7_Songs: Eurythmics

Born out of the ashes of their first band the Tourists, Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart soon went on to explore new grounds with music which laid the foundation for Eurythmics. With their creative rebirth however the success was not instant, moreover with the release of their debut album, In the Garden, Dave and Annie used the opportunities to transform their post break up emotions into sounds and experimented with new instruments and sound patterns.

With the release of the single “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” the international breakthrough was kicking in and Eurythmics were among the top selling artists in the world. Where their music was not striking enough, their visual image was pretty much eye-catching and the music video revolution and in particular Annie Lennox's sharp looks and transformations certainly contributed to the overall popularity of the duo. Certainly her most authentic role on display was the gender bending and androgyny image which made her iconic. But, this was only a start and throughout their career she continued to transform herself and that has certainly been a roller-coaster ride of roles, characters, dresses and a real wig parade. She was part drag king, part drag queen and definitely a unique artist. Not to underestimate Dave Stewart contribution, he jumped in and out of roles too, but he was the man behind the music and the Eurythmics' sound engineer.

With the years passing, Eurythmic's music also changed, adopting new instruments and music styles and also becoming more a band profile, most notably with the release of their albums Be Yourself Tonight and Revenge. By the end of the decade, it seemed that the duo was exhausted with ideas by having released 8 studio albums in the 80's and it seems as they needed some space and time apart.
In the early 90's, both felt like going for their own music projects; Annie Lennox pursued a successful solo career and released her debut album Diva in 1992 while Dave Stewart continued to work as an established producer, not only in the domain of music, but also Film and television. Eurythmics however never officially split and in 1999 they reunited for one final album called Peace and went on a tour to promote it.

        Image courtesy of zimbio.com
Overall Eurythmics released eight studio albums, 33 singles and 37 videos and it is estimated that the band sold around 75 Million records worldwide. The duo have won an MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist in 1984, the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1987, the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music in 1999, and in 2005 were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame. 
Below is the selection of 7 tracks, by personal preference with the aim to encompass the whole artist career.

Never Gonna Cry Again
“Never Gonna Cry Again” comes from the highly experimental period when the duo was still under the influence of their former band, the Tourists. The song was released in May 1981 and it was taken from their debut album In the Garden. This album was produced by Conny Plank and this certainly had contributed to the overall atmosphere on the record. Unlike the commercial sound we would hear in the years to come, this was art pop, drenched in synths and garnished with dreamy, ethereal vocals. It even included rare moments where Lennox was playing flute.“Never Gonna Cry Again” did not reach a wider audience and the video for the song was never commercially available, but it remains as one of the finest Eurythmic's releases.

Love is a Stranger 
“Love is a Danger” was the fifth single release for Eurythmics and the first one that was taken from the second album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These). The song was not a success upon the initial release, but after “Sweet Dreams..” became an international hit, the duo decided to re-release it. In this danger of obsession episode, Lennox androgynous image and brilliant theatrics came out for the first time in this video causing a slight controversy in the USA. The song itself was a dark synth enchantment, intense enough to capture the essence and coldness of the emotional heart break the duo was still going through after the early 80’s breakup.

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These) 
In 1983, Eurythmics released their most successful single to date which became an international hit everywhere in the world. Musically the song was very addictive with the booming synth lead and catchy tense chorus whose lyrics were also written after Dave and Annie’s breakup. As innovative as it was on the musical end, Eurythmics visual image and in particular that of Annie Lennox caused stir with her androgynous visual image, close-cropped, orange hair dressed in man’s suit. And this was not the only weird thing about the music video. “Sweet Dreams..” went three times Platinum and three times Gold and is still pretty much appreciated by the music community and it is certainly Eurythmics’ signature song.

Who’s That Girl 
After the success of “Sweet Dreams” Eurythmics were on a roll, and they continued to enjoy their momentum with the smoky, icy and synth single “Who’s That Girl” taken from their third album The Touch. This music video saw Lennox's appearing as nightclub singer with a whole variety of guest stars including Cheryl Baker and Jay Aston of Bucks Fizz, Kiki Dee, Hazel O'Connor, Kate Garner of Haysi Fantayzee, the gender-bending pop star Marilyn and all members of Bananarama including Dave Stewart’s future wife Siobhan Fahey. The song became a huge hit both in Europe and the USA. 

Thorn in My Side 
Towards the second half of the decade Eurythmics moved more towards band style and AOR pop/rock sound compared to earlier synthopop song arrangements. “Thorn in My Side” was just one example of this change in sound and the song was strongly affected by Annie Lennox divorce. It was released in 1986 and it was taken from their fifth studio album Revenge. “Thorn in My Side” reached several top 10 charts around Europe and the Top 10 in the UK and Ireland.

Beethoven (I Love to Listen to) 
After the commercial success of the previous two albums, the duo tried to return to their experimental roots releasing an album whose concept was based on synths and sample sounds combined with Lennox’ vocals. The music video is one of the best Eurythmics have recorded and it features a middle class housewife who displays characteristics of dissociative identity disorder or split personalities eventually turning into overly sexual vixen towards the end of the video. The video itself was recorded by Sophie Miller and all videos from the album Revenge will run this concept

I’ve Got a Life 
This is so far the last official release by Eurythmics which was recorded in 2000 for their second best of package Ultimate Collection. It is an electro dance track which did well on the US dance charts. Yet again we see Annie Lennox’s image in a man's suit which in a way is homage to the image that made them popular and their biggest hit “Sweet Dream (Are Made of this)”. Furthermore we see Lennox and Stewart performing the song in front of many television screens showing scenes from videos spanning throughout their Eurythmics career. 

                                                   Singles cover photos courtesy of discogs.com

For the complete Eurythmics discography, as documented in music videos, please check the following the link below.