Short Radio Edit – 3:01
  5. "Sadeness (Part I)" (Radio Edit) – 4:17

Charts and certificationsEdit


  1. ^ Canadian RPM Singles Chart [1] (Week of April 11, 1994)
  2. ^ Enigma Album & Song Chart History | Retrieved October 25, 2009.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Channel News Asia (1998-03-28). "Taiwan Aborigines Sue Enigma, Music Companies". Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved 2017-02-18.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). Channel News Asia.
  5. ^ Craig Rosen (1999-03-04). Enigma Sued By Aboriginal Couple Over Song Rights. LAUNCHcast.
  6. ^ Richard F. Roper (1999-06-23). Taiwanese Settle Lawsuit Claiming Their Original Composition Was Stolen; They Will Now Set Up Foundation. Business Wire.
  7. ^ RTI Article (archived), EnigmaLair,
  8. ^ " – Enigma – Return to Innocence". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  9. ^ " – Enigma – Return to Innocence" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  10. ^ " – Enigma – Return to Innocence" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  11. ^ Canada peak
  12. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  13. ^ " – Enigma – Return to Innocence" (in French). Les classement single.
  14. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (17.02.1994 - 23.02.1994)" (PDF). Dagblaðið Vísir - Tónlist. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
  15. ^ "Irish Singles Chart – Search for song". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  16. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: E". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  17. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Enigma" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  18. ^ " – Enigma – Return to Innocence" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  19. ^ " – Enigma – Return to Innocence". Top 40 Singles.
  20. ^ " – Enigma – Return to Innocence". VG-lista.
  21. ^ " – Enigma – Return to Innocence". Singles Top 100.
  22. ^ " – Enigma – Return to Innocence". Swiss Singles Chart.
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Adult Contemporary Chart - Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  25. ^ "RPM 100 Hit Tracks of 1994". RPM. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  26. ^ "End of Year Charts 1994". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  27. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1994". Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  28. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Enigma; 'Return to Innocence')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  29. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway.
  30. ^ "British single certifications – Enigma – Return to Innocence". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Return to Innocence in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  31. ^ "American single certifications – Enigma – Return to Innocence". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  32. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1994". Billboard. BPI Communications. 107 (3): 57. January 21, 1995. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 5, 2015.

External linksEdit