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Thread started 01/02/19 3:36pm

Moonbeam

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Eurythmics: Poll101 Results

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From July-September, 2018, I helped run a poll via a Facebook Group of Eurythmics fans in which 45 participants ranked their favorite 101 songs from a list of 163 eligible songs in order.

The results were counted down one song per day from September 15th to December 25th, and hosted on the Ultimate Eurythmics website.

I know there are some Eurythmics fans here, so I thought I would share the results!


[101] ''Winter Wonderland'' (1987)
[100] ''Baby's Gone Blue'' (1983)
[99] ''Greetings from a Dead Man'' (1984)
[98] ''Tous les garçons et les filles'' (1985)
[97] ''Beautiful Child'' (1999)
[96] ''Invisible Hands'' (1982)
[95] ''My True Love'' (1999)
[94] ''Room 101'' (1984)
[93] ''Put A Little Love In Your... Al Green)'' (1988)
[92] ''Revival'' (1989)
[91] ''I Want It All'' (1999)

[90] ''Why (live)'' (1999)
[89] ''The Walk Pt. 2'' (1982)
[88] ''Step on the Beast'' (1982)
[87] ''Power to the Meek'' (1999)
[86] ''4/4 in Leather'' (1981)
[85] ''Ministry of Love'' (1984)
[84] ''Forever'' (1999)
[83] ''All the Young (People of Today)'' (1981)
[82] ''Do You Want to Break Up?'' (1987)
[81] ''Take Your Pain Away'' (1986)

[80] ''Caveman Head'' (1981)
[79] ''Anything But Strong'' (1999)
[78] ''She's Invisible Now'' (1981)
[77] ''Lifted'' (1999)
[76] ''Let's Go!'' (1986)
[75] ''In This Town'' (1986)
[74] ''A Little of You'' (1986)
[73] ''Put the Blame on Me'' (1987)
[72] ''English Summer'' (1981)
[71] ''Let's Just Close Our Eyes'' (1982)

[70] ''Peace Is Just a Word'' (1999)
[69] ''Satellite of Love'' (1983)
[68] ''Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves'' (1985)
[67] ''How Long?'' (1989)
[66] ''Wrap It Up'' (1983)
[65] ''You Hurt Me (And I Hate You)'' (1989)
[64] ''Heaven'' (1987)
[63] ''Wide Eyed Girl'' (1987)
[62] ''I Remember You'' (1986)
[61] ''Revenge'' (1981)

[60] ''I've Tried Everything'' (1999)
[59] ''Your Time Will Come'' (1981)
[58] ''Sylvia'' (1989)
[57] ''I Did It Just the Same'' (1984)
[56] ''Grown Up Girls'' (1985)
[55] ''DoublePlusGood'' (1984)
[54] ''When the Day Goes Down'' (1989)
[53] ''I Need You'' (1987)
[52] ''We Two Are One'' (1989)
[51] ''Cool Blue'' (1983)

[50] ''Belinda'' (1981)
[49] ''Brand New Day'' (1987)
[48] ''I've Got a Lover (Back in Japan)'' (1987)
[47] ''The Last Time'' (1986)
[46] ''(My My) Baby's Gonna Cry'' (1989)
[45] ''For the Love of Big Brother'' (1984)
[44] ''The King and Queen of America'' (1989)
[43] ''I've Got an Angel'' (1983)
[42] ''This Is the House'' (1982)
[41] ''Adrian'' (1985)

[40] ''The First Cut'' (1983)
[39] ''Aqua'' (1983)
[38] ''Here Comes That Sinking Feeling'' (1985)
[37] ''I Need a Man'' (1987)
[36] ''Regrets'' (1983)
[35] ''Right by Your Side'' (1983)
[34] ''Angel'' (1989)
[33] ''Better to Have Lost in Lo...ed At All)'' (1985)
[32] ''17 Again'' (1999)
[31] ''Somebody Told Me'' (1983)

[30] ''Conditioned Soul'' (1985)
[29] ''Take Me to Your Heart'' (1981)
[28] ''Paint a Rumour'' (1983)
[27] ''The Miracle of Love'' (1986)
[26] ''I've Got a Life'' (2005)
[25] ''This City Never Sleeps'' (1983)
[24] ''I Saved the World Today'' (1999)
[23] ''When Tomorrow Comes'' (1986)
[22] ''Never Gonna Cry Again'' (1981)
[21] ''Jennifer'' (1983)

[20] ''Julia'' (1984)
[19] ''Savage'' (1987)
[18] ''I Could Give You (A Mirror)'' (1983)
[17] ''Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four)'' (1984)
[16] ''Shame'' (1987)
[15] ''There Must Be an Angel (P... My Heart)'' (1985)
[14] ''Thorn in My Side'' (1986)
[13] ''Would I Lie to You?'' (1985)
[12] ''Missionary Man'' (1986)
[11] ''I Love You Like a Ball and Chain'' (1985)

[10] ''It's Alright (Baby's Coming Back)'' (1985)
[9] ''No Fear, No Hate, No Pain...en Hearts)'' (1983)
[8] ''Don't Ask Me Why'' (1989)
[7] ''The Walk'' (1982)
[6] ''Beethoven (I Love to Listen To)'' (1987)
[5] ''Who's That Girl?'' (1983)
[4] ''You Have Placed a Chill in My Heart'' (1987)
[3] ''Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)'' (1983)
[2] ''Love Is a Stranger'' (1982)
[1] ''Here Comes the Rain Again'' (1983)

Feel free to join in the Prince Album Poll 2018! Let'a celebrate his legacy by counting down the most beloved Prince albums, as decided by you!
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Reply #1 posted 01/02/19 4:38pm

BobbyDrake

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That's frickin awesome. I love that list

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Reply #2 posted 01/02/19 5:01pm

Moonbeam

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The results were posted one song per day from September 15-December 25, so I had the chance to comment on each one. If you'll indulge me, I'll do a deep dive and post my comments for each of the songs!

#101 “Winter Wonderland”:

I really like “Winter Wonderland”. The keyboards glow with holiday coziness, and Annie’s delivery is tender and warm. [#92]

#100 “Baby’s Gone Blue”:


So happy this made the top 101! The ominous piano chords, Dave’s cold narration, Annie’s “ha ha ha ha ha sweetHEART”s, and the mania of it all captures the experimental side to Eurythmics I absolutely adore, which appeared all over their B-sides from 1981-1983.


Who are you going to send flowers to? [#75]


#99 “Greetings From a Dead Man”


I love the tribal propulsion of "Greetings From a Dead Man". It is a relentless cyclical march through the horrors of the film, Annie's variation of the wordless "bah bah bah"s coloring different shades of dread. It's my least favorite from 1984 but I still really like it! [#99]


#98 “Tous les garçons et les filles”


So much fun! I think the single mentions it being recorded in 1983, which makes sense given the soundscape it paints. The sparkling pep of the synth line and Annie's enthusiastic call to arms for her generation are endlessly entertaining. [#82]


#97 “Beautiful Child”


I like "Beautiful Child" well enough (particularly the bridge), but it doesn't move me quite like the other tracks on Peace do, likely because it is more acoustic than the others. [unranked]


#96 “Invisible Hands”


Hell yeah! One of my absolute favorite B-sides. The hypnotic synth rhythm, Annie’s menacing delivery, and all of the weird and wacky sound effects are just what the doctor ordered. This was to be the title track to their second album before they came up with "Sweet Dreams", and its more avant garde combination of pulsing electronic whirlpools, brass flavoring, drum machine tinkering, and eerie flute segments embodies what I adore about their 1982 material. [#43]


#95 “My True Love”


I love this song! For me, Annie never has sounded more soulful than she does after the higher pitched "and I... don't... want... to... remember" and her voice goes stretches the word "my" into a deep, dejected "mah-ah-ee-ah-aye". Truly heart-wrenching! [#56]


#94 “Room 101”


A perfectly harrowing piece to end 1984. I always get startled by the door slam at the end. It encapsulates dread more than any song in their career! It may not work quite as well outside of the context of the album, but that is part of what makes 1984 such a brilliant SOUNDTRACK. The songs weave together into such a gorgeously menacing whole that they are amplified in the context of the album moreso than if, say, they came up on shuffle. [#97]


#93 “Put a Little Love in Your Heart”


The first song on the list that I didn’t include that wasn’t painful to leave off my list. It’s strange, I love Eurythmics and really like Al Green too, but this song doesn’t play to the strengths of any of the involved parties. It feels a bit like it was conceived in a board room to me, too sugary for its own good. [unranked]


#92 “Revival”


If I ranked all 163 songs, this would be my #163. I’d say there’s a reason it hasn’t been included on any subsequent compilations despite being a relative chart success. An embarrassment from start to finish, this stale attempt at an empowering anthem that would sell in America is better left forgotten, and the music video might be even worse. [unranked]


#91 “I Want It All”


I quite like “I Want It All”, one of the only uptempo offerings on Peace. It’s nothing but a fun rocker, and by the time it comes to the “do do do do do do DO do hey!” bits, I can say that I too want it all. [#96]

Feel free to join in the Prince Album Poll 2018! Let'a celebrate his legacy by counting down the most beloved Prince albums, as decided by you!
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Reply #3 posted 01/02/19 5:02pm

Moonbeam

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#90 “Why (live)”

A truly lovely performance. Annie's voice is wonderful, and the sparse arrangement is really suitable. I can see why those who ranked it ranked it so highly because, well, the song is pretty perfect! [unranked]

#89 “The Walk Pt. 2”


I love the atmosphere of this - a different flavor of foggy mystery to the original, largely instrumental and alluring with piano moreso than the velvet concoction of electronics and brass that makes "The Walk" saunter so tantalizingly, but likewise super affecting. I love how many versions of "The Walk" we have - they all made my top 101. [#84]


#88 “Step on the Beast”


This song is EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING I love about Eurythmics. I ranked it #5 but could have put it at #1.


