Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Eurythmics - Touch

Today (November 26th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Touch, the third studio album from Eurythmics. Following on the successful heels of Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) (click here for that review), this Platinum seller went to number 20 in France, number 14 in Switzerland, number 9 in Germany and Sweden, number 8 in Norway, number 7 on the US Billboard Album chart, number 4 in Australia, and number 1 in New Zealand and the UK. The record has appeared on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (first at number 500 then at number 492 on the revised 2012 list).

Side one begins with “Here Comes the Rain Again”. Released as the third single, it climbed to number 32 in New Zealand, number 20 in Sweden, number 19 in Switzerland, number 16 in Australia, number 14 in Germany, number 10 in Norway, number 8 in Canada, Ireland and the UK, and number 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It opens with a plucky string arrangement by Michael Kamen that is matched by Dave Stewart’s synth keyboards. Annie Lennox’s vocals convey a vulnerable sensuality.

“Regrets” swings with a sultry jazzy rhythm and an unquenchable hunger. Martin Dobson and Dick Cuthell provide the saxophone and trumpet respectively.

As the second single, “Right By Your Side” got to number 61 in Germany, number 39 in Canada, number 29 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 20 in the Netherlands, number 15 in Australia and Ireland, number 13 in Sweden, number 10 in the UK and number 9 in New Zealand. With a heavy Calypso influence, this track is easily my favorite of the hits from the album. I get swept away to a tropical retreat with the opening steel drums.

“Cool Blue” is driven by a funky bass groove from Dean Garcia, who in the 90’s teamed up with Toni Halliday to form Curve.

“Who’s That Girl?”, the first single, reached number 28 in the Netherlands, number 21 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 20 in Australia, number 19 in Germany, number 15 in Canada, number 14 in Sweden, number 13 in New Zealand, number 5 in Ireland, and number 3 in the UK. Lennox’s vocals are haunting on this tale of infidelity.

Side two starts with ultra-funky, new-wave dance track “The First Cut”.

“Aqua” has a primal vibe going; I picture a lush rainforest kind of setting. The vocal effects midway through give the whole “bubbles floating and popping on the surface” feel; those are nicely done.

“No Hear, No Hate, No Pain (No Broken Hearts)” slows everything down with a crawling variant on the opening track’s melody. Lennox delivers are sharp yet isolated vocal on this one. I like how her voice plays off itself on the chorus delivery of the title.

An edited version of the closing track “Paints a Rumour” was released as the B-side to the third single. The album cut is over seven minutes long and features some intricate synth hooks.

Eurhythmics was very much on a roll by this point, having put out two huge albums to bookend 1983. Touch is another one of those records that I knew only from the hits back in the day. However, the deeper cuts are equally as good.

1 comment:

HERC said...

Touch is my favorite Eurythmics album. Saw them touring behind this album in the University's prestigious Concert Hall (usually reserved for classical artists)and the sound system was positively enveloping during "Here Comes The Rain Again". Also saw Bobby McFerrin and Billy Idol there. The other campus concert venue is the basketballl arena where we saw Simple Minds, Hall & Oates, Huey Lewis & the News, Echo & the Bunnymen, Howard Jones, Van Halen and I'm sure several others that escape me right now.