7.3.11

EURYTHMICS : Never Gonna Cry Again 7" (1981)

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Eury pic
I know what you're thinking... & you're wrong. I'm not an enormous Eurythmics fan either, but "Never Gonna Cry Again", Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart's first release after dissolving The Tourists, may surprise you. From 1981's In The Garden LP, it was recorded in Cologne with Conny Plank & features contributions from Les Vampyrettes (aka Can's Holger Czukay & Jaki Leibezeit), DAF's Robert Görl, Blondie's Clem Burke, & Markus (son of Karlheiunz) Stockhausen. Cologne evidently had a very profound effect on them: "Never Gonna Cry Again" is a superior slice of Krautrock-inspired, Leibezeit-driven motorik pop that quietly anticipates Stereolab's perennial Neu!-lite chug. It's also notable for it's flute solo - though Lennox had studied the instrument at London's Royal College Of Music, this is one of very few occasions that she played it on record. The b-side is just as impressive - "La Sinistere" is a nightmarish, semi-improvised piece with Czukay's atonal French horn featured prominently in the mix & Leibzeit on drums again. The result? A Hammer horror soundtrack with tenable Pierre Schaffer leanings. Ever the completist, I've also included "Heartbeat, Heartbeat", the raucous b-side of their follow-up single, "Belinda". Czukay, Leibzeit & Stockhausen are all credited with brass on this track, while Görl takes over on drums. Like "La Sinistere", it sounds remarkably like something Malaria! (or Rough Trade-era Wire) might've put their name(s) to. So, where did it all go wrong? When In The Garden stiffed, Lennox & Stewart withdrew into hermitic duo mode, penned soon-to-be chart behemoths "Love Is A Stranger" & "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)", & allegedly toured the country in a horse box (!), performing live with just synths & pre-recorded backing tracks. However, long after they'd become a regular TOTP fixture, they still found time to record this intriguing single with T.G.'s Chris & Cosey, while Lennox's vocals feature on much of Robert Görl's underrated Night Full Of Tension LP.

N.B. Check out this excellent Old Grey Whistle Test perfromance, featuring Lennox in full-on Thomas Jermone Newton mode, & both Czukay & Burke in reserve - it's their first TV appearance anywhere apparently. There was an official video too, though it doesn't look like the budget stretched much further than a day return to chilly South End.

4 comments:

  1. Great post and credit where credit's definitely due. My mate had the Chris & Cosey 12" with the ?'s over their guest silhouettes which I thought was a very cool move on the part of Annie & Dave.

    Let's face it, Eurythmics at their peak did pop in a completely different league to most everyone else and I still love their soundtrack to 1984 to this day...

    Andy

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  2. Wow, I was expecting outrage & hissy fits, not encouragement! As I mention above, I've never been a big Eurythmics fan, but i do find them fascinating as a couple (well, at this point in their career anyway). I'm familiar with their later stuff (inc. 1984) as my mum used to play it to death when I was a sulky gothic youth. And "Love Is A Stranger" will always be a (not so) guilty pleasure, I'm sure...

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  3. Can't fault you, pretty much all of "In The Garden" is marvellous stuff...and yes, "La Sinestre" is VERY Malaria! I quite liked that "Beethoven" song as well, but that's a lot later of course...

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  4. I'm slightly concerned that I might've inadvertently kick-started some sort of half-hearted Eurythmics revival here...

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