[50/50] Album #16: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Album #16: “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” — Eurythmics (1983)

annielennoxThe orange hair. Oh god the orange hair.

I’m skipping ahead in the countdown this week, because today is the 30th anniversary of the release of Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” — the second album from the duo of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart, and the one that put them on the map in every way imaginable.

Thanks to that shock of orange hair and the music video — which seemed to run every hour on MTV that summer — the title single went to number one. While Lennox’s androgynous style and edgy beauty helped sell their videos, it was her powerful voice and Stewart’s soulful synth pop that made them so much more. Over the next few years they would go on to have ten top 40 hits.

“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” the album, has aged much better than the dadaesque video of the same name — although it’s still a lot of fun, in that goofy early MTV style.

The second hit off the record and its subsequent video, “Love is a Stranger,” continued to push the krautrock/cyberpunk/S&M vibe of early Eurythmics (which would eventually reach its pinnacle the next year with the infamous “1984” soundtrack.) Whatever you think about the music or the pair’s style however, it is impossible to take your eyes off Annie Lennox’s eyes.

The rest of the album is just as moody and evocative, full of Stewart’s driving basslines and Lennox’s primitive yelps and bitten-off snarls. “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” still has such an immediacy, it’s hard to believe it’s already 30 years old.

Bonus round: Eurythmics’ music was so deeply entwined with Annie Lennox’s voice, there have been few good covers of their material … however, I am partial to Emily Browning’s take on “Sweet Dreams” for the Sucker Punch soundtrack. Here’s a fan mashup of the single with the scene from the movie where the dragon fights the B-24 bomber.

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