ALBUM OF THE WEEK
In 1983, Dave Stewart & Annie Lennox had two hit albums & five top forty singles under their belt. And they were in high demand.
The producers of the Orwell film adaptation of 1984 approached Eurythmics to record the soundtrack. What they didn’t know was that another artist had also been asked. This turned into a contentious situation.
The producers’ complained about the appropriateness and quality of the resulting Eurythmics album calling it “crass rubbish”. In response, Stewart called the producers “two-faced rats” for trying to pit them against Dominic Muldowney (who?), the other artist who recorded a soundtrack for the film. Clearly the movie-goers disagreed with the producers assessment as polling showed that 98% felt the music worked well in the context of the film.
Eurythmics were known for radio-friendly new wave filled with the chills of synthesizers. A film score, however, requires the music to play a secondary role to the images. So Stewart wrote mood music while retaining the icy synth sounds. Lennox’s voice was also used like an instrument throughout the album. Sampling and looping non-lexical vocalizations, a technique Bjork would borrow and improve upon some 20 years later.
The music here is as dark and menacing as you can get without the use of guitars. The score is haunting at the same time. This matches the themes of fear and oppression within the film. With the exception of Sexcrime (and perhaps Doubleplusgood), this is not traditional pop music. It should not be considered the follow-up album to Touch which was released the prior year. If you want their trademark new wave pop sound then checkout Touch or Revenge.
1984 sets the perfect mood for a late-night winter’s drive along the riverside.
album review by Bangwave’s own Tom Stark
Tracklist (favorites in bold)
- I Did It Just The Same
- For The Love Of Big Brother
- Winston’s Diary
- Greetings From A Dead Man
- Ministry Of Love
- Room 101
Austere Dramatic Literate Nocturnal Brooding Detached Refined Reflective Restrained Theatrical Clinical Sophisticated