Sunday, November 23, 2014
Eurythmics - 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother)
This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother), the fourth album from Eurythmics. The music was made directly for the soundtrack of Nineteen Eighty-Four, Michael Radford’s remake of the film based on George Orwell’s classic novel. The album charted at number 38 in the Netherlands, number 33 in Canada, number 23 in Germany and the UK, number 22 in Australia, number 21 in New Zealand, number 18 in Switzerland, and number 6 in Sweden. Here in the US, it spent fourteen weeks on the Billboard Album chart with a top spot of number 93.
Side one starts with “I Did It Just the Same”, the B-side to the first single. The song starts off with a haunting sound and Annie Lennox’s soulful wail before the synth and pianos join it to perk things up.
“Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four)” was released as the first single. The song features a solid dance beat that rocked the club scenes around the globe. It hit number 81 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 25 in Italy, number 18 in Canada, number 12 in the Netherlands, number 9 in Norway, number 7 in France, number 6 in Poland and Switzerland, number 5 in Australia, number 4 in the UK, number 3 in Belgium, Germany and Sweden, and number 2 on the US Billboard Dance chart.
“For the Love of Big Brother” paints another ominous scene as Lennox’s powerful vocals carry the listener along on the synth waves.
“Winston’s Diary” is a short, minute and a half long, instrumental piece that captures a mood of lonely isolation.
The side closes out with the over six minute long “Greetings From a Dead Man”. I like the tribal beats and the non-word vocals. They work together perfectly.
Side two opens with the ballad “Julia”. As the second single, it hit number 44 in the UK and number 17 in Ireland. Stewart worked in a segment of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Fugue #2 in C Minor” midway through the song.
“Doubleplusgood” again utilizes the tribal beats, with Lennox providing vocals ala a BBC news reporter. I like this one a lot; it is very catchy.
The B-side to the second single was the multi-layered “Ministry of Love”.
The album closes with “Room 101”, a place designed for final termination of free thought and will.
Many artists took advantage of the year to record 1984-themed songs. Eurythmics do a fantastic job putting together a whole album of music inspired by the dystopian novel. Had I been exposed to this one back in 1984, I would have been all over it. Sadly, though, it barely made a splash here in the US. Unfortunately, this one is not readily available for streaming; again I had to rely on the good contributors over on YouTube so I could check it out for this review. It was definitely worth the hunt. I would gladly pick this one up for my collection if it were released again in some format.
For more from Eurythmics, click here.