November 7, 2005

Eurythmics 101

Sweet Dreams, 1982

Not really the first album, but we don't count the actual first album! "Sweet Dreams" is a classic, but a bit too much so, if you know what I mean. Been there, done that. The real treats are "Love Is A Stranger" and "Jennifer" who may or may not really be Annie.

Touch, 1983

This album really cemented their skill at perfect pop singles, especially "Who's That Girl" and their classic "Here Comes The Rain Again." How the hell they came up with the calypso "Right By Your Side" I don't know - it sounds dated now, but I loved it at the time. Another clever trick in their bag was to fill the remainder of the album with more avant garde tracks, like the siren-esque "No Fear, No Hate, No Pain (No Broken Hearts)" or the lush , dreamy "Aqua" . These are songs that take some time to get into, but are worth the effort. Don't just give the kids what they want- give them what they need. ... and the cover is iconic as they get

Be Yourself Tonight, 1985

A really mixed up record, following on the cool synthy soundtrack for 1984 which is apparently not considered a Eurythmics record, despite no less than 3 brilliant tracks. As for this one, I'm honestly kind of over "Would I Lie To You?" (though the video looks better now than it did then), but I still love "There Must Be An Angel." The masterpiece here is the smooth controlled soul on "It's Alright (Baby's Coming Back)."

Revenge, 1986

Annie and Dave went really POP on this one and I loved the whole record from start to finish - it's chock full of hits. My personal fave is "When Tomorrow Comes" which was the first UK single (in the US we had "Missionary Man"). I also love the slow ones, "The Miracle Of Love" and "I Remember You."

Savage, 1987

In 1987, they released their third record in three years. This is the kind of fertile period you don't always notice as its happening, but it's pretty amazing in hindsight. Savage came out during my freshman year of college and we played it a lot. This was the one that had the wicked longform video with every song and Annie in all sorts of guises. My favorites here include "Beethoven" (for the spoken bits done in character- "I was dreaminglikeaTexangirl!") and "I've Got A Lover (Back In Japan)" (for the "bitter when I met you" part). This record rocks with "I Need A Man" and then gets all electro disco on "Heaven." Most notably, it has what may be their finest song (or finest album cut), "Shame" which is still as strong for me now as it was when I first heard it. Gorgeous video for that one too.

We Two Are One, 1989

This record signals the end of the band and, while I like it overall, there are some songs I truly hate ("King And Queen Of America" and "Revival"). For the most part, I no longer dug their white soul thing, so I preferred the burbling disco tracks like "You Hurt Me And I Hate You" (I haul that one out every so often!) and the beautiful "Don't Ask Me Why". I think some smart male singer should do a version of "We Too Are One" with Mary J. Blige ("I really loooooooooooove you!"). Who should it be?

Peace, 1999

Peace was their first album in 10 years and, looking back, it was a big letdown. The singles "17 Again" and "I Saved The World Today" are terrific, but the rock stuff I could do without. In the interim between the last album and this one, Annie had done all this amazing music and it seemed like she wilted in Dave's hands. I know that many fans may disagree, but I can't love an album based on sentimentality for the artist.

The two new tracks on the Ultimate Hits are, as I have said, blindingly good. I wish there was a full album to follow. I suspect it we won't have to wait too many years.

1 comment:

V said...

Totally cool. Ok, here are some of my choice tracks.

Sweet Dreams - Aside from the title song, "Love is a Stranger" and "Jennifer" I totally loved "I've got an Angel", "I could Give you a Mirror" and "Wrap it Up"

Touch - Add to that the 8 minute long track of "Paint a Rumour" Me and my friend used to walk the streets doing the "Yeah Yeah Yeah" part and laughing. It brings some good memories and Dave is genius on the keyboards.

Too bad about not re-issuing the 1984 album. I really loved it. "Julia" is such a sweet song, they should'nt neglect it from their catalog.

As for Savage - I had no idea what to expect from that album as the single "Bethoven" had been out for a while. I thought the entire album was going to sound like it. I was surprised.