Leonard Albert Kravitz, commonly known as Lenny Kravitz, is a famous American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer, born on May 26, 1964, in New York. He has touched on and produced broad genres of music, ranging from folk to rock and even pop.
Lenny is a four-time Grammy Award winner and has won the “Best Male Rock Vocal Performance” four years straight from 1999 to 2002. He has won many other awards, such as the American Music Awards and MTV Video Music Awards. He is at no. 93 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists”. Moreover, Lenny has sold over 40 million records worldwide and is one of the most respected rock musicians in the industry.
Popular Songs of Lenny Kravitz
1. “Always on the Run”
“Always on the Run” was released on March 8, 1991, as the first single from Lenny Kravitz’s second album called “Mama Said.” The song features a famous rock guitarist named Slash from the band “Guns N’ Roses.”
As Slash wrote the music, he originally wanted to release it on the “Guns N’ Roses” album, but since the former drummer of the band Steven Adler had difficulty in playing the song, he saved it for collaboration with Kravitz.
2. “It Ain’t Over ’til It’s Over.”
“It Ain’t Over ’til It’s Over” is the second single of the album, “Mama Called,” released on June 6, 1991. Lenny Kravitz wrote, recorded, and produced the track himself. It was a mid-tempo song that was musically inspired by Motown, Philly soul, and Earth, Wind & Fire. Lenny wrote this song while he was dealing with issues with his wife, Lisa Bonet.Depression got a hold of him as he was going through many things at that time and felt stuck. He wrote this song to try and fix his relationship with his wife.
3. “Flowers for Zoe”
Lenny wrote this song as a lullaby for his daughter, named Zoe. He used to put her to bed and would sing to her this melodious song every night till she fell asleep. The song was released in 1988, and the original title of the song was “Zoe’s Lullaby.”
“Flowers for Zoe” is a very special song to him because it was linked to her lovely daughter. The song tells the story of a girl’s home, resembling a fantasy world. A sort of imaginary world in which she would have everything and a place where she lives happily without worrying about anything.
4. “Are You Gonna Go My Way?”
Are You Gonna Go My Way?”was released in 1993 by Virgin Records as the first single from his album, which he named after the song. The song was co-written by Lenny Kravitz, with the help of Craig Ross. It is one of the most popular and inspirational songs of Lenny Kravitz, which became quite popular among rock musicians. Many covers and renditions of the song were covered by artists, such as Metallica and Tom Jones.
The idea for this song came to him suddenlywhen he was on stage, performing in front of a huge audience. He played the drums on the track, Craig played the guitar in the session, and Tony Breit was on the bass. The song got cut in five minutes, but still, it became popular on the radio.
5. “Believe in Me”
“Believe in Me” was released on April 23, 2002, by Virgin Records America as the third single from his sixth self-titled album, called “Lenny.” The song represents who he is and where he comes from, and also how he thinks.
Lenny Kravitz’s dad was Jewish, and his mother was Christian. It describes how Lenny was raised and brought up and what he learned from his mother’s side about his beliefs.
6. “Fly Away”
“Fly Away,” released on December 29, 1998, is the fourth single from his 5th studio album called “5”. The song peaked at number 12 on Billboard’s Top 100 and became one of the biggest hits, topping the charts of Iceland and the United Kingdom. It ranked in the top 10 in different countries, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand.
Lenny won a Grammy Award for this song, for the Best Male Rock Performance in the year 1999.
7. “American Woman”
American Woman was originally a song released by the band “The Guess Who.” Lenny performed his rendition of the song, which was released in June 1999 by Virgin Records as a single, which was later included in the album “5”.
There are many covers of the song, but Kravitz’s version of the song is a lot slower and softer than the original one. Kravitz didn’t perform a guitar solo in this song and made it sound more like the original version. The song reached number 49 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and earned 20th spot in Australia, Finland, and Iceland.
8. “Thinking of You”
“Thinking of you” was released on July 6, 1998, as a second single from Lenny’s album “5”. The song was dedicated to his mother, who died of cancer in 1995.
He wrote this song as he was going through hard times after the death of his mother. The song describes how it was like to see her mother in that condition and what she went through. It was not easy to write, but still, it was a beautiful tribute to her mother.
9. “Bank Robber Man”
“Bank Robber Man” was released in 2001 from his album “Lenny.” It is based on the story of a bank robbery. He relates a story that one day he went out on jogging and a nearby Bank of America got robbed and the people in that area said that it was a black guy in a T-shirt.
Lenny, present at the scene, being the black guy in a t-shirt, was jogging when police officers stopped him with a gun pointed at his head. He was racially profiled for something he didn’t do. A black woman who worked at the bank came out, and because she had seen the robber’s face, she confirmed that it wasn’t him, after which, they let him go.
He wrote this song because of this unexpected incident to highlight the persecutions faced by the black community. The song sends a strong message about racial discrimination and profiling that is happening in the US.
10. “A Long and Sad Goodbye”
A Long and Sad Goodbye was released in 2008 from Lenny Kravitz’s eighth studio album. It is a heartwarming tribute to his father. He wrote this song, portraying his relationship with his father, which was quite challenging for him. He wrote the song before he died.
Although he had no plans to publish it, after the death of his father, he felt the need for it. The song was Lenny’s way of expressing how much he looked up to his father and how saddened he was by the things he went through.
11. “Black and White America”
Black and White America was released in 2011 from his ninth studio album of the same name. The song talks about the racial injustice that is going on in America, referencing Martin Luther King Jr. and his famous speech about equality in America.
The song talks about the racial division between communities based on skin color, how the discrimination affects the people, and how we should understand that we are all equal, despite the color of the skin.
12. “Here to Love”
“Here to Love” was released in 2018 from his eleventh studio album called “Raise Vibration.” The lyrics of the song are about the rules of affection and how it can positively affect our lives.
The song is about his philosophy of love and how we can benefit from being compassionate. He believes that it is so powerful that it can replace the National Anthem as it tells you how to love and respect each other and how to live your life accordingly.
13. “Johnny Cash”
Johnny Cash was released in 2018 from his eleventh studio album “Raise Vibration.” He named this song after the late country singer Johnny Cash as a tribute to him out of love and admiration.
Kravitz recalls how he met Cash and his wife when he was living with Rick Rubin after receiving news of his mother’s death. The song was inspired by that memory, which he wanted to honor and cherish through this song.
We can conclude from the above that Lenny Kravitz is not only a very talented music artist, he is also socially active and advocates for compassion and peaceful co-existence. The music he produces reflects his own experiences of life and what he sees happening in the society.
We can observe a lot of empathy from his songs, as his music teaches us where we should change and how we should try to spread love and be compassionate with people.