AS you should know, are Dave Stewart and
Annie Lennox. It is now well over a year
since they made their first LP 'In The
Garden', produced by Conny Plank and
featuring contributions from Clem Burke,
Robert Gorl, Jackie Leibezeit and Holger
Czukay and released it to a forceful
round of critical indifference.
Since then three
new titles have appeared as singles
(usually with three or four additional
cuts on the rear side of the 12"
versions) recorded at their own
eight-track set up with various cohorts
shows have been infrequent and have
mostly featured Adam Williams mixing the
sound from on stage and Tim Wheater
the enfant terrible of
the classical flute world. These
appearances were often lacking in
spontaneity due to the precise dictates
of the pre-recorded drum tracks.
Dave and Annie have been treading the
boards with Robert Crash (an
intercontinental commuter who has a
studio in Berlin and connections with
cable TV in New York) who adds his own
special brand of percussion. His flailing
sticks are even used to strike a synth
and thus produce notes instead of beats.
currently 'bubbling under' single release
is 'Love Is A Stranger'. For most of the
general public this is the first taste of
Eurythmics and its relative success is a
result of ears succumbing to the merits
of the disc itself rather than minds
being swayed by the 'ex-Tourists'
slag-tag that has stood in the way of
acceptance in the fad-happy rock media.
very obstacle itself is a symptom of the
'rock and roll circuit' which Dave and
Annie are somehow competing with yet not
allowing themselves to become a part of.
A Stranger' is certainly the most simple
single you've done. The bass and drum
rhythm runs steadily and most of the
emphasis seems to have been placed on the
performance and mixing of the voice.
varies from one part of the song to
another, actually heightening the impact
of the lyrical content rather than just
making a nice 'pop vocal' sound.
"We did decide for 'Love Is A
Stranger' that everything in it would be
very clear. All that is there is seen to
be there and nothing is hidden in a big
mush of sound."
"Using our own eight track we hear a
song millions of times and the melody in
it is always apparent to us. We realised
it might not be so obvious for people
hearing the song for the first
actual substance of the songs on your
past singles was perhaps intruded upon by
so many different things happening in the
mix. The clarity that 'Love Is A
Stranger' has makes it ideal for radio
"The best test of what makes a good
single is always what it sounds like when
it comes on the air over little
transistor radio speakers. When I heard
'Belinda' (an early single culled from
the first album) on the radio I just knew
it wasn't a good choice as a single.
There was nothing wrong with the music or
the song but it was the way it was mixed
and produced and presented. Nothing happened
when it came on. Only in that context can
I be objective about what should be a
keep putting out records according to our
idea of commerciality yet we get reports
back saying that DJ's found it weird, or
what we thought of as weird they found
commercial. We haven't got the commercial
thermometer well gauged, we just work on
what we like best as appreciators of
"I'm totally confused as to what
commerciality is but if I go out to a
club and hear a record which is in the
top ten I can immediately see why it is n
the top ten."
having your own studio aid or hinder song
"It's a baffling process,
songwriting, it still bewilders me (the
pair hadn't been writing seriously until
Eurythmics began). Some of the things
we've done have been like jigsaws that
get pieced together over about three
months. Other things happen
Eurythmics' base of recording operations
has recently been shifted from above a
factory in Chalk Farm to a disused church
in Crouch End. Dave and Annie have leased
a part of the strange premises from a
couple of manic animators who both live
and have their animation studio (full of
ancient but constantly-used equipment) in
"There is a different kind of
creativity going on there and it is very
refreshing not to be constantly reminded
of the rock and roll circuit. Those two
guys are much older than us yet they have
more enthusiasm than people of our
"Not only are they doing their
animations during the day but they're
actually building our studio for us at
night. They have incredible
"One of them has been in the
entertainment industry since he was a
child but has always moved on from one
thing to another, keeping up with what
was vital at the time like the change
from music hall to television. They've
not been deadened by making their living
at it for so long either."
"That's because they've always had
their own place and not given in to the
BBC and become institutionalised."
"People in institutional jobs always
seek what is safe and comfortable within
the system. They never stretch
photos that you have on the record
sleeves propagate a variety of images.
There's Annie in her wigs and shades and
Dave in his World War One fighter ace
goggles and hand up a French horn.