How do I love "Step on the Beast"? Let me count the ways.


I first heard this song and other B-sides around 2000. Having become a hardcore Eurythmics fan in 1998, hearing this and their other early B-sides and collaborations was like unlocking a world of endless vibrant experimentation, and “Step on the Beast” represents that sense of adventure better than any other.


The drum machine that opens the song announces that this WILL be a song you can dance… er… step to and then the bizarre metallic synth stabs reveal that you are in for a HELL of a ride. And then, we are treated to that delectable synth bass line, carving and WARPING fun with every peculiar turn, and coupled with that echoed “beast” sound on the 3 of every measure, it crafts a dance party in a haunted house like none other than Dave and Annie would host. Annie initially enters the foray ever-cool, but her repeated admissions of being halfway down and unable to pull herself up grow more unhinged as the song goes on, perfectly suited to a song that teeters along a tightrope between unbridled fun and a nervous breakdown. Add plenty of spice in the form of high-pitched squawking synths, sassy brass and a turnstile of fun sound effects, and this song is the PINNACLE of what I love about Eurythmics: an utterly unique blend of danceable pop theatre colored with wonderfully outré sidesteps. Perfection.


The cassette version of this song is so sublime as well - reimagined as a more chic, urban curio. Fritz from Flex's random outbursts suit the song's zaniness so well. I prefer the original 7" version because it is more unhinged, but it's like comparing perfection to absolute perfection. I LOVE that Dave and Annie thought enough of this song to release a different version as the lead song on a promo cassette.[#5]


#87 “Power to the Meek”


I do love this song. The energy and messaging are awesome and well placed on an album dominated by slower songs. “I’m just a girl with my head screwed on” is among my favorite opening lyrics they have had. [#46]


#86 “4/4 in Leather”


I simply adore this song! The propulsive drumming and furtive bass groove gives the song a wonderfully frantic edge while that high synth melody gives it a colorful spark. Maybe the first time on a Eurythmics record that Annie used such a commanding presence, and I love it for that! ♥ The decadent subject matter may have been why it was relegated to (live) B-side status, but I suppose it's not that far removed from a song like "Caveman Head". [#35]


#85 “Ministry of Love”


What a truly inspired song! It's such a treat from start to finish: those jittery synths coupling with the percussion to spark paranoia before that "HA!" and the percolating synth bass create the menace. As Annie plus electro-Annie grapple for control in singing "Ministry of Love", those beautiful layers of higher pitched synths come in at 1:52 to open up more SPACE than any other Eurythmics song has had, and then...THEN (!) that high lead synth promises such HOPE! The abrupt "HA"s bring back the menace, and Annie's divine "Giovanno donna neva" mantra offers the last vocal resistance on an album where resistance is snuffed out with such cold, calculated brutality. Shimmering, affecting, soaring, majestic beauty like few other songs in their catalogue. An absolute stunner. [#23]


#84 “Forever”


When Peace came out, I attached in a huge way to this song and its soaring sorrow, especially as I was going through a lot of emotional turmoil at the time. I still quite love the song for all its bombast, a nod to Britpop that works far better than it should. [#42]


#83 “All the Young (People of Today)”


I love the tension in this song, driven by the distinctive drumming, furtive bass, and those buzzy synths that leave the listener slightly off-kilter. Annie’s subdued delivery is enthralling, and the anthemic chorus is a knockout. [#54]


#82 “Do You Want to Break Up?”


Fun bout of weirdness that works really well in the context of Savage, which chronicles an over-it dowdy housewife finally saying "enough is enough". A sarcastic bit of whimsy. [unranked]


#81 “Take Your Pain Away”


That synth pattern is quite addictive. The whole thing is polished quite nicely like all of Revenge. Annie's father was dying at the time, which gives the lyrics extra resonance. [#87]

Feel free to join in the Prince Album Poll 2018! Let'a celebrate his legacy by counting down the most beloved Prince albums, as decided by you!
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Reply #4 posted 01/02/19 5:03pm

Moonbeam

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#80 “Caveman Head”

One of the most decadent and suggestive songs of their career. The soft vocal delivery set against the dominant, razor-sharp instrumentation enhances the sexual power play dynamics presented in the lyrics. The off kilter backing vocals add a delirium to the mix. One of the many aural treats on In the Garden with a sound that was never duplicated. [#91]


#79 “Anything But Strong”


Yet another wonderful song from Peace. The whole album is bruised with sharp pain and sorrow, and songs like this offer wonderful therapy in times of need. The way it swells into the glorious chorus is masterful with those strings! [#60]


#78 “She’s Invisible Now”


Such a vibrant song that sounds like nothing else. Yet another subdued, clinical delivery, which adds mystery to the lyrics. Those gauzy synths at the beginning set the stage for a truly unique ride, as Annie inhabits a character removed from her senses, including a bizarre countdown from 14 to 1. [#67]


#77 “Lifted”


I LOVE "Lifted". For me, the sea change in their sound in 1985 meant that Eurythmics generally shifted from producing more experimental, arty songs to more conventional tunes, the Savage album somewhat excepted. That's not a criticism - I really love most of their songs, and their more conventional tunes are generally done with such class. That trend generally continued with Peace, but "Lifted" stands out as something unlike anything I had heard by anyone. The moody synth strings set such an alluring atmosphere and serve as an unusual backdrop to a song of such encouragement. For her part, Annie delivers the verses with tenderness, and in the chorus, the stretched syllables perfectly embody the inner strength and PERSISTENCE that she urges from the listener: "keeeeeeeeeeep ooooooooooooooon lifted". And I love it when she really cuts loose: "Keep on lifted! Keep on! Keep on! What I say?! What I say?! What I SAAAAAYYY-eh-eh-AYYY-ay-ee-yeah-uh!" And then that flute solo comes in, which is just so, well, uplifting! A masterful song to finish off one of their classiest albums. I'm kind of shocked this isn't a lot higher. [#37]


#76 “Let’s Go!”


I found it pretty surprising that there were so many painful cuts from my top 101: I hadn’t realized there were so many Eurythmics songs I really liked! This wasn’t one of them, though. It’s not that far removed from “Revival” for me, although at least the verses are decent in this one. When I hear people say they don't like Eurythmics, I think of songs like this and "When Tomorrow Comes" and can understand why. [unranked]


#75 “In This Town”


This one revs up quite nicely! A rocker built to blow the roof off an arena, it's still got that Eurythmics sharpness to it with the wonderful bridge. [#95]


#74 “A Little of You”


My favorite of the three Revenge tracks I left off my list. At first, I really didn't like it, but it has grown on me a bit over the years. I love her voice, particularly on the line "and every time you try to hurt me, you know you'll only hurt yourself". I like the recall of the "Revenge" lyrics, too. Sparkling pure pop. [unranked]


#73 “Put the Blame on Me”


One of the many tasty flavors on Savage. While not a huge favorite, I appreciate the sparse funk guitar quite a bit and the off-kilter sound effects. Annie's vocal range is on full display here. [#94]


#72 “English Summer”


There’s nothing like this song! A perfect mix of allure and menace, it is thick, dense with buzzing synths and effect-laden guitars and krautrock bass, all turning ever inward in a knotty pretzel of humidity, augmented by sounds of the city and countryside. Annie's delivery of the chorus makes an English summer sound like a heavenly thing indeed. [#50]


#71 “Let’s Just Close Our Eyes”


I love all things "The Walk", including this! Although the main song features on the album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), it is actually "Let's Just Close Our Eyes" that most resembles the album's sound, IMO - casting the song in a danceable synthpop sheen that is just wonderful. [#77]

Feel free to join in the Prince Album Poll 2018! Let'a celebrate his legacy by counting down the most beloved Prince albums, as decided by you!
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Reply #5 posted 01/02/19 5:04pm

Moonbeam

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#70 “Peace Is Just a Word”

An absolutely stunning song, "Peace Is Just a Word" never fails to make my stop in my tracks as soon as it opens. "Stop the world" indeed! Then the song swells and soars into such a hallowed and theatrical display of utter dejection at the state of the world. Peace was a huge milestone album for me, and this was THE pillar of that moment in time when I was a wide-eyed college student coming to terms with how the world worked and what my place in it would (or could) be. [#12]


#69 “Satellite of Love”


Easily their best cover in my mind. It’s hard to cover a great song (and Lou Reed’s version is an all-time great song IMO) and make it worthwhile, but they did it. I love how it starts all dreamy and starry eyed with Annie’s gorgeous harmonies, and grows more impassioned and frantic as it goes on. Delicate like “Jennifer”, menacing like “Somebody Told Me”, and frantic like the end of “I Could Give You (A Mirror)”, a sort of snapshot of the wonderful Sweet Dreams album. [#55]


#68 “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves”


This was an early favorite of mine from their Greatest Hits album. As a huge fan of funk, I liked the homage to that genre and the message as well. Overplay has robbed some of its shine for me, but I still really like it, a deliberate but needed anthem. [#85]


#67 “How Long?”


