Sunday, April 10, 2011

Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This): New Wave Soul

In 1983, British synth-pop duo Eurythmics shot to stardom with their smash hit "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" and its provocative music video. The song is a brilliant hybrid of sterile synth pop and sultry soul. Annie Lennox's powerful vocal performance pushed the song beyond the cold and detached aesthetic of the genre, catching the listener off-guard. When I first heard the song, I thought for sure Lennox was black. I was like, "Who is this lady? She can blow." Musician, songwriter and producer Dave Stewart, the other half of the duo, nicely frames Lennox's vocals with a haunting and hypnotic synth groove.

I was surprised when I finally caught the video on MTV and found that the singer was a blue-eyed Scottish lass with close-cropped orange-dyed hair and sporting a man's suit and tie. The video has become an iconic classic of the early MTV era, years before the channel became a tedious reality show network.

Penned by Stewart and Lennox, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" is the title track off Eurythmics' sophomore album, which is a stellar collection of songs. The duo went on to produce more great music and landed several other big hits, but "Sweet Dreams" remains my favorite Eurythmics track. It is their signature song and rightly so.

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Related blog entry: Eurythmics perform "There Must Be An Angel (Playing with My Heart)" Live With Stevie Wonder