Eurythmics are a British musical duo, formed in 1980 by Scottish front woman Annie Lennox and English musician Dave Stewart. The pair have achieved significant global, commercial and critical success, selling 75 million records worldwide, winning numerous awards, and have undertaken several successful world tours. They are Britain's biggest selling duo, and are noted for their songs that showcase Lennox's powerful and expressive alto voice and Stewart's innovative production techniques where he has won many awards for best producer. They are also acclaimed for their promotional videos and visual presentation.
Their first album saw them work in Cologne with Conny Plank (who had produced the later Tourists sessions). This resulted in the album In the Garden, released in October 1981, which included contributions from Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit of Can, drummer Clem Burke of Blondie, Robert Görl of Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, and flutist Tim Wheater. The album mixed psychedelic, krautrock and electropop influences. It received an indifferent critical reception and bad sales. Two singles from the album also flopped, though "Never Gonna Cry Again" made the UK charts. Lennox and Stewart then activated their new Eurythmics mode of operation by touring the record as a duo, accompanied by backing tracks and electronics, carted around the country themselves in a horse-box.
During 1982, the duo retreated to Chalk Farm in London, and used a bank loan to establish a small 8-track studio above a picture framing factory, giving them freedom to record without having to pay expensive studio fees. They began to employ much more electronics in their music, collaborating with Raynard Faulkner and Adam Williams. They continued to record many tracks and play live using various line-up permutations. However, the three singles RCA released for them that year ("This Is the House", "The Walk" and "Love Is a Stranger") all scored badly on initial release in the UK. The band's state of affairs was becoming critical although their mode of operation had given them the creative freedom they desired, commercial success was still eluding them, and the responsibility of running so many of their affairs personally (down to roadying their own equipment) was exhausting. Lennox apparently suffered at least one nervous breakdown during this period, while Stewart was hospitalized with a collapsed lung.
Eurythmics' commercial breakthrough came with Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) released in January 1983. The successful title track featured a dark, powerfully sequenced synth bass line and a dramatic video that introduced the now orange crew-cut Lennox to audiences. The song reached no.2 on UK singles chart and topped the US charts. The band's fortunes changed immensely from this moment on. The album became a great British success due to the title track, which later topped the American charts as well. Lennox was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Their previous single "Love Is a Stranger" was re-released and became a success in its own right. The "Love Is a Stranger" video saw Lennox in many different character guises, which she later became known for in subsequent videos. The album's working title was Invisible Hands (as was a track left off the album), inspiring the name of UK independent company Invisible Hands Music - known for releasing music by Hugh Cornwell, Mick Karn and Hazel O'Connor.
Touch, the rapid follow-up to Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), was released in November 1983 and became the duo's first no.1 album. It also spawned three major hit singles; "Who's That Girl?" was a top 3 hit in the UK, the video seeing Lennox as a blonde chanteuse and featuring cameos by Hazel O'Connor, Bananarama (including Stewart's future wife, Siobhan Fahey), Kate Garner of Haysi Fantayzee, Thereza Bazar of Dollar, Jay Aston and Cheryl Baker of Bucks Fizz, Kiki Dee, Jacquie O'Sullivan and "gender-bending" pop singer Marilyn, among others. The upbeat, calypso-flavoured "Right by Your Side" made the UK Top 10 while showing a different side of Eurythmics altogether, and "Here Comes the Rain Again" was an orchestral/synth ballad.
In 1984, RCA released Touch Dance, a mini-album of remixes of four of the tracks from Touch, aimed at the club market. The remixes were by prominent New York name producers Francois Kevorkian and John "Jellybean" Benitez. Also released in 1984 was Eurythmics' soundtrack album 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother). Virgin Films had contracted the band to provide a soundtrack for Michael Radford's modern film adaptation of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Radford later said that the music had been "foisted" on his film against his wishes, and that Virgin had replaced most of Dominic Muldowney's original orchestral score with the Eurythmics soundtrack (including the song "Julia", which was heard during the end credits). However, the record was presented as "music derived from the original score of Eurythmics for the Michael Radford film version of Orwell's 1984". Eurythmics charged that they had been misled by the film's producers as well, and the album was withdrawn from the market for a period while matters were litigated. The album's first single, "Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four)", was a top 5 hit in the UK, Australia and across Europe, and a major dance success in the United States, but its supposedly suggestive title (actually taken from the newspeak phrase used in Orwell's book) resulted in many U.S. pop radio stations refusing to play the track.
