Friday, April 19, 2013

FDF Volume 4 - Issue 301 - Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams are Made of This

Album – Sweet Dreams [Are Made of This]
Artist - Eurythmics
Key Players – Dave Stewart – guitar, keyboards, synthesizers, programming,backing vocals.
Annie Lennox – vocals, keyboards, synthesizers, flute
Produced By – Dave Stewart, Adam Williams, Robert Crash

Release Date – January 4, 1983

What caused me to blow off the dust? - When you do 300+ of these it sometimes is hard to find something you haven't done. Granted I've done a Lennox solo album, I never did look back at the duo that helped make a name for her. Here goes...

Overview – This was the second studio album from the British duo “Eurythmics”. The duo came together in 1980 and blended synthesizers and dance pop with new wave. The duo would release a debut but it wouldn't garner much attention. The hard work was slow to pay off and the duo suffered some health and mental issues but they'd be redeemed in early 1983 with the release of the single “Sweet Dreams [Are Made of This]”. With the help of MTV it would catapult them to worldwide success. Before the end of the year they'd release the album “Touch”. Although their breakthrough the album never went to #1 on the charts. In the US it peaked at 15, while New Zealand had it as high as #2. After releasing 8 studio albums in 8 years Stewart and Lennox split in 1990. See “Where are they now” for more info....

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The ten songs that made up this record start with “Love is a Stranger”. This was orginally the first single that didn't do much for the band, after the success of “Sweet Dreams” this was re-released. The keyboards at the start bounce off one another and then the powerful voice of Lennox is the next thing you hear. The percussion is electronic based and there are layer upon layer of keyboard lines. There is no real hook to the song, and not really a chorus in the classic “sing” along sense. The dubs on the vocals for Lennox add further layers, there is a lot going on here. In a way, you can see how this may have been a confusing lead off single, but it works. One of the more recognizable tracks from the band. Flute notes stream forth as a slow keyboard build climbs the intro of “I've Got an Angel”. The track is a darker feeling tune. Lennox sings in more of a monotone/baritone key and the backing band gets a work out with complex layers of sythesizer and percussion. “Wrap it Up” has the heavy 80's synthesizers intro. Lennox pushes it more vocally both in urgency and range. It feels busy at times, but it is the fist track you can hear Stewart strum the guitar. He doesn't go for the flash, but you can tell it is there. “I Could Give you [A Mirror] has layers of vocals over a more driving/deep synthesizer line. The “drums” never seem to break out of their robotic time signature. We are not really going anywhere new here to this point, but that changes late in the track as there are many layers of Lennox vocals. The music speeds up and the vocals just keep adding layers. “The Walk” balances a dark feel, but off sets it with some lighter keyboard lines. There is more of a horn section mid point of the song adding a solid change of pace and Lennox continues to sing in circles with many loops and overdubs. You finally hear some of Stewarts vocal work here, largely left ot a response on the chorus. There is not a lot to tell you about “Sweet Dreams [Are Made of This] that you don't already know. Their biggest and most widely known songs. It was a staple on MTV, you've seen heard get it..and love it. For all the right reasons. “Jennifer” is a slow song to get rolling,a stark contrast from the previous tune. Almost a lone keyboard plays with some heavy bass drum it is about as stripped down a song as you'd find on the record. It never seems to grow in tempo, or ourside of the layer it laid down from the start. Stewart gets a buzzy short solo near the end to change things up. “This Is The House” has more of a playful intro and then some slap bass comes over, then horns. The song has a solid funk feel as the bass line really “pops” and the vibe is infectious with the up tempo vocal delivery. “Somebody Told Me” goes back towards the slower, darker feel with the backing drum being a slow and plodding tempo. The keyboard repeats the same loop and it fails, at lesat to me, to get overly interesting. The record concludes with “This City Never Sleeps”. The tempo is slow and Lennox seems in no rush. Her vocals are strong and really stand out, it is just not a real lively track.

Where are they now? - The duo separated in 1990. Lennox released her solo debut in 1992 “Diva” in 1992 and then “Medusa” in 1995. Both sold well. Stewart also released solo records and worked as a producer. By 1999 the duo got back together and recorded the album “Peace” and even toured behind it. Although considered “active years” Lennox released yet another solo album “Bare” in June of 2003. She won an Academy Award for a song that appeared in Lord of the Rings. The duo would appear at benefits and release a best of collection. By 2007 Lennox was on to yet another solo release “Songs of Mass Destruction” and a best of followed in 2009. Lennox and Stewart (as late as September 2012) have both said they don't foresee any further Eurythmics projects in the future, but Stewart was quick to say “never say never”.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – I never saw the band live, but would really like to see Lennox solo some time (or the band too)

FDF Overall Take – The album has aged pretty well. Sure there is some heavy keyboard, electronic drums and synthesizer, but that was what was on the airwaves at the time. Lennox voice is unmistakeable and begs to be listened to. Casual fans may find this a bit too dark at times, but if you have a full disc of the Eurythmics anywhere in your collection its probably this one.

Official site
Annie Lennox
Dave Stewart

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Love is a Stranger   live version from the reunion.

You can track it down pretty easy at places like

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.


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