Eurythmics combine a striking appeal of top-notch singing, songwriting, and production with a unique visual style that influenced
music videos in the 1980s and continues to influence them up to the present day. In her 1991 biography of Annie Lennox, Lucy
O'Brien writes "Plundering from European art-house cinema to combine soap opera with surrealist pop, Eurythmics transformed
the possibilities of pop video." This website serves as a tribute to the ground breaking and visionary video work and imagery of
Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart - Eurythmics.
|EURYTHMICS - 1980 TO PRESENT
Eurythmics (often incorrectly referred to as "The Eurythmics") are a British musical duo, formed in 1980 by Annie Lennox
and Dave Stewart. The pair have achieved significant global commercial and critical success, winning numerous awards, and
have toured worldwide. They are often highly regarded for their intellectual pop songs, which showcase Lennox's powerful
and expressive alto voice, and Stewart's innovative production techniques. They are also noted for their striking promotional
videos to accompany their singles.
In The Garden (1980-1982)
The pair had first worked together as members of The Tourists. During this time, they were also romantic partners. This band
achieved modest commercial success, but the experience was reportedly an unhappy one. Personal and musical tensions
existed within the group, whose main songwriter was Pete Coombes. The band often received very negative critical press in
the UK, and there was legal wrangling with the band's management, publishers and record labels. Lennox and Stewart felt
the fixed band line-up was not a good vehicle to explore their experimental creative leanings. Lennox and Stewart decided
their next project should be much more flexible and free from artistic compromise. They were interested in creating 'pop
music', but wanted freedom to experiment with electronics and the avant-garde as well. Calling themselves "Eurythmics" (a
re-spelling on a classical dance technique Lennox had encountered as a child), they decided to keep themselves as the only
permanent members and songwriters, and involve others in the collaboration as they saw fit "on the basis of mutual
compatibility and availability". RCA Records decided to retain the pair from their Tourists recording contract. Wanting to
concentrate on their musical relationship, Lennox and Stewart decided to discontinue their romantic liaison in 1980.
Their first album saw them continue to work in Cologne with the legendary Conny Plank (who had produced the later Tourists
sessions). This resulted in the album In the Garden, released October 1981), including contributions from Holgar Czukay &
Jackie Liebezeit of Can, drummer Clem Burke of Blondie, Robert Görl of Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, and flautist
Tim Wheater. A couple of the songs were co-written by guitarist Roger Pomphrey (now a TV producer). The album featured
rather cold and melancholy songs, mixing psychedelic, krautrock and electropop influences. It received a lukewarm critical
reception and poor sales. Two singles from the album also flopped, though Never Gonna Cry Again made some charts (their
videos have seldom been seen subsequently). Lennox and Stewart then put their new Eurythmics mode of operation into
action by touring the record as a duo, accompanied by backing tracks and electronics, carted around the country themselves
in a horse-box. Stewart and Lennox retreated to Chalk Farm in London, and used a bank loan to set up a tiny 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 such names as 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 flopped 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. Apparently Lennox suffered at least one nervous breakdown
during this period, while Stewart was hospitalized with a collapsed lung.
Sweet Dreams, Touch and 1984 - For The Love Of Big Brother (1982-1985)
Eurythmics' commercial breakthrough came with Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), whose hit single of the same name
featured a dark, powerfully sequenced synth bass line and a striking video that introduced the orange crew cut Lennox
sported to fame. The band's fortunes changed immensely from this moment on. The album became a huge British hit due to
the title track, which quickly topped the American charts as well. Lennox was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone
magazine. Stewart recently revealed that the famous synth bass line in the song was discovered by accident when he
inadvertently played a track backwards. "Love Is A Stranger" was re-released and became a hit in its own right, though it
was initially banned by MTV for its "gay" content (which actually involved Lennox in male drag; MTV had to be convinced). The
"Love Is A Stranger" video saw Lennox in many different character guises, which she would become known for in
subsequent videos ("Beethoven" and "The King & Queen of America" among them).
Touch, the follow-up to Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), was released in 1984 and spawned three major hits. "Here Comes
The Rain Again" (number four in the U.S.) was a haunting orchestral/synth ballad that led the album. The video went into
heavy rotation on MTV. "Who's That Girl" was also a massive hit, the videoing seeing Lennox as a blonde chanteuse and
featured cameos by Bananarama, Kate Garner of Haysi Fantayzee, Jay Aston and Cheryl Baker of Bucks Fizz, Kiki Dee, and
"gender-bending" pop singer Marilyn, among others. The upbeat, calypso-flavored "Right By Your Side" showed a different
side of Eurythmics altogether, and Touch solidified the duo's reputation as being major talents and cutting edge musicians.
