Eurythmics exploded onto MTV and dancefloors.
Their instrumental and production wizardry and soaring vocals radically changed the world’s perception of what a pop group looked and sounded like.
Eurythmics collaborators Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart profoundly impacted ’80s pop-rock – and subsequent iterations of music into the present day.
Through their lyrics and imagery, they presaged a rising gender-bending consciousness in the mainstream, with songs, videos, and live performances featuring the androgynous Lennox singing from a perspective of unabashed strength. The stories the band told, through song and theatrics, spoke to a broader sense of what it meant to live and love in the late 20th century.
Musically, the magnificent-voiced Lennox and experimentalist producer/multi-instrumentalist Stewart employed unheralded influences like never before, including the mechanistic funk of Krautrock, the grit of gospel, and the trippiness of psychedelia. Their uniquely textured music was both futuristic and mindful of the past, while remaining eminently accessible, irresistibly tuneful.
Guitars still ruled when Eurythmics hit big in 1983, but initially Lennox and Stewart eschewed them in favor of analog synthesizers, sequenced to produce bedrock bass lines of melodic depth, heard most obviously in their breakout hit “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This).” Strikingly, when Eurythmics abandoned some of the sonics that fueled their original success, they found continued acclaim.
While the songcraft remained catchy, Stewart pushed his decidedly rock guitar way up in the mix on “Would I Lie To You?” and added lush orchestral arrangements to “Here Comes The Rain Again.” The duo’s sound expanded to the big-band style of strings and horns, which effortlessly pivoted from rock to R&B. Lyrically, Eurythmics never feared delving into controversy, taking on colonialism in “Missionary Man” and raw sexual hunger in “I Need A Man.”
The band split in 1990, but fortunately for their millions of fans, Eurythmics have reconvened on occasion, most recently in 2014.
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This),” Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) “Who’s That Girl?,” “Here Comes The Rain Again,” Touch (1983) • “Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves” (with Aretha Franklin), “There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)” (with Stevie Wonder), “Would I Lie To You?,” Be Yourself Tonight (1985) • “Missionary Man,” Revenge (1986) • “I Need A Man,” Savage (1987)