I really liked the Eurythmics. I mean really really LIKED them.
Whilst I loved the first clutch of singles that the pair released, it wasn’t until this was hit the charts in conjunction with the film 1984, in November 1984, that I was in a position to buy one for myself.
24 November 1984 was a fine day for me all told. I bought this single and had attended the game at Gay Meadow between Shrewsbury Town and Sheffield United which finished 3-3.
Getting back to the record, Sexcrime (nineteen eighty-four) was the ‘Rythmics eighth UK single release. It had been let go into the wild in early November, and by the time I bought it, it had already made it to number 7 in the UK singles chart on its way to number 4.
<– My copy of Would I Lie To You? pictured yesterday.
This carries poignant memories. I bought it on the day that I had been to watch Shrewsbury Town 0-2 Middlesbro.
Now that was bad enough, but the news which came through during the afternoon of the fire at Valley Parade, Bradford put the travails of Shrewsbury Town into perspective.
If memory serves, I bought this in Boots on the weekend that it reached its highest UK singles chart position of 17. The Eurythmics were mostly innovative but this track was one of those that could perhaps best be described as filler material – and the chart position it reached bears this out.
The same could not be said of their next single release…
There are songs, and there are SONGS.
I’d put this one firmly in the latter category. From the opening ‘Na-da-dee-da-da-da-da’ this little gem just shimmers with beauty. It grabs you and pulls you in and won’t let go.
Everybody knows that it’s got Stevie Wonder playing harmonica, but that’s almost irrelevant. For sure, it’s Stevie Wonder, but surely Fred Bloggs, session harmonica player from Tooting Beck could have played and we’d still have been treated to the same effect. Or maybe it’s only so good because it is Stevie Wonder playing on it. Either way, this track is just so good and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to say that it’s a record in my collection that I bought during its original chart run.
Of course it was the Eurythmics’ first (and only) UK singles chart number one, spending just a single solitary week there at the end of July 1985. I had bought it on 9 July, just as it had entered the chart at number 37. Progression was meteoric, and it had reached the top ten a week later. In total it spent seven weeks in the top ten during that long hot summer of 1985.
After the summer smash that was There Must Be An Angel (Playing With my Heart) the Eurythmics had been joined by another soul legend, this time Aretha Franklin, on the follow up Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves.
I had skipped that one, but I was out in the shops to buy this one. It’s Alright (Baby’s Coming Back) is a gorgeous sounding slab (can I use that word?) of perfect pop. It’s a pæan to a returning lover that the singer has (by the sound of it) previously rebuffed. It’s less rocky than certain of their most recent single releases – almost a return to the electronica of their very earliest singles.
I bought this on 11 January 1986 on the last day of sales which counted towards its entrance into the UK singles chart at number 39. It subsequently enjoyed a relatively quick rise up the chart, but couldn’t get past number 12.
I loved this the moment I heard it. I was stood in John Menzies, something I did a lot of back then, when it came on over the in store tannoy.
Within seconds it was bought and paid for and I was off home to listen over and over and over. This happened on 29 August 1986, towards the end of the long summer holiday, made longer this year by my finishing school and waiting for the start at sixth form.
A week later, on 6 September, the track had entered the UK singles chart at number 29 before it rose steadily to its highest position of number 5. This was to be the Eurythmics ninth and final UK top ten hit.
The song is a rejection of a flawed lover in the most ardent terms. She is telling him that their relationship is over as unambiguously as possible. There is hurt and anger at his deceit and lies and betrayal of trust. Ultimately though, there is regret on the singer’s part – all this could have been avoided, “I should have known better…”
Is this the last great Eurythmics single?
I’d argue that it is, given that it was the last one that I bought (or was given as a birthday present given the date that I acquired it). Putting the subjective issue of its quality aside for a moment, this was the eighth to last 80s single to chart in the UK singles chart.
The date that I have written on my copy is 13 December 1986, when it was bumping around the bottom end of the top 30. It managed to raise itself to the giddy heights of number 23, but I feel that it deserved of better.
It’s a gorgeous rock ballad, characterised by a beautiful guitar track which threads itself all through the finished article. Annie’s voice is plaintive, sweetness personified. The track is backed with a live version of When Tomorrow Comes, performed at The Roxy in Los Angeles during the Revenge Tour, the tour of the album from which Miracle is plucked.