I’ve never taken to this song. It has always felt pretty bland to me, a pedestrian critique of then-modern life about how everyone is locked into their routine without thinking about anything else, and then a chorus that comes out of nowhere querying the level of devotion of her lover. [unranked]


#66 “Wrap It Up”


Like everything on Sweet Dreams, I adore “Wrap It Up”. The energy, the zany UFO-sounding synth effects, the manic way it climbs at the end, that wonderful prominent synth bass… I have loved the song for 20 years now and only recently discovered it actually is a duet between Annie Lennox and Green Gartside - that is how seamlessly their voices work together here. [#57]


#65 “You Hurt Me (And I Hate You)”


The most thrilling song on We Too Are One - nobody rages on a dance floor quite like Annie Lennox. That wonderfully broody opening is so captivating, and Annie’s vocals swoop around this with such dexterity. I find the dedication of a song to pure, seething hatred to be quite noteworthy, and the way it bubbles with the dramatic "You gave me NOTHING! Nothing but regrets..." is sublime. [#58]


#64 “Heaven”


I love this song! This stuttering synth ear worm breaks with pop song convention and simply exists as an ever-looping, sexy electro curio. The sampled Annies running the full gamut of her characters on the album is sublime. [#66]


#63 “Wide Eyed Girl”


The frantic electronic pulse on the 3 of every measure is EVERYTHING, and makes the “wide eyes” sound like they are so open as a result of being surprised. And yes, Annie’s vocal freak out at the end is indeed sublime! [#64]


#62 “I Remember You”


The crown jewel of Revenge, this enchanted ballad doesn’t just pull at the heartstrings, it caresses them with its plaintive strings, gorgeous synths, and that glorious chorus recalling a defining coming-of-age moment that led the two characters in the song to take divergent paths at those particular crossroads. Elegant, majestic, and glorious. There’s a color picture in my mind… [#21]


#61 “Revenge”


That bass! The unnerving synths! Annie's cold and calculated exposition of how revenge is best pursued, and her maniacal GLEE when she admits "I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE to see them suffer!" is truly something to behold. One of the most unsettling songs they ever did, and that says something given how dark a lot of their early material is. A dangerous treat, this one. [#69]

Feel free to join in the Prince Album Poll 2018! Let'a celebrate his legacy by counting down the most beloved Prince albums, as decided by you!
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Reply #6 posted 01/02/19 5:05pm

Moonbeam

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#60 “I’ve Tried Everything”

Yet another great song from Peace! She conveys the dejected hopelessness of the song with so much SOUL. It flips the perspective of "When the Day Goes Down", as Annie finds herself as one of the "helpless losers" she encouraged so warmly in that song. [#47]


#59 “Your Time Will Come”


I love the marriage of post punk and new wave on this, one of the many highlights on In the Garden. The most anthemic, catchy chorus on the album, yet is still delights with weirdness. Annie's singing of the album's title is among my favorite vocal moments of her career - so lovely! [#65]


#58 “Sylvia”


As a total sucker for synth strings, this song hits all the right notes during those harrowing verses. The way it shifts gears in the chorus feels slightly out of place, but I still love the song. Dave's guitar adds wonderful texture, too! Drenched in cascading sadness and technicolor drama. [#61]


#57 “I Did It Just the Same”


LOOOOOOOVE! This song is an absolute masterpiece from start to finish. Every element of the song is extraordinary. The synths that BLUR in and out of focus create such an eerie ominousness. The interplay between the downright dirty bass guitar which carries such heft, the propulsive synth bass which drenches it in mechanical dread, and the dramatic piano chords, cascading in unison to that wonderful descending pattern creates THE TIGHTEST rhythm of any Eurythmics song, which is given even greater punch by the 2-and-4 drum sequence. Annie's vocals are a masterclass in emotive improvisation, augmenting the tension with both steely defiance and abject horror. Somehow, this song manages to convey so much feeling without using a single word - I dare say it is the most theatrical song in their entire oeuvre. I certainly find myself playing it on loop, lost in its defiant character and unable to sit still.


Forget "Love Is a Stranger". Forget "Here Comes the Rain Again". Forget "Would I Lie to You?". Forget "Missionary Man". Forget "Beethoven". THIS is the best opener to any Eurythmics album...
THE perfect song to strut down a city street at night amidst the glow of headlights and the silhouettes of strangers... [#9]


#56 “Grown Up Girls”


An incredibly potent dance number. While most of Be Yourself Tonight sounds so much warmer and gentler than what came before, here was a return to the thrillingly dangerous warped fun of yore. [#40]


#55 “DoublePlusGood”


A wonderful song from the wonderful 1984. Danceable, weird, innovative, and so easily memorable - it meshes bopping synth pop with the government deceit so well, as if to suggest that this is how governments could get away with lies: packaging them into digestible soundbites coated with candy. I love the "Your attention, your attention, please! Your attention! Tension! T-t-tension! Tension! Tension! Ten, nine, eight..." bit. [#49]


#54 “When the Day Goes Down”


A very stately, graceful way for Eurythmics to bow out of making music for awhile. It is a lovely anthem of encouragement to those on the margins of society that may seem a little trite out of context, but after all they went through during the 80s, it holds its own. [#73]


#53 “I Need You”


A good song with some really good, cutting lyrics that fit well within the framework of Savage. It's a bit too Dylan for my taste, but the love it gets for its harsh perspective on battered love is easy to understand. [unranked]


#52 “We Two Are One”


A decent, grooving rocker to open We Too Are One, it indeed sounds huge, built to fill stadiums with hands aloft, but there were too many good songs for me to include it in my top 101. [unranked]


#51 “Cool Blue”


A wonderfully warped romp that is thrilling from start to finish! By this point, it was clear that Dave and Annie were keen to play with the signature Eurythmics sound. The synth bass is still the driving force here (that downright DIRTY extended fourth note of the main sequence is EVERYTHING), but there are so many added textures: the funk guitar licks, the effect-heavy drum programming (like the delectable raindrop mimicry that opens the song), the extra heft of the bass, and those sassy brassy horns complement the song so well. I love how Annie's vocals grow from cold and cutting to desperate paranoia, conveyed so wonderfully with that second "Up!" in the chorus, and ultimately to increasingly processed mania! It's also one of their most evergreen dance songs they ever did. Along with "The First Cut", it is no wonder that the record company felt compelled to issue Touch Dance - it is impossible to stay still with such deliriously fun (eu)rhythm. [#19]

Feel free to join in the Prince Album Poll 2018! Let'a celebrate his legacy by counting down the most beloved Prince albums, as decided by you!
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Reply #7 posted 01/02/19 5:06pm

Moonbeam

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#50 “Belinda”

One of their greatest songs, IMO. I find it unfathomably awesome how dexterously it weaves together spiky power pop punch and dreamy, tender, starry-eyed wonder into a cohesive package, making “Belinda” feel like one of those songs that was simply born into existence rather than painstakingly crafted. Annie’s wordless vocal soaring amidst the ululating “dry your tears, close your eyes” Heaven-sparked backdrop is one of the most magical moments of the 80s. [#13]


#49 “Brand New Day”


The acapella opening is so powerful at the end of the wild journey that is Savage. I love the sparkle at the end as well - some may call it a bit cheesy, but I feel that Savage earned the right to end this way after the crazy twists and turns and the narrative it presents. [#71]


#48 “I’ve Got a Lover (Back in Japan)”


One of the many nice songs I left off of my list - too many good songs I had to find room for, though I do quite like this, particularly in the context of the album. A delirious bit of escapism in the midst of the doldrums of a dead-end, possibly abusive relationship. "When the whole world descends on you..." [unranked]


#47 “The Last Time”


The best marriage of their synth roots and their new rock obsession on Revenge, IMO. That synth hook is a total ear worm, and Annie expertly portrays steely defiance as only she can. Just a perfect pop/rock song, and it would have made a cracking single. [#38]


#46 “(My My) Baby’s Gonna Cry”


Yet another nice song that I had to leave off my list. A fine rocker with a massive riff that I imagine worked really well live. I love that Dave's vocals feature on this! As another group member posted, it smolders. [unranked]


#45 “For the Love of Big Brother”


What an incredible song this is! The lyrics are among the eeriest they ever created, capturing the chilling horror of the subject matter better than any others on the album. Musically, the wonderful mix of Latin rhythm, Dave's wonderful guitar and the foggy electronic haze is endlessly delightful. The entire album is filled with such evocative atmosphere, and yet this song stands out as among the most vivid. Sublime. [#24]