The duo's next album, Be Yourself Tonight, was produced in a week in Paris. It showcased much more of a "band style" and a centred sound (with an R&B influence), with real drums, brass, and much more guitar from Stewart. Almost a dozen other musicians were enlisted, including members of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers, guest harmonica from Stevie Wonder, bass guitar from Dean Garcia, string arrangements by Michael Kamen, and Lennox singing duets with Aretha Franklin and Elvis Costello. It continued the duo's transatlantic chart domination in 1985, and contained four hit singles; "Would I Lie to You?" was a U.S. Billboard top five hit and Australian number one, while "There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart)" (featuring Wonder's harmonica contribution) became their first and only UK number one single. "It's Alright (Baby's Coming Back)" and the Franklin duet (originally intended for Tina Turner) "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves" also rode high in the charts.
Eurythmics released their next album, Revenge, in 1986. The album continued their move towards a band sound, verging on an AOR-pop/rock sound. Sales continued to be strong in the UK, but were somewhat slower in the U.S., though "Missionary Man" reached number 14 on the U.S. Hot 100 chart and went all the way to No. 1 on the US Album Oriented Rock chart (AOR). Revenge would eventually certify Double Platinum in the UK and Gold in the U.S. The band went on a massive worldwide tour in support of the album, and a live concert video from the Australian leg of the tour was released.
In 1987, Lennox and Stewart released the album Savage. This saw a fairly radical change within the group's sound, being based mainly around programmed samples and drum loops (Lennox would later say that where Revenge was more of a Stewart album in sound, Savage was more of a Lennox one). Lyrically the songs showed an even darker, more obsessive side to Lennox's writing. The entire record was also released as a video album, directed by Sophie Muller, with a video for each song. These largely followed Lennox's character of a frustrated housewife-turned-vamp (as exemplified in the bizarre "Beethoven (I Love to Listen To)", a UK top 30 success). The brazen, sexually charged rocker "I Need a Man" remains a Eurythmics staple, as does "You Have Placed a Chill in My Heart". Much less commercial than the two previous albums, Savage was mostly ignored in the U.S., although rock radio in more progressive markets supported "I Need a Man". In the duo's native UK however, the album was a top 10 success and was certified platinum.
In 1989, Eurythmics released We Too Are One which entered the UK album chart at no.1 (their second no.1 album after Touch). The album was less successful in the U.S., although the single "Don't Ask Me Why" grazed the Billboard top 40. Other singles from the album included "Revival", "The King and Queen of America", "Angel".
Eurythmics reunited during 1999 and released Peace. The single "I Saved the World Today" reached number 11 in the UK singles charts, and a remix of "17 Again" gave the duo their first chart-topper on the U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. The band also embarked on a world tour, dubbed Peacetour, to support the album. The year 2000 saw numerous European festival appearances by Eurythmics (at Germany's Rock am Ring, among others). In 2001, Stewart performed with U2 for the America: A Tribute to Heroes benefit concert.
On 14 November 2005, RCA re-released their eight studio albums in remastered and expanded editions featuring rare b-sides, remixes and unreleased songs. The remasters are available separately as digipaks with expanded artwork and together in a collector's box set, Boxed. However, the 1984 soundtrack album 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother) was not included in this re-release campaign as Virgin Records holds the rights to that album. In 2009, Lennox stated that although she and Stewart remain friends, she does not foresee any further Eurythmics projects in the future.
Here are some of my fave tracks from their albums:
__________________ You don't tell me...
Last edited by Sweaty; 04-15-2010 at 04:51 AM.
Reason: add video
Oh I love Eurythmics - have all the albums and followed them album by album growing up. I think Touch is probably my favourite.
I've fallen off the edge of the world / I've fallen from the top of the mountain / Just to rise again // I've seen it from heaven and hell / I've seen it through the eyes of a stargazer // I want to be invisible / Just get me out of here / Could the dreamer be turning to stone // Rock and roll eyes / The keeper of rainbows / Collector of lies / Rock and roll eyes / My eyes