"We're totally into many different
kinds of influence. Rather than simply be
a conglomeration of influences a
hybrid mishmash like most bands are
we go by how we feel for one
particular record and we don't have a
"When you have the opportunity to
present something through visual images
it can be quite interesting to interpret
one song in a certain way and another
song in a different way. We have a lot of
ideas and visuals are a good way of
getting them across.
our record covers are different but there
is a kind of continuity there as well. If
you lay out the picture bags there are a
set of visual images running like A to B
to C. When a particular idea is finished
we burn it and go on to something
"It stops us getting bored. Having
been in groups before we've got past the
thing of playing the same songs live
every night and always making the same
kind of sounds. Someone like Dave Edmunds
always has the same sound, he obviously
loves it and does it very well but I
would just get bored if I had to make
'Love Is A Stranger' a thousand
no 'progression' in the usual rockspeak
musical sense from single to single.
There are familiar elements such as
Annie's voice but generally a person
never knows what to expect from a
"At the beginning of Eurythmics I
did say to RCA that we wanted to be
successful in a way that people wouldn't
know what the next record was going to
be. It's a bit like Bowie, nobody ever
has a clue what he's going to do next, it
can be the Baal thing or a duet with
Bing. It's that kind of freedom
not being stuck to making a sound like
the last one."
"God! I really hate that. 'Find a
style that's selling' that's what
the music business is based on but you
can never say what a hit record is going
to be. When a group does get a hit the
pressure is on for them to continue that.
That's very freakish. We want to get
across the river but we want to jump from
stone to stone so it can be changeable
but with us always in control."
"It's more inspiring for us. I'd
imagine we're in the position now where
we could, if we wanted, release an album
of me playing 12-string acoustic guitar
with Annie singing over the top and it
would still be accepted as a Eurythmics
a bit like kids who haven't forgotten the
feeling of opening the paint box for the
first time and having the colours to
like messing around with other peoples'
songs as a kind of light relief otherwise
you get too obsessed with yourself and
what you're doing. We used to be
freaked-out by the thought of doing other
peoples' songs after what happened with
'I Only Want To Be With You' but recently
we've been playing a few things live.
is a Francoise Hardy song, a kind of
Parisian café music that we've done and
also 'Can't Hurry Love'. We were
rehearsing it when we heard the Phil
Collins version on the radio. With our
version nobody recognises it until Annie
starts singing the words."
"We take a song and explode it
rather than just doing a replica like a
cabaret band would. Often other people's
lyrics are great, they have the cheek to
use the clichés that you would chuck out
"You can change the clichés though,
like a collage where you cut out pieces
of paper and stick them back where you
want them to go."
explain the ideas behind the 'Love is A
"The video is basically a little
cameo story. I would say 'Love Is A
Stranger' is a song about love objects.
The concept of love in relationships is
very often a person projecting what they
want onto another person.
are all in love with the idea of love but
what we want is not always good for us.
We might get obsessed with something very
dangerous. I wanted to put these ideas
into a pop song.
the video, a very expensive looking
limousine draws up outside a house and
very pricey-looking whore leaves the
house, gets into the car and is driven
away by the chauffeur. Obviously a whore
is a very expensive love object for sale.
In the car she pulls off the wig to
reveal another personality. She arrives
at another house as though she's
delivering something, like a dealer.
person in the house is very sadistic,
there's lots of leather around and
strange things in the bathroom. When the
person leaves that house and gets into
the car, the person has become a man. The
man turns into a dummy which you see is
being manipulated by the driver of the
car. That's the idea behind it."
very simple idea," sniggers Dave.
"To me it's like a contemporary love
song. I don't mean written with
contemporary music but the lyrics are how
things are at the moment unlike, say, the
love songs of the 50's. A lot of people
nowadays want to be single and separate.
The song is a comment on that."
"The song is about somebody who is
obsessed with something which is also a
destructive thing. Like the love between
an addict and heroin. If we could, we
would have had hypodermic syringes laying
around in the video."
"The whole of the new album has that
bitter/sweet thing about it. I think that
is the way things are in life at the
moment. People in their subconscious are
dealing with horrific things like nuclear
war yet still carrying on doing everyday
things. There is this huge switch going
on all the time between massive paranoia
and getting drunk at a party. That's what
1982 feels like to me and I suppose that
is reflected in the music."