#44 “The King & Queen of America”


I really like "The King and Queen of America". Polished to within an inch of its life, the excessive gloss perfectly captures the shallowness of American self-appointed exceptionalism. The harsh brass, the twinkling keyboards, the obvious hamfisted anthemism of it all - this song uses its artifice as both a calling card for radio and an artistic device to cut down American ego. Annie's vocals are an absolute knockout on the track as well. [#78]


#43 “I’ve Got an Angel”


What a masterpiece this is! The opening flute seems to conjure the titular angel, but that ominous synth bass comes barrelling in to make me question whether it's an angel of darkness. The way she delivers the repeated refrain of "the power of imagination goes right to my head" in such a low, almost sub-human manner and the way she alternates (to my ears anyway) that it is simultaneously the time to "heal" and the time to "kill" seems to confirm the chilling truth. A bold, evocative venture into the wild on an absolutely perfect album. [#48]


#42 “This Is the House”


This took me awhile to warm up to, but I am so grateful that I did. It is such a delightfully odd mixture of that blaring brass, sweaty slap bass funk, pulsing dubby electronics and Latin flourishes. Annie's vocals are much more prominent than anywhere on In the Garden, and the incorporation of horns was a sign of things to come. I can hear the Grace Jones and David Bowie influences here, but they certainly make it their own with their peculiar brand of weirdness. [#68]


#41 “Adrian”


What an absolute gem! I tend to like my Eurythmics songs cold, moody, and theatrical, but the warm sunbeam of "Adrian" contends with their very best work. I discovered it late in my teens when my sentimentalism and idealism were at their highest, and hearing someone like Annie Lennox include herself in that fold of dreamers and deliver advice from the perspective of someone who had been there with such tender sympathy was very heart-warming for me. And if that wasn't enough, the main synth line communicates the loving embrace of the lyrics with such a soaring, radiant glow! Dave's guitar flourishes add further compassion, and the way Elvis Costello's brilliant harmonies interweave with Annie's vocals take the song into the heavens.


Moreover, my earliest childhood hero was named Adrian and the fact that the song clocks in at 4:29 in a bit of synchronicity with my birthday of 4/29 give the song an added personal touch. [#6]

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Reply #8 posted 01/02/19 5:06pm

Moonbeam

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#40 “The First Cut”

The most energetic dance song Eurythmics ever did, “The First Cut” is all fangs set to a thrilling kaleidoscope of frantic synths, guitars, drum machines and quirky effects. Masterful, everfresh fun that bursts through the speakers, I can’t help myself from moving when it’s on, which is quite frequently as it’s my 5-year-old son’s favorite Eurythmics song. If you need some E pep in your step, look no further. No one seethes on a dancefloor quite like Annie Lennox! [#26]


#39 “Aqua”


I adore “Aqua” with its absolutely hypnotic rhythm, Annie’s wordless backing vocals, her strident disappointment seething from every pore with the “don’t touch me/don’t talk to me ever again” insistence, and Dave’s wonderful guitar weirdness. One of their more unique offerings, sounding like nothing else in their catalogue or anyone else's. Vivid texture galore. [#41]


#38 “Here Comes That Sinking Feeling”


“Have you ever heard the sound of disappointment?” I have, and it’s this song.

It just feels like it isn’t fully formed, like they tweaked the basics of “Would I Lie to You?” and forgot to write a proper song around it: those verses are particularly lazy melody-wise and the chorus isn’t much to write home about either, IMO. Annie’s singing in the chorus is wonderful and saves it from being a track I truly dislike, but it’s far from making my personal top 101. [unranked]

#37 “I Need a Man”


An over-exaggerated ton of fun, “I Need a Man” is raucous debauchery. Hilarious raving video as well! [#93]


#36 “Regrets”


Oh, "Regrets"! It blends fun and danger so wonderfully. That snaking synth bass is on the darker side of the Goldilocks zone balancing sinister edge and mass appeal, and the song is all the better for it. Annie absolutely perfectly inhabits the character within the song, delivering warning after warning of her bubbling infernal rage: with fists, razor blade smiles and delicate minds giving way to dangerous natures, the imagery is so vivid. I think my favorite part is when she repeatedly whispers "I'm an electric wire!" while ominously humming in the background... it's a powerful bone-chilling moment that likewise works in the masterful "Paint a Rumour". [#45]


#35 “Right by Your Side”


The one semi-blemish from their remarkable 1981-84 run for me. It's not bad, but the calypso overtones just don't connect with me. Although Eurythmics often couple depressing subject matter (in this case she literally is clamoring for a way out of depression) and sunnier arrangements, this one's tropical carnival atmosphere doesn't quite convince me. [unranked]


#34 “Angel”


I can understand those who find the production a little lackluster, but I think its cleanliness fits the song. “Angel” strikes just the right tone, mixing solemn reflection and divine grandiosity. Dave’s guitar work here cuts so deeply and Annie’s vocals (particularly when she explores that glorious lower register of hers) are absolutely lovely. [#39]


#33 “Better to Have Lost in Love (Than Never to Have Loved at All)”


A nice ending for Be Yourself Tonight. The synth strings and the epic drumming cook up a lot of lovely drama. The chorus is a bit of a letdown for me, but there is lots of good in this one. The “a hey hey - a hey hey hey!” outro with the gorgeous octave stepping synths is my favorite part. [#100]


#32 “17 Again”


I LOVE "17 Again". Like many others, I'm sure, I carry special nostalgia for it as the comeback single in the US. Having just gotten hardcore into Eurythmics the year prior, it was amazing to have a new song I could devour, and what a song! Solemn, soulful, and wonderfully weathered, I find the lyrics are masterful and the song soars with requisite grandeur, a sort of starry-eyed glimpse at no longer being starry-eyed. [#22]


#31 “Somebody Told Me”


Oooooooh! Wonderfully sinister, this song feels like a prelude to "Paint a Rumour", as we see Annie's fury simmer and bubble over with appropriately nightmarish synth menace. The atmosphere they concocted on this and so many other wonderful songs on Sweet Dreams is second to none. [#53]

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Reply #9 posted 01/02/19 5:08pm

Moonbeam

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#30 “Conditioned Soul”

Simply put, this song is pop perfection. They incorporate so many disparate influences here and adorn it with trademark Eurythmic style. One of the highlights of Be Yourself Tonight, for sure. I like it more than all of the singles, except maybe "It's Alright (Baby's Coming Back)". [#34]


#29 “Take Me to Your Heart”


Oh, oh, oh! ❤️ Out of all of the different worlds that Eurythmics painted with their diverse soundscapes, this little cavern of sound might just be the most beautiful. That bass line propels with such thick texture! The discord between the higher pitched synth line which delights with such twinkling magic and the lower pitched one which carries a mournful tone captures the spirit of the track wonderfully. And yes, I do mean spirit: while the song is disguised as a plea for closeness with her lover, something about the moonlit ambient electronics that hang throughout the song like a thick fog and Annie’s ghost-like delivery give the song a paranormal vibe, as if she is trying to reach her beau from beyond the grave after he has sadly moved on.


The choice of the word “contact” is key to this impression for me, particularly the way it is sung - a standard rhythm of the words “I try to contact you” would shorten the word “to” and lengthen the “con-“ in “contact”, and yet here, “to” is given the same duration as the previous words, and “contact” is subsequently delivered more rapidly. This unusual phrasing is such a brilliant way to emphasize that word - who knew that by shortening the delivery you could add emphasis?! This delivery highlights the *urgency* of the need for contact, and it routinely gives me chills. Add to that the way Annie echoes out of the song in a seemingly endless loop of “time after time...” and “when I’m alone...” and I get imagery of Annie’s ghost returning to her grave, forever carrying this obsessive love that crosses the mortal realm. The highlight of In the Garden for me and one of the greatest creative triumphs of the 80s, IMO. [#10]


#28 “Paint a Rumour”


Absolute perfection, this. There are three main synth patterns that match the three main characters Annie inhabits with different vocal tones. The relentlessly propulsive, hypnotic avalanche of those booming, octave-stepping synths make for the most powerful musical moment in their entire career this side of the opening note that explodes to ignite "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)", and they align perfectly with Annie's low-pitched, frightening menace that teases and tantalizes with the promise of illicit information. The higher pitched synth line that sits atop the mix throughout the song plays like a tireless stenographer tapping away to relay the latest juicy tidbits of the ever-present rumour mill, matching the insatiable thirst for gossip of the higher-pitched backing vocals: "what did it SAAAAY?!". Perhaps most impressive of all, however, is the when the synths begin to swirl in fiery whirlpools in time with Annie's growing rage, as she bubbles over with volcanic fury, repeatedly hissing the whispered all-caps exorcism "I COULD TELL YOU SOMETHING" through gnashed teeth.


Any one of these pairings of synth lines and character exploits would be more than enough to carry a song, but to have all three in one song is just an ocean of riches. But that's not all! We also get those wonderfully textured trumpets ramping up the mania, the wonderful slap bass to engage the hips, the thrilling sequence of blips and bleeps near the end of the song that race through the speakers like a primitive dial-up modem, and the chilling martial "hey, hey, Hey, HEY!" chants that beautifully set the table for 1984: For the Love of Big Brother.


