1980 in London, England
- Annie Lennox (born December 25, 1954 in Aberdeen, Scotland) - Lead vocals, keyboards, songwriter
- Dave Stewart (born David Allan Stewart on September 9, 1952 in Sunderland, England) - Guitars, keyboards, backing vocals, songwriter
Never quite fitting neatly into the synth pop/new wave niche where the duo seemed to belong, England's Eurythmics made a career of putting an experimental spin on keyboard-based pop music. Fronted by powerful blue-eyed soul vocalist Annie Lennox and supported ably by her songwriting partnership with multi-instrumentalist Dave Stewart, the group definitely set itself apart from all contemporary competitors. All told, the duo would release eight studio albums during the decade, all but the first of which became major worldwide hits. Here's a look at the genuinely original career of Eurythmics.
The musical and personal partnership of Lennox and Stewart dates back to 1975, and during the following year the pair formed a punk rock band together called The Catch. This group soon evolved into The Tourists, but without creative control over its direction, the two yearned to strike out on their own. Once shed of their prior bandmates, Eurythmics formed and immediately signed with RCA Records. A debut album, 1981's In the Garden, generated very little success and seemed to suggest a difficult road ahead for the duo's creative experiments. However, the second try would be quite the charm.
Sweet Dreams Come True:
After incorporating a heavy dose of electronics into their developing sound, Lennox and Stewart returned with a vengeance in early 1983 with Eurythmics' sophomore LP, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). The record's title track became an immediate smash hit, landing the duo squarely into the peaking genres of new wave and synth pop. However, the explosive visual image of the vividly androgynous Lennox - presented memorably in the track's music video - added another layer to the group's popularity. But the duo was far from through with 1983, quickly returning to the recording studio.
Continuing Chart Dominance & Evolution:
Just before the end of the year, Eurythmics released Touch, which spawned yet another classic '80s single in the atmospheric and haunting "Here Comes the Rain Again." Then, despite a detour to record the soundtrack for the film adaptation of George Orwell's 1984, Lennox and Stewart managed a seamless stylistic shift for its next full-length release, 1985's Be Yourself Tonight. Anchored memorably by the guitar-infused single "Would I Lie to You?", the album represented a more straightforward pop/rock approach, missing nary a beat in advancing the duo's consistent popularity.
Finishing Out the Decade:
Eurythmics' string of Top 5 pop singles ended as the second half of the '80s began, and despite three more album releases, the duo's fortunes began to decline ever so slightly as time passed. Nevertheless, "Missionary Man" and "I Need a Man" continued to demonstrate the chameleonic appeal of Lennox, who had always employed R&B inspiration into her vocals but loved to play with other genres. Stewart was happy to oblige, injecting his own creative spin on the duo's musical offerings, through his confident production as well as his co-composition duties.
Hiatus & Subsequent Reunion Stints:
In their early days, Lennox and Stewart were involved in a romantic as well as professional partnership. However, once the former relationship ended, the pair remained fully committed to musical collaboration, perhaps working throughout the '80s to the point of near exhaustion. For this reason among others, Eurythmics went on hiatus for most of the '90s, which allowed its two personalities to pursue solo careers. Although only one more Eurythmics studio album (1999's Peace) has surfaced since the group's heyday, the intensity and quality of the duo's '80s output have stood the test of time gracefully.