The two final Eurythmics albums of the 1980s were Savage and We Too Are One, the former closer in mood of their debut, and the latter closer to the US airplay-friendly mid-decade work. Savage (1987) was almost a concept piece: promotional clips were made for all the songs, compiled on a video cassette the following year. In the films, Annie Lennox portrayed three characters: a frustrated housewife (prominently featured in the video to lead single Beethoven (I Love To Listen To)), a confident, self-assured vamp (see I Need A Man’s clip), and a character representing the balancing of both personalities (the protagonist of the You Have Placed A Chill In My Heart piece). A loose storyline was threaded through the video clips in keeping with the themes of the album. Musically, Savage was Eurythmics’ most experimental effort aside from tracks like early B-side Le Sinistre and other cuts from the 1981 album In The Garden. The choice of Beethoven (I Love To Listen To) as lead single was a bold move, with its sparse production and largely spoken lyrics, with Lennox performing in character as the middle-class housewife depicted in the video. That showed various characters, seemingly facets of the personality of the same woman, who is liberated in the closing frames from her domestic, obsessive-compulsive lifestyle by transforming into the vamp character. Other underlying aspects of the housewife’s character are represented by a destructive and wilful child and a man dressed in female clothing, the indication apparently being that she is suffering a kind of multiple-personality disorder. The whole thing – song and video – was far too avant-garde for America, and it wasn’t a single there. Indeed, the strong showings of the previous Eurythmics albums in the US weren’t matched by Savage, which missed the Top 40 there.
We Too Are One did only marginally better there, despite the inclusion of perhaps their most radio-friendly single,The King And Queen Of America. Here in the UK though, We Too Are One went straight to #1 and the chart performance of its four singles was consistent, with them all making the Top 30 but failing to make the Top 20. In late 1989, Eurythmics embarked on a world tour to promote the record.
☛ What happened next
Although a split was not announced, it was generally thought that Eurythmics had ended at some point in 1990 or 1991. The fact that both members were involved in other projects was not what led this to be believed, as Dave Stewart had numerous projects outside Eurythmics throughout the 1980s, and Lennox’s first ‘solo’ release was today in 1988, a collaboration with Al Green for a film soundtrack. But the release of a greatest hits collection in 1991 (a huge seller) and a subsequent album of archive live material in 1993 in lieu of new material suggested that there was nothing more to come. It was true that Lennox and Stewart were not writing together and so another Eurythmics album was not on the cards; in fact, they had little contact with each other during much of the decade. Lennox became one of the most respected female solo artists in the UK, with two multi-platinum albums and several memorable hit singles, and Stewart continued to achieve as a producer.
But Eurythmics wasn’t over, and in 1999 the project resumed. Peace, their eighth studio album, appeared, promoted by a hit single I Saved the World Today (which was their biggest hit since 1986, reaching #11) and a world tour. In 2005, Eurythmics’ RCA back catalogue was re-mastered and their albums were reissued (in expanded editions with bonus tracks) in a box set called Boxed. A second greatest hits collection, Ultimate Collection, was also issued and contained two new songs, one of which was released as their final single to date. While there has been no suggestion in the past ten years that there will be another Eurythmics album, once again a permanent split has never been confirmed. When asked directly, Stewart has said “never say never”. They remain friends and performed live together as recently as last year.
NEW SINGLES on sale from Oct. 24
David BOWIE Fashion (RCA BOW7)
ROXY MUSIC (Bryan Ferry) Same Old Scene (EG ROXY1)
STRAY CATS Runaway Boys (Pin Up SCAT1)
FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD Relax (ZTT ZTAS1)
Bob GELDOF This Is The World Calling (Mercury BOB101)
BANGLES In Your Room (CBS BANGS4)
BROTHER BEYOND He Ain’t No Competition (Parlophone R6193)
FAT BOYS Louie Louie (Urban URB26)
Annie LENNOX and Al GREEN Put A Little Love In Your Heart (A&M AM484)
SHAKESPEAR’S SISTER (Siobhan Fahey) Break My Heart (London LON200)