Revenge25 : Fan Memories

Revenge 25 has been the most ambitious project we’ve taken on on Ultimate Eurythmics, and judging by all the kind comments from you all, you’ve really enjoyed the feature over the last 6 weeks.  


It’s time to draw Revenge 25 to a close, the hilights for me were getting the interviews with 4 members of The Revenge band, finally working out the origins of The Houston Mix and rediscovering a lot of memorabilia.  there’s more that we were hoping to do, but time just wasnt on our side, but maybe we can revisit those another time.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed and to my E* Army without whom this site would not be possible, Rex, Norma, Craig and Mike.

Picture this, 25 years ago in a small seaside town in the south of Sweden, a young man walks in to the local record store and asks for Eurythmics new album ”Revenge”. It is going to be the first ever record he buys, and today he can still remember that magic feeling when receiving the album with the iconic cover picture of Annie and Dave from the man behind the counter, Bengt, also the owner of the record store. In those days it was not unusual customers developed a personal realtionship with the local salesclerk and Bengt and the young man soon became friends. Today, the situation is, as we all know, different. With physical sales of albums declining as fast as ever, record stores are turning up dead, maybe except for high profile chains like HMV. 


Over the years the young man and Bengt had many interesting discussions about music in general and since Bengt himself was a big Eurythmics fan they often talked about the music of Annie and Dave. Bengt  – also known as ”the music professor” – explained to the young man why Eurythmics came to be one of the most successful duos to emerge in the early ’80s. He said: ”Eurythmics soaked up all their musical influences and then went on to play their own stuff in a distinctive, intelligently artful way. They made something entirely new and beautiful out of older music…”


With the ”Revenge” album, Annie and Dave offered a new sound; a kind of fusion of synth, pop and rock. Several songs on the album are exceptionally well-crafted and of course the album is testement to their song writing prowess. Even though the overall album sound is the sound of the ’80s, the album still sounds fresh thanks to timeless compositions, and a good half comes as close to pop perfection as can be found anywhere. The mix of acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica and saxophone and the delicate melodies created a relaxed, yet very powerful, feel that chimed perfectly with the mid-’80s taste for well-produced melodic pop/rock music. But it is the darkness seeping through the light that makes ”Revenge” such a powerful album. Lines like ”I was feeling complicated, I was feeling low/ Now every time I think of you I shiver to the bone…”  is nothing else than melancholic perfection. And the juxtaposition of the desperately sad lyrics and the uplifting, almost cheery, music works really really well. 


The album’s best track, and also one of Eurythmics best songs ever, the heartfelt ”Miracle of Love”, is a powerful celebration of the power of love. In ”The Dave Stewart Songbook, Volume One” (Surfdog , Inc) Dave Stewart writes about the story behind the song and also reflects on why it moved people to tears:


”You see there is something about certain inversions of chord changes and the way they play against the timbre of someone’s voice and not only does Annie have a very distinctive sound to her voice, she has another element which is soaked in emotion and can literally move people to tears. It’s a mixture of the sound she makes with her voice and the fact that she comes from Aberdeen, Scotland, where the musical heritage is littered with haunting airs. It is hard to explain how such sadness and beauty can come from the melodies and chord changes in Scottish or Irish airs, you just have to listen to them and feel it. It’s something instinctive to Annie, and coming from the North East of England myself I easily relate. We both grew up where the sky was filled with varying shades of grey above us and a freezing northern wind blowing. I think these elements added to the dynamic between us when we wrote ballads. We both knew when something had the ”chill” factor”.   

“Underneath your dream lit eyes, shades of sleep have taken you away. The moon is pale outside and you are far from here. Breathing shifts your careless head, untroubled by the chaos of our lives. Another day, another night has taken you, my dear..”

And so began the second track off Eurythmics 1986 release, Revenge. Known for their songs of love’s anguish, this and Miracle of Love were unabashedly filled with sentiments of pure devotion. So much was different and fresh about this album. Its driving rock bent combined Annie Lennox’s amazing voice and Dave Stewart’s stunning guitar work.  The result was a brilliant contribution to the stellar musical year of 1986.

I suppose my strongest initial memory of Revenge was the sheer delight of Dave being on the cover.  Of course, he has been including in the artwork of In the Garden and Be Yourself Tonight, but never in the prominent way as he was in the iconic painting on the cover.

Having read a glowing advance review in Rolling Stone, I bought Revenge on its release day.  I sat in the parking lot of Tower Records in Hollywood listening to the cassette in my car.  I fell in love with it and pulled my car out onto La Brea and bombed up through the hills back to my Beachwood Canyon apartment: Windows open, Music blasting.  I played it nonstop all that summer, if not year.  What a heady time for Eurythmics and their fans.  Annie and Dave were everywhere in all forms of media.  It was a delight.  I attended all the sold out concerts at the nearby Greek Theater.  I timed my VCR to catch the hourly MTV news that often included a Video Postcard of Dave as he and Annie travelled the world with their massive tour for the album.  I ever pursued the English tabloids they despised at the newsstands at Farmer’s Market to read the many mentions in them.