"Paint a Rumour" is a symphony of synths, rising and falling in waves and whirlpools of blood red. No other song of theirs so perfectly captures my own taste like this one, and with a nearly 8-minute runtime, it is by far the most indulgent rush of dopamine they ever produced. [#3]


#27 “The Miracle of Love”


Delicately pretty, "The Miracle of Love" is a soaring anthem delivered with utmost tenderness and warmth. After all of the warped mania, theatrical heartache, and paranoid freakouts that filled the first four albums, it made sense from both a stylistic and an overall wellbeing perspective for Dave and Annie to embrace warmer and more palatable textures on Be Yourself Tonight and Revenge. Nonetheless, that early history is part of what makes a song like this resonate so - if Annie Lennox, after all the pain and torment she lived on record in such bold relief, can attest to the restorative power of love, then it must mean something. While I have a strong affinity for their early work, I maintain that straight-laced mainstream music when done well can be excellent. For me, this is excellent. [#44]


#26 “I’ve Got a Life”


It was such a treat to get new Eurythmics music, and the return to their synth roots just amped up the nostalgia. It’s a strong song, too, touching on tried and true themes of harsh reality and a plea for humanity. My favorite part is the building bridge: “it’s such a crime to be unkind...”. [#70]


#25 “This City Never Sleeps”


Ahh, "This City Never Sleeps". There are days when I think it's the best thing Eurythmics have ever done, and with good reason: I think it is THE most atmospheric offering they ever produced and a crowning achievement of understatement - everything feels so delicate, so sedate, so hallowed! First and foremost is the ingenious melody that runs throughout the song - somehow, DnA managed to come up with a musical phrase that captures the dull monotony of crowded urban survival (living is too generous of a word for it) while simultaneously being immensely captivating - there's a sort of searching tone to it that draws the listener in and never lets go. It's easy to sink into its trance, with the soft drum pattern pacing time like a relentless metronome ticking and tocking away to document the fleeting days, weeks, and years of overwhelming loneliness. It's a sea of exhausted faces sharing the same existence that gets lost in faceless anonymity.


Add to that the brilliant guitar tones that Dave merges through feedback with the recorded train sounds, hanging in the air like the rawness of frostbite because there isn't money left to pay the heating bill. And Annie! Her words capture the sentiment with such dexterity: "walls so thin I can almost hear them breathing, but when I listen in I hear my own heart beating". She weaves both soulful vulnerability, steely defiance, and resigned hopelessness into a rich tapestry against a rainy midnight sky. I particularly love how during her most impassioned "in the city!" cries, the volume echoes DOWN and outward like an urgent plea diluting into hollow nothingness in the cosmos.


What I also love about "This City Never Sleeps" is that it so perfectly chronicles their story: from the ashes of The Tourists, Dave and Annie had issued an album and five singles that had all failed to ignite the public's imagination, and they seemed destined to plod away, filled with a million ideas but unable to even afford a claptrap. And yet, these very circumstances led to the inventiveness that augmented the creative process: banging picture frames against the wall, filling milk jugs to varying levels for lo-fi percussion, dangling a swaying microphone down a full storey to record Annie's piano playing and singing, and merging disparate sonic elements onto singular tracks to fit on the 8-track equipment. This sort of gritty determination soaks through every pore of "This City Never Sleeps", and I love it immensely for that reason. An absolute artistic triumph for Dave and Annie, and a massive highlight on the best album of their career. [#7]


#24 “I Saved the World Today”


The strings are lovely and the verses are quite engaging. I guess the chorus lets it down a bit for me, similar to “Better to Have Lost in Love”, and I enjoy most of the other songs from Peace quite a bit more than this, but there is a lot to like about “I Saved the World Today”, most notably the lyrics for me. [unranked]


#23 “When Tomorrow Comes”


This song has grown from a song I dislike to a song I can mildly enjoy, like "Right by Your Side". Annie's singing is wonderfully warm, and the sentiment is quite tender. But it is about as MOR as it gets in a completely bland way, IMO.


My first impression of the song was so damaging that it still lingers today. As a kid, my first Eurythmics album was the Greatest Hits cassette, which I bought because I loved "Sweet Dreams". Well, whoever had the idea to follow up such a titanic synth masterpiece with this caused me to delay getting into Eurythmics for years. That's right, as soon as I heard the start of this song following "Sweet Dreams", I said "nope" and rewound to the beginning to listen to "Sweet Dreams" again. I "nope"d the whole rest of the cassette for years, missing out on so many wonderful songs because of the shocking sequencing. In hindsight, a chronological sequence of the songs would have made "When Tomorrow Comes" sound a lot less shrill. I maintain that despite the huge sales, the Greatest Hits compilation does Eurythmics a disservice.


The chorus is a big problem for me. "(Wait until tomorrow comes, yeah yeah)... When tomorrow comes (wait until tomorrow comes, yeah yeah)... When tomorrow comes...". They could do so much better. And the tone just seems off, too. Can you imagine being the one Annie wants to be there for in this song? Waking up after dreary depression to a bright and chirpy Annie opening up the blinds to blaring sunshine while skittering around the place poppy and peppy, insisting on being there to cater to your every need? [unranked]


#22 “Never Gonna Cry Again”


I love “Never Gonna Cry Again”! It’s got the notable Can influence with that wonderful bass crawl, it’s absolutely drenched in desolate sadness with those layers upon layers of synths, not too far removed from Nico and her mournful harmonium, but injected with clear Eurythmics spirit, turning that bottomless sorrow into a strident statement of defiance. And Annie’s wonderful flute solo punctuated by those piano stabs? Pure magic! [#32]


#21 “Jennifer”


A masterful song from a masterful album. Whenever I hear someone say that synthesizers "aren't real music" or are "cold and sterile", I think of this and Kraftwerk's "Computer Love'' as foolproof counterexamples. The electronic heartbeat of this song glows with such warmth in perfect harmony with Annie's lullaby-like homage to the heroine of the song which is delivered with such tenderness. I love that Annie chooses all secondary colors in her description of Jennifer, serving as a plausible explanation for her untimely fate: she felt secondary. Such gorgeous presentation and rich imagery is complemented by other sonic delights, like the pulsing "hoo hoo hoo"s that chime in unison with the neon electronic heartbeat of the song while those piercing synths roar through the speakers like the Doppler effect from a speeding train, as well as Dave's most visceral guitar fireworks that send the song streaking into the heavens in glorious splendor. A towering triumph. [#8]

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Reply #10 posted 01/02/19 5:09pm

Moonbeam

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#20 “Julia”

Wintry, resigned and haunting, "Julia" is the both the standout of 1984: For the Love of Big Brother and the best representation of its narrative world, in which humankind’s descent into anonymous oppressive machinery is so brutally chronicled, which is likely why it was so heavily featured in the film. In the context of the album, "Julia" is the last song that features Annie's natural voice (along with the vocoder), as if it's one last conflict of human vs machine. The presence of that plaintive, searching, almost hymn-like string melody atop the foreboding, ever-descending bass line further captures this conflict. So many moments take my breath away, including that mournful electronic flute that embodies the spirit of the song, fleeing ever higher in abject horror and sorrow at the crushing dread of it all, as well as the stark beauty of those delicate piano trills that couple with the pulsing electronics to reveal Julia's vulnerability, giving way to Annie's disarming "Oh, Julia", as if she, too, was swept away by the fleetingness of the moment, and then the synth bass adds its own sorrowful embrace before being subsumed into the dread of the deep piano chords.


The fateful answer to the half-human, half-machine existential question "will we still be there?" is given not only by Dave's masterful guitar touching a perfectly somber and mournful tone in eulogy to Julia and her rebellious humanity as the song fades out, but also by the abrupt change in sound and theme of the subsequent songs, with Big Brother's mouthpiece ("DoublePlusGood"), even more processed vocals ("Ministry of Love") and the nightmarish "Room 101" slamming the door with an authoritative resolution. [#2]


#19 “Savage”


Oooh! “Savage” is an incredibly special song indeed, well worth it spot in the top 20. There are so many wonderful Eurythmics songs in which Annie’s rage, despair, disappointment, and frustration are delivered with wonderful high-intensity theatrics atop equally bold instrumentation, but here, she turns it inward, her acerbic lyrics weighing more heavily on herself than anyone else. The instrumentation is likewise different, swirling in beautiful sympathy and breathing with a pace that is somehow both sultry and sharply painful. The way the keyboards swell in response to “these are my guns” and “these are my furs” is chill-inducing brilliance, and Dave’s guitar emotes such razor-sharp sorrow. Her forthright bitternss is absolutly disarming, delivered through gritted teeth with all the strength she can muster. [#20]


#18 “I Could Give You (A Mirror)”


For me, synth bass is the most defining element to the classic Eurythmics sound, and no other song in their catalogue features it so prominently as this delectable slice of booming synthpop glory. Displaying its fangs in octave-stepping menace throughout, "I Could Give You (A Mirror)" delivers a relentless flurry of devastating blows to accompany Annie's most cold and cutting lyric on record as she obliterates her former paramour with the title of the song. Despite this heaviness, the song is delightfully danceable thanks to the 4-on-the-floor drum pattern. The fun ramps up throughout the song, first with those high-pitched eighth notes that chime in before the second verse, then the streaking synths sparkling during the bridge, followed by the most glorious key change of their entire career, which elevates her incredulity to venomous fury: "Whoa-oh-OH HOW COULD YOU BE soooo cold?" The entire thing coalesces into a maniacal chorus of Annies simultaneously expressing their disappointment, frustration and rage as the skittering synth line steps up an octave into quite the thrilling finish. Nobody added such danger to evergreen dance pop quite like Eurythmics, and it all started here.