In 1984, RCA released Touch Dance, a mini-album of remixes of four tracks from Touch, aimed at the 'club market'. The
remixes were by prominent New York name producers François Kervorkian and John "Jellybean" Benitez.
Later in 1984, Virgin released the Eurythmics album 1984 - For The Love Of Big Brother. Virgin Films had contracted the band
to provide a soundtrack for Michael Radford's re-make of George Orwell's 1984; Radford would soon say that the music was
being "foisted" on him, and refused to use Eurythmics' score, replacing it with more conventional orchestral filler (except for
the song "Julia," which played along with 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." The album contained the hit single
"Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four)" (huge in the UK, and a major dance hit in America), but its supposedly suggestive title
(actually taken directly from Orwell's text) resulted in many U.S. pop radio stations refusing to play the track.
Be Yourself Tonight and Revenge (1985-1987)
Their fourth studio album proper, Be Yourself Tonight, was produced in a single week in Paris. It showcased much more of a
"band" and a centered 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, while "There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)" (featuring
Wonder's 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 Revenge album in 1986, which continued their move towards a band sound (some might even say
verging on an AOR-pop/rock sound). Sales continued to be strong in the UK, and "Missionary Man" reached number 14 on
the U.S. Hot 100 chart and would be regarded as something of a Eurythmics classic. Eurythmics went on a massive worldwide
tour in support of this album, and a live concert video from the tour was released. The folk-tinged "Thorn In My Side"
powered the UK success of Revenge, which remains Eurythmics' best selling album to date. Around this time, Stewart began
producing, for Tom Petty and Bob Dylan, among others, while Lennox did some acting.
Savage and We Too Are One (1987-1990)
Lennox and Stewart reunited in 1987 for the critically acclaimed album, Savage. This saw a fairly radical change in the
group's sound, being based mainly around drum loops, with synth and guitar parts fairly low in the mix (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 psychological side to Lennox's writing. The entire record was also released as a video album,
directed by Sophie Müller, with a film 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 hit and fan favorite). Much less
commercial than the two previous albums, Savage was mostly ignored in the U.S., while sales in the UK were fair. The rocker
"I Need A Man" remains a Eurythmics staple, as does the delicate "You Have Placed A Chill In My Heart".
In 1989, Eurythmics released the solid We Too Are One, a UK number one hit with "Don't Ask Me Why" grazing the Billboard
U.S. top 40. Other singles from the set are "Revival," "The King & Queen of America," "Angel," and "(My My) Baby's Gonna
Cry," the latter of which featured Stewart in his first prominent vocal role with Lennox.
Hiatus and solo years (1991-1998)
After strenuous years of touring and recording (Eurythmics released eight albums — excluding the remix "Touch Dance" — in
eight years), Lennox needed a break and took time off to have a baby and to consider a new direction after Eurythmics.
Years of being constantly together had created a rift in the relationship between the duo; the two had virtually no
communication with each other from 1990 to 1998. Through these years, a greatest hits collection would be issued (with new
remixes of "Sweet Dreams" and "Love Is A Stranger" helping to promote it), as would a live set.
In 1992, Lennox released a solo album, Diva, which was a critical and popular sensation (garnering triple-platinum sales in
the U.S. alone), while Stewart began writing film soundtracks and formed a band called "the Spiritual Cowboys," releasing
two albums with this group.
Stewart released proper solo albums, in 1995 Greetings from the Gutter and in 1998, Sly-Fi. His 1990 instrumental duet with
saxophonist Candy Dulfer, "Lily Was Here" was a world-wide hit, including hitting the top ten in the USA. Annie Lennox's
Medusa, a covers album, fared extremely well, reaching number one in the UK, and was a multi-platinum hit in the USA.
Reunion, Peace and I've Got A Life (1999-2005)
Eurythmics reunited in 1999 and released Peace. Peace highlighted the duo's enduring musical bond and creativity. "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.
In June of 2003, Lennox released her third solo album, entitled Bare, a world-wide hit, with three singles at the top of the Hot
Dance Music/Club Play in 2003 and 2004. She also recorded the song "Into the West" for Peter Jackson's film "The Lord of
the Rings: The Return of the King, where it appeared as the closing theme and earned Lennox the 2004 Academy Award for
On November 7, 2005, Eurythmics released Ultimate Collection, a remastered greatest hits package with two new songs.
One of them, "I've Got a Life," was released as a single and went Top 20 on the UK singles chart, as well as spending three
weeks in a row at number one on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play in the U.S. On November 14, Sony BMG 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.