I had always loved Eurythmics, but that year Dave and Annie became a part of me.  Their music was woven colorfully woven throughout my life’s tapestry —where they remain to this day.  As I write this, I have Revenge playing on my iPod Earphones and it seems like an old, dear friend that is forever young.  At times I’m filled with such gratitude for Eurythmics for their musical contributions to my life, the adventures in my life prompted by them and the wonderful, dear friends I have met because of them. 

Thank you, Dave & Annie.  You rock.  And have made a difference. 


The Revenge Live video, the one shot in Sydney, was the specific item, the specific release, the very specific moment when Eurythmics became my favourite artists ever , above and beyond anyone else. I love music, you see. And there are many artist I admire and whose work I love, from David Bowie to Peter Gabriel, from Sting to Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell  …  And here, I think, I should mention some of the more “newer” names … Macy Gray, Amy Winehouse, James Morrison …  I love their music. And up until 1987, I loved Eurythmics as well … But that vhs made me a fan. A fan fan.


I distinctly remember that evening, the evening when Eurythmics rose above my favourite artists list, and became a list in their own right, a gender by themselves, a notch  –  and them some  –  above anyone else. Back in the 80’s, other than the albums, here in Brazil we had very little  –  if any  –  access to Eurythmics material from either tv, magazines or newspapers …  Even singles were not very often released here, I had to get mine while abroad …   As much as I loved every single album they had put out until then  – and although those albums had placed them in my personal favourite artists list  -, I was not quite prepared for what was to come with the Live video. You see, back then I would be as happy to get Bowie’s latest video as I would be to get Eurythmics’. All I had seen from them on stage, until then, was what there is in the Sweet Dreams video album. And then, one evening in mid 1987, I sat down on the couch in my room and slipped the Live vhs in the player … I was blown away … Now, don’t get me wrong here … I already loved their music, even from the Tourists days … But that video alone made adore their music  …  for me, it was there and then that they became not only recording artists, but Artists, capital A, performing artists  … I was quite by myself in my room  … and it was not long before I was standing. I can’t remember anyone’s video ever doing that to me. I was 20 years old. When I took notice of what I was doing, I was standing and dancing, quite by myself, in my own room, to their music …


As you know, I have never seen them perform live. Maybe one day, who knows. But I’ll treasure that video experience forever.

My most memorable moment was actually a sad one- i was 15 years old, and purchased a ticket to see Eurythmics for the first time at the closest venue to my home, which was almost a 2 hour drive. I had no one to take me to the concert, and no one willing to go the two hours to get there. When my father overheard me trying to book a cab ride (there was no public transit from where i lived to the concert venue), he said he would not let me go to the concert by cab, alone, and took my ticket from me.


Obviously I was furious, but there was nothing i could do. That night, I had a vivid dream that i was at the concert and met Dave and Annie afterward. The memory of that dream is still very clear to me, and almost serves as my memories of the revenge tour concert i never got to see. I still have the un-torn whole ticket as a reminder.

By in large Eurythmics albums, unlike the vast percentage of artits of today retained an air of abiguity before release with many fans knowing that eurythmics were not one trick ponys and that retaining the same sound as the last album was simply not an option. On july 12th 1986 they wowed and amazed people world wide with the album ‘Revenge’ securing them 3rd position on the UK album charts and 2nd in Australia  and 1st in both Sweeden and Noway,and at the Grammy Awards they were awarded with ‘the best rock profomance by a duo or group with vocal’ with the song ‘Missonary Man’. in 1987 they started the australian leg of their tour of which the magic was to be recorded and released on home video. This album would go on to become double platinum in the UK and continue to be inspiering  and enjoyed 25 years later.


I first heard the Album a year ago as I am only 16 and I find myselfe wondering how Annie and Dave came up with at times the most joyas song ‘Let’s Go’ and the on the otherhand the darkest love song sung with an undertone of suffering ‘The Miracle of Love’. I now know that it was pure tallent and I just related to the lyrics so much, this is another reason why i love eurythmics, when people ask me what is my favorite song on this album i find it hard to answer in the same way that i find it hard to answer what one of their albums is my favorite because I feel that I relate to each song on this album differently as a type of backing track to a particular memory or a particular emotion, and this is what I feel is the essance to the magic and beauty of ‘Revenge’ in the fact that not many people when asked why they like it can give the same answer.

Revenge isn’t my favorite Eurythmics album, though I do like it a lot. 

My favorite memory of that era, though, was the tour.  Now, that was amazing!  Even though I almost lost my hearing at the Merriweather Post Pavilion show (my ears rang for two weeks!), it is probably still my favorite concert ever.  Dave and Annie were on top of their game during this tour, and these some of my fondest memories of the two together. 

Dave’s guitar solo during Here Comes the Rain Again was exquisite.  And Annie’s soaring vocals during Miracle of Love brought the house down!

I also got a chuckle out of the ad campaign:  “Eurythmics – The Revenge Tour.  Be sure to get what’s coming to you.”  LOL