Fifty years ago, The Beatles would release their final album and break up. Forty years ago, in 1980, there was another breakup, but luckily for us it was just a romantic split between a young Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart. The two were part of a band called The Tourists, which also fell away as the couple went on to become a duo, forming Eurythmics.
The British synth-pop duo would find huge success with their hit single “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”, the track which has gone on to produce hundreds of millions of streams over the years. This was just the beginning, in 1983 they released one of their best albums: Touch .
Success and Stardom
A much more rounded album than their sophmore release of the same year, Touch produced several hits such as “Here Comes the Rain Again”, “Who’s That Girl?” and “The First Cut”. None would reach the heights of “Sweet Dreams”, but they all contributed to a record that would reach number one on the UK charts, a feat the duo repeated only once more in later years.
The album’s success was also helped my Annie Lennox’s gender-bending theatrics during live-shows and music videos. In the music video for “Who’s That Girl”, Lennox is playfully portraying men and female characters during the performance. This, combined with the excellent instrumentals of Dave Stewart, Lennox’s vocals and the all-round production of the LP would catapult Eurythmics into stardom.
As Lennox become an icon worldwide, Eurythmics became pioneers of the synth-pop scene and one of the preeminent pop acts of the 1980s.
Changes in style and quiet retirement
As often happens with bands that reach the dazzling commercial success that Eurythmics did, they decided to experiment and change direction on later records. RnB was noticeable in later song, but as synth-pop faded after the mid-80s, Eurythimcs became a more straightforward rock duo. They would find success in later studio albums, with We too Are One, their final album of the decade reaching the top of the U.K charts.
With the 1990s, Eurythmics quietly went on an extended hiatus. Both Lennox and Stewart forged successful solo music careers, Stewart also continuing his impressive production work. They would release Peace in 1999, their final studio album until now.
Touch is my favourite Eurythmics record, and re-listening to it while writing this post has been very enjoyable.