I should add that my gateway to Eurythmics was the colossal single and video for "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)". I long loved that song and bought the cassette of the Greatest Hits when I was around 13. I really liked a lot of the songs, so I gave the Sweet Dreams album a try when I was around 18. I was blown away by the quality of it, but it was THIS song that made me obsessive. To have another song with those towering explosions of synth bass was unreal. [#4]


#17 “Sexcrime”


Oooh, yes! That opening stutter of the title of the song sets the stage for the most wonderful synth stuttering rhythm that percolates and jitters at breakneck pace throughout the song. The obvious “pop” song from 1984 is still full of so much invention. It’s a thrilling bit of synth pop speckled with funk and rock and it absolutely sparks. I adore the Britishness of Annie’s delivery of “can I take this for granted” as well as her wild ad libs. A worthy entry in our top 20 even though I didn’t have it there. [#36]

#16 "Shame"

Love this shimmering slice of gorgeous dance pop. I love how it starts like a children's carousel, as if to highlight the childlike hero worship in modern society. Somehow, they manage this critique with utmost sophistication and grace: it's hard to title a song "Shame" after having seen the heights of success that DnA managed and not come off pompous, but they do it. Those synths tug at my heartstrings from the moment they open until they sparkle out as the song fades with Annie's lush cooing sending the song into the heavens. A great "lost" single that deserves every accolade it gets. Extra points for the choice of the spicy rolled Rs: "You and your brrrrand new shoes and, you with your grrrreasy hair and..." [#29]


#15 "There Must Be an Angel (Playing With My Heart)"


A fluttery bit of airy pop goodness, this is one of the few “happy” E songs that I really like. The harmonica solo by Stevie Wonder might get all the buzz, but it is that shimmer synth line that steals the show for me. Annie’s unique, almost operatic opening vocal line is incredible, but the bridge is my favorite part: the gospel choir injects wonderful soul with their rising refrain as Annie shows off amazing range. [#62]


#14 "Thorn in My Side"


This song really shouldn’t work for me, given my general aversion to the influences of 50s and 60s rock and country, but somehow, I love it from the moment it starts until it ends. It features some of my very favorite Annie vocals: she is just PERFECT in her, well, thorny takedown in the verses, turning triumphant for the glorious chorus. Even the “run, run, run, run” bits, which could sound gimmicky, are wonderful, maybe because of the electronic pulse that propels them from the background. To succeed so mightily despite making generous use of elements that can often be off-putting for me is a sign of a great song that can cross lots of barriers. No wonder it was an absolute smash.


The extended mix reimagines the song as a cool, electronic slow burn, and is equally gripping. One of their best remixes. [#33]


#13 "Would I Lie to You?"


While I prefer their 1981-1984 material on the whole, a transformation was essential for Eurythmics to remain a force in the mainstream, and they pull out all the stops here. Pop/rock at its most immediate and electric and Annie’s vocal confidence was bursting through at this point. The glamorous makeover meant Eurythmics could truly conquer the world. This choice came at a cost of their general weirdness and artistic flare, but “Would I Lie to You?” absolutely smokes when it comes out of the radio, so I can’t do anything but applaud. [#76]


#12 "Missionary Man"


Oh, yes! Eurythmics’ trademark menace takes a detour through the Bible Belt and emerges victorious, fangs bared with colossal and rebellious swagger. As a rocker, I think it leaves all of their other rockers idling in its wake. Annie’s deep, husky delivery warning of the dangers of religious dogma wielded as weaponry is wonderful, and Joniece Jamieson adds such electricity to enhance the urgency. The fiery synth sizzle that joins the foray after the bridge is masterful. I could go on and on. Love it to bits. [#30]


#11 "I Love You Like a Ball and Chain"


The shock of the poll! I had no idea fans liked this so much! I really like it too: an energetic rocker that still carries a great electronic element. That second verse is wonderfully passionate, with Annie's vocal gymnastics on full display. Unfortunately, there are some guest male vocalists whose “like a bawl and chain... bawl and chain” bits drag it down for me, but not enough to prevent this from being a track I really enjoy. [#63]

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Reply #11 posted 01/02/19 5:12pm

Moonbeam

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#10 "It's Alright (Baby's Coming Back)"

Ooh, the soulful glow of this one makes it my favorite single from Be Yourself Tonight. The synths of yore that had illuminated such sorrow, torment, or breathtaking menace (at times in the same song!) suddenly became encased in a warm embrace suitable for Annie’s brilliantly soulful declaration of devotion for her returning beau. There is still plenty of classic Eurythmic eccentricity to keep things interesting, particularly in the call and response verses. I especially love the way she leaps higher than expected when she declares she’ll be his ledge: “you can LEAN upon me”. That “lean” is so gleefully packed with excitement! The outro is likewise awesome, with the “make it easy on yourself tonight” weaving into the chorus subtly at first before Annie can no longer contain herself, gushing forth with fiery passion. The video is simply outstanding as well, with the mixture of live action and animation awash in wonderfully bold colors. An absolute jewel of a single, “It’s Alright (Baby’s Coming Back)” is far too often overlooked next to its more celebrated siblings from Be Yourself Tonight. [#31]


#9 "No Fear, No Hate, No Pain (No Broken Hearts)"


I LOVE how well this did! "No Fear, No Hate, No Pain (No Broken Hearts)" is masterful. It has so many unusual elements but they all coalesce into a stunning whole. The juxtaposition of the sharp, booming synths and the string sections gives it such a bold soundscape, which frightens at one turn and takes your breath away the next. The contrast between the seething, animatronic verses and the soulful wordless pleas toward the end is EVERYTHING. And how about Annie's opening, mournful, lillting, wordless vocal?! It tops "There Must Be an Angel" to me for goosebump-inducing brilliance! The whole thing is spine-tingling vocal theatre, really, from the way she alternates between the vulnerable, high pitched "no"s and the more barbed words in the title to her ad-libbed "heyyyy-heyyy-heyyy-eeee-yeah-ee-yeahhh-OWWW" toward the finish. The way her wordless vocals climb during the bridge before morphing into and being swept away by the strings and synths is otherworldly. Probably their most avant garde song to appear on an album, and its emotional breadth, rich sonic tapestry and vocal delights make it a worthy entry into the top 10. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ [#27]


#8 "Don't Ask Me Why"


Oooh, “Don’t Ask Me Why” is just divine. That uneasy bass line that runs throughout is downright troubled, and coupled with those staccato strings to start, it makes for quite the sophisticated drama. Annie’s vocals so wonderfully shift tone from resigned disappointment to defiance through to an almost bemused incredulity at her lover’s inability to understand why she is so upset.


It builds gloriously and gracefully with such gorgeously sleek production, culminating in what I consider the most emotionally charged moment in the entire history of Eurythmics, as Annie repeatedly sings “I don’t love you anymore”, now in an effort to convince herself rather than tell her former paramour that the relationship is over. At the same time, the “why”s of her lover that she had been answering with such raw bitterness transform into a repeated chorus of her OWN “why”s, sung softly and sorrowfully, no longer able to maintain a stiff upper lip. This moment is captured so perfectly in the video, Annie rocking herself back and forth, the high saturation of the film displaying her naked pain in such vivid detail.


Breathtaking from start to finish, this elegant gem is the centrepiece jewel of We Too Are One and the best single of the second half of their career. [#11]


#7 "The Walk"


This delectable slice of foggy mystery more than deserves is spot in the top 10. The arrangement is breathtaking, the lush synth strings endlessly seductive, but the synth bass forewarning the imminent danger of the relationship. If love was a stranger in an open car, this is the song that would be calling from the speakers. Annie relays the seduction by letting the syllables glide off her tongue with elongated allure during the verses, before abruptly finding the inner strength to resist his charms, insisting on “nothing but the real thing” with clear voice.


The brass section adds a spicy fire to the growing tension, showcasing the diversity that Eurythmics were finding with their sound - this wasn’t just synthpop, it was a combination of many influences that coalesced into a vibrant, multidimensional whole, and this widely textured palette is used here and on the single’s incredible treasure trove of B-sides to paint songs with such bold relief.


Of course, Annie acquiesces to the charms of the music, falling into a sensual, ever-circling whirlpool of passion, closing her eyes and losing herself in rapturous pleasure. [#15]


#6 "Beethoven (I Love to Listen to)"


A delirious fit of cascading madness, there is so much to love about “Beethoven (I Love to Listen to)”. That pulsing, almost wheezing beat that propels the entire thing shows that DnA had done another abrupt turn toward delightful weirdness, and the fluttering synth woodwind 16th notes convey the mania that envelops Annie’s housewife character from the acclaimed music video - after enduring years of shackled nothingness at the hands of her domineering husband, she unfetters herself with vibrantly furious abandon.


It’s a testament to their creativity that after 6 albums that featured so much change, they were still able to release one of their most surprising singles. While it still plays to their strengths (inventive electronics and Annie’s seemingly limitless ability to inhabit various characters chief among them), it manages to stretch the boundaries of not just what they were known for, but what makes a “song” itself. Lightning in a bottle brilliance, this. [#18]

#5 "Who's That Girl?"

Oooooh. Eurythmics have plenty of icy songs, but this one is positively GLACIAL. Those opening high-pitched, textured synths shiver as if played by icicles falling in time from a cave ceiling. I love the way the main synth line relentlessly pulses as if to punctuate Annie's simmering paranoia and smoldering rage, which she delivers with appropriately seething frigidness. It's is a perfect mix of allure and danger, the verses ushering forth with sophisticated seduction, amplifying into high-stakes drama with the "but there's just one thing!" bits underscored by their trademark synth bass. The atmosphere is so affecting, and Annie’s character exploits here are top-notch as she once again embodies the perils of love as on previous singles “The Walk” and “Love Is a Stranger” and threads the needle between both, teetering along the line between alluring mystery and threatening danger. No other song in their rich repertoire casts tension quite like this, a beguiling mix of sexy and terrifying.


My favorite part of all comes when after percolating for 3.5 minutes, the song finally explodes into that wonderfully technicolor, volcanic fury of synths exorcising the heat of 1000 suns. Truly spellbinding stuff. I could get lost in its scalding magma over and over. I wish the single edit and video included this part. The 12” extended mix (their best, IMO), gives it even greater prominence, much to my delight. [#14]


#4 "You Have Placed a Chill in My Heart"


“You Have Placed a Chill in My Heart” is the emotional core of the Savage album. While Eurythmics had written the book on the perils of love at this point in their careers, Annie had never sounded as vulnerable and broken as she does on this, her heart completely consumed with sadness. And so it is that “You Have Placed a Chill in My Heart” manages to be one of my favorite kinds of song – one you can weep to on the dancefloor.


The lyrics are astonishing, Annie delivering blow after blow to relay the emotional toil this relationship has had on her: treated more as an employee than a partner, depressed to the point of wishing she was invisible. It all peaks with each glorious utterance of how it is “TOO MUCH!” followed by the ultimate triumph: “’Cause I’m much too tall to feel that small, yeah.”


The production soars and sparkles with late 80s wonder, setting a danceable platform that makes this a worthy addition to the stable of “crying on the dancefloor” classics such as New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle” and Erasure’s “Oh L’Amour”. As wonderful as those songs are, though, this one is super-charged by the storyline of a heroine finally finding the strength to say “enough!” to her abusive partner.


The music video is a wonderful showcase for the song as well, Annie beaten and bruised, lost in the desert and reminded by just how cheap love can be. When she finally collapses into her lover’s arms when singing “I just want someone to hold”, the camera spinning in dizzying circles as the song ascends into the heavens, I can’t help but feel my heart swell. Spectacular. [#16]


#3 "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"


If I had to pick one song that represents my musical taste, it very well could be “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”. For as long as I can remember, analog synths have been what draws me to music the most. They are the perfect tool to paint the sort of bold musical worlds with colors set to maximum saturation into which I can most obsessively immerse myself. And there is no painting as vibrant as “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”.


It only dawned on me recently why I respond to music this way. When I was in kindergarten, I was the only student to fail an activity set by the teacher, in which we had to draw shapes and write characters of specific colors in specific locations. The teacher called my mother and explained to her that while I had correct placement of the various shapes and characters, the colors weren’t as instructed. My mother then explained to her, “For Ian, colors, shapes, letters, and numbers aren’t just what they are. They are his friends. And he has them in favorite order: yellow, orange red; triangle, circle, square; V, U, T; 8, 4, 2. So when he draws his favorite shape, a triangle, it has to be his favorite color, yellow. When he writes his second favorite letter, U, it has to be his second favorite color, orange.” I hadn’t been misunderstanding the instructions – the instructions had gone against my own deeply-felt rules of right and wrong! I used to ask for magnetic letters and numbers for Christmas every year, and one year when the v’s came as white, I painted them yellow. To this day, I have a yellow magnetic V and 8 on my refrigerator – my love of the abstract “yellowness” or “orangeness” of something has not faded with time.


So why synths, then? Many of my favorite songs create worlds in my mind that are rich in color, and there is nothing that can so readily create these associations for me like analog synths. I now believe that my gateway to becoming a music lover came through old Nintendo games – the vibrant, pixelated colors that lit up the screen while I was playing Zelda or Bubble Bubble or Mega Man 2 were accompanied by equally fluorescent soundtracks in all their 8-bit glory. In these worlds, colors and sounds combined to create their own universes that strongly imprinted on me.


So when I heard that opening note of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” explode into millions of neon orange pixels, it felt like it went right through me, like that sonic boom had been plucked straight out of my DNA. That note may very well be the most iconic note of the entire 80s, and it detonates the start of each measure into a booming, irresistible MOTION, rising and falling in flares as it shifts between octaves, a perfectly programmed symphony of orange 0s and 1s. The tension mounts further during the “hold your head up” section, the music dropping out completely after the final “keep your head up!” to set the stage for that brilliant, thrilling instrumental bridge. The flurry of those opening 7 notes adds such tantalizing MYSTERY before being swallowed whole as the synths crawl deeper into low-pitched menace. The palette during “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” is so vibrant that I can almost SEE the song’s movements – brilliant streaks of orange light striating a pitch black night sky with each booming synth, flashes of white igniting with each clang of the picture frames against the warehouse walls, stars twinkling with each tap of the varyingly-filled milk bottles.


I first experienced it while watching the incredible music video which left me in absolute awe. Few artists have so expertly used visual means to enhance songs like Eurythmics, and that video for “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” is foremost among them. The clashes of corporate vs pastoral and spiritual vs technological worlds are set out so powerfully with Annie’s commanding presence, pounding the pointer in her boardroom presentation and spinning that glowing globe as Dave taps away at a computer. There is a lot to dissect, but it was that orange, orange, ORANGE hair that left the deepest impression me, as Annie cast an image that was so bold and so undiluted that it instilled courage in me to never compromise who I was. And orange is perfect for this song – its messages shrieking “CAUTION!” at every turn of the difficult and sometimes cruel nature of the world.


So it is that “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” feels like more than a song to me. It’s providential. It’s primal. It’s a world unto itself in which I can reconnect with who I am at my core. I must have heard it well over 1,000 times, and that opening bomb always excites me, always ignites in me a feeling of wonder. Wonder at sound. Wonder at vision. Wonder at the compelling beauty of orange in the abstract. It is a world full of dreams, and it is indeed quite sweet. [#1]


#2 "Love Is a Stranger"


With “Love Is a Stranger”, Eurythmics finally came upon a sound and a theme that would bring them massive success, even if they had to wait a little while for it to take off. Pulsing electronics, incredible vocals that go from strength to mania like a switch, and lyrics that charter the dangerous paths that love can take its unwitting passengers, it is all there, and done so exceptionally here.


My favorite part is how the synths in the background warble and wobble around with brilliant effects, ever unsteady, never letting the listener get a solid footing. The more prominent elements of the song deliver the main punches (and punch they do!), but those synths lurking in the background, rocking the ship as it goes give the song all the fangs it needs. Annie’s vocal phrasing is also incredible, lacing the words with a variety of flavors. I particularly adore the way she hangs on the “j” in “jealous”, highlighting its ferocity.


A well-deserved classic that deserves its spot in the top 3, even if I only placed it at #25. [#25]


#1 "Here Comes the Rain Again"


It’s funny: I feel a sense of joy and a sense of sadness as this poll finishes. Joy for the many months of fun we have had passionately discussing and learning about these songs, and sadness that this journey is now complete. And this song sums up those feelings quite well.


Despite it being widely known in fan circles, I don’t think enough is made in general about how unique it is that Annie and Dave ended their romantic relationship and started on this wonderful musical journey as Eurythmics. That history brought out some incredibly rich and textured songs, and none so perfectly capture the unique circumstances of Eurythmics like “Here Comes the Rain Again”. Once again, Dave and Annie turned a heated argument into wonderful musical catharsis.

Musically, the combination of synths and orchestral arrangements never sounded so beautifully matched for each other: the strings carving breathtaking beauty and the synths glowing with the magical sparkle only they can produce, combining to craft a beauty that is so immense that it feels almost exalted. For me, the opening triplicate synth pattern that runs throughout feels like the titular raindrops: there is a percussiveness to the synths that make them sound like rain splatting against a window pane: thick from the cold grey clouds from which they came, driving an insistent rhythm. It is gorgeous and affecting and grand.

And the lyrics are so tender and vulnerable, an earnest plea for connection as a way to overcome the overbearing depression that envelops a broken heart. And it’s not just any connection she seeks - she wants the whole ocean - a deep, almost primordial, you-and-I-are-one-for-all-eternity connection, and the way she sings is such an evocative reminder that such connections are possible. In a song in which she is resigned and fatalistic about the world (the title revealing a weary expectation of sadness), she seeks the highest of highs.


It may not be my favorite Eurythmics song, but I can’t honestly disagree with anyone who maintains that “Here Comes the Rain Again” is their best song. It is hallowed. It is sacred. It is a hymn. [#17]

Feel free to join in the Prince Album Poll 2018! Let'a celebrate his legacy by counting down the most beloved Prince albums, as decided by you!
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Reply #12 posted 01/02/19 5:12pm

Moonbeam

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BobbyDrake said:

That's frickin awesome. I love that list


Thanks! We're thinking of doing an Annie Lennox poll next if you're interested! Probably will be a few months before we start though.

Feel free to join in the Prince Album Poll 2018! Let'a celebrate his legacy by counting down the most beloved Prince albums, as decided by you!
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Reply #13 posted 01/02/19 8:18pm

itsjustaroundt
hecorner

love this!!!

thanks for posting!

but jeez, Put the Blame on Me and English Summer are SO LOW!!!!!

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Reply #14 posted 01/03/19 7:33am

2045RadicalMat
tZ

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Glad to read that glowing review of "I did it just the same".....


...most of that album is an eerie atmospheric masterpiece. Although the lead single's got some upbeat positivity, the album itself is a drawing emotional experience. I remember when I'd first found a copy of that in a second hand music store. ..was in love from the minute i first put the needle down. What a great opener - couldn't agree more!
♫"Trollin, Trolling! We could have fun just trollin'!"♫
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Reply #15 posted 01/03/19 10:08am

IstenSzek

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love love love @ this entire thread

and true love lives on lollipops and crisps
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Reply #16 posted 01/03/19 2:21pm

Moonbeam

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itsjustaroundthecorner said:

love this!!!

thanks for posting!

but jeez, Put the Blame on Me and English Summer are SO LOW!!!!!


I was pretty surprised by both, even if I didn't have "Put the Blame on Me" that high. I could have sworn "English Summer" would have ended up in the top 50!

Feel free to join in the Prince Album Poll 2018! Let'a celebrate his legacy by counting down the most beloved Prince albums, as decided by you!
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Reply #17 posted 01/03/19 2:22pm

Moonbeam

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2045RadicalMattZ said:

Glad to read that glowing review of "I did it just the same"..... ...most of that album is an eerie atmospheric masterpiece. Although the lead single's got some upbeat positivity, the album itself is a drawing emotional experience. I remember when I'd first found a copy of that in a second hand music store. ..was in love from the minute i first put the needle down. What a great opener - couldn't agree more!


Yeah, the whole album is absolutely superb - the best soundtrack I have ever heard.

Feel free to join in the Prince Album Poll 2018! Let'a celebrate his legacy by counting down the most beloved Prince albums, as decided by you!
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Reply #18 posted 01/03/19 2:23pm

Moonbeam

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IstenSzek said:

love love love @ this entire thread


Was hoping you would see this!

love Eurythmics love

Feel free to join in the Prince Album Poll 2018! Let'a celebrate his legacy by counting down the most beloved Prince albums, as decided by you!
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Reply #19 posted 01/03/19 9:19pm

gandorb

Just reading the list reminds me of how much I have always loved the Eurythmics. I just got out of the habit of playing them, but no more!!!!

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Reply #20 posted 01/05/19 1:25pm

Moonbeam

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gandorb said:

Just reading the list reminds me of how much I have always loved the Eurythmics. I just got out of the habit of playing them, but no more!!!!


Woo hoo! They really are great!

Feel free to join in the Prince Album Poll 2018! Let'a celebrate his legacy by counting down the most beloved Prince albums, as decided by you!
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Reply #21 posted 01/05/19 1:26pm

Moonbeam

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If you want a REALLY deep dive, I put together a 227-page book from the poll. It ended up being bigger than my PhD thesis! eek I did the stats, collected the comments, and formatted the document, Steve Gayler and Mark Stevens made all of the amazing images, and they and Daniel Mueller proofread it. It's been a labor of love for all involved!

https://eurythmics-ultimate.com/poll-101-thebook/?fbclid=IwAR1vfwYi9I7x8wrV5wJO7hRRUtTLA3YF1bc5E1pmf-LH2S7plNV0Yo4xGLg

Also, if you are interested in more details for the top 25, Steve put together an amazing Advent Calendar with goodies, rarities, cover and live versions, memorabilia, and some interviews with involved parties for each song. Steve, Daniel, and Mark did almost all of the work there.

https://eurythmics-ultimate.com/ultimate-eurythmics-advent-calendar-2018/

Feel free to join in the Prince Album Poll 2018! Let'a celebrate his legacy by counting down the most beloved Prince albums, as decided by you!
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Reply #22 posted 01/05/19 2:01pm

gandorb

Moonbeam said:

If you want a REALLY deep dive, I put together a 227-page book from the poll. It ended up being bigger than my PhD thesis! eek I did the stats, collected the comments, and formatted the document, Steve Gayler and Mark Stevens made all of the amazing images, and they and Daniel Mueller proofread it. It's been a labor of love for all involved!

https://eurythmics-ultimate.com/poll-101-thebook/?fbclid=IwAR1vfwYi9I7x8wrV5wJO7hRRUtTLA3YF1bc5E1pmf-LH2S7plNV0Yo4xGLg

Also, if you are interested in more details for the top 25, Steve put together an amazing Advent Calendar with goodies, rarities, cover and live versions, memorabilia, and some interviews with involved parties for each song. Steve, Daniel, and Mark did almost all of the work there.

https://eurythmics-ultimate.com/ultimate-eurythmics-advent-calendar-2018/

Another doctorate for Eurythmics Studies worship

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Reply #23 posted 01/05/19 3:10pm

IstenSzek

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Moonbeam said:

If you want a REALLY deep dive, I put together a 227-page book from the poll. It ended up being bigger than my PhD thesis! eek I did the stats, collected the comments, and formatted the document, Steve Gayler and Mark Stevens made all of the amazing images, and they and Daniel Mueller proofread it. It's been a labor of love for all involved!

https://eurythmics-ultimate.com/poll-101-thebook/?fbclid=IwAR1vfwYi9I7x8wrV5wJO7hRRUtTLA3YF1bc5E1pmf-LH2S7plNV0Yo4xGLg

Also, if you are interested in more details for the top 25, Steve put together an amazing Advent Calendar with goodies, rarities, cover and live versions, memorabilia, and some interviews with involved parties for each song. Steve, Daniel, and Mark did almost all of the work there.

https://eurythmics-ultimate.com/ultimate-eurythmics-advent-calendar-2018/


omfg

and true love lives on lollipops and crisps
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Reply #24 posted 01/07/19 5:53pm

Goddess4Real

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BobbyDrake said:

That's frickin awesome. I love that list

yeahthat

Keep Calm & Listen To Prince
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Reply #25 posted 01/09/19 6:14am

purplethunder3
121

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Moonbeam said:

If you want a REALLY deep dive, I put together a 227-page book from the poll. It ended up being bigger than my PhD thesis! eek I did the stats, collected the comments, and formatted the document, Steve Gayler and Mark Stevens made all of the amazing images, and they and Daniel Mueller proofread it. It's been a labor of love for all involved!

https://eurythmics-ultimate.com/poll-101-thebook/?fbclid=IwAR1vfwYi9I7x8wrV5wJO7hRRUtTLA3YF1bc5E1pmf-LH2S7plNV0Yo4xGLg

Also, if you are interested in more details for the top 25, Steve put together an amazing Advent Calendar with goodies, rarities, cover and live versions, memorabilia, and some interviews with involved parties for each song. Steve, Daniel, and Mark did almost all of the work there.

https://eurythmics-ultimate.com/ultimate-eurythmics-advent-calendar-2018/

clapping

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything." --Plato
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Reply #26 posted 01/13/19 5:35pm

Goddess4Real

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gandorb said:

Moonbeam said:

If you want a REALLY deep dive, I put together a 227-page book from the poll. It ended up being bigger than my PhD thesis! eek I did the stats, collected the comments, and formatted the document, Steve Gayler and Mark Stevens made all of the amazing images, and they and Daniel Mueller proofread it. It's been a labor of love for all involved!

https://eurythmics-ultimate.com/poll-101-thebook/?fbclid=IwAR1vfwYi9I7x8wrV5wJO7hRRUtTLA3YF1bc5E1pmf-LH2S7plNV0Yo4xGLg

Also, if you are interested in more details for the top 25, Steve put together an amazing Advent Calendar with goodies, rarities, cover and live versions, memorabilia, and some interviews with involved parties for each song. Steve, Daniel, and Mark did almost all of the work there.

https://eurythmics-ultimate.com/ultimate-eurythmics-advent-calendar-2018/

Another doctorate for Eurythmics Studies worship

yeahthat thumbs up!

Keep Calm & Listen To Prince
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