On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) (1982)
We’re back in the UK today, dear reader, and once again enjoy an overnight stay in London. Back in the 1970s Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox were in a band by the name of The Tourists and were also in a relationship. When The Tourists fell apart in 1980 Lennox and Stewart also saw their relationship end but they chose to continue working together and from the ashes of these ruined collaborations, they formed Eurythmics with the two of them being a duo free to mould and shape material to their liking. When we join them in 1982 they have released one album and are working on a second record entitled Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) with 1001 Songs going for the title track.
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) began as a reflection of Annie Lennox’s despair and disillusionment following the end of The Tourists and her relationship with Dave Stewart. She described having dreams that were seemingly beyond reach and thus the song began as a rather morose one. Following an interjection from Stewart, the complexion of the track changed. Lennox sings of not just herself, but everyone, following their dreams and hoping for happiness but, sadly, we use and are used by one another along the way. There is hope though when Lennox beseeches us to keep going and to never give up on what we want.
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) is probably the most famous track by Eurythmics but many more classics would follow such as Who’s That Girl?, Thorn in My Side and There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart). Sweet Dreams would hit no.2 in the UK and be a big hit globally as well. The music video with an androgynously dressed Annie Lennox would resonate with many music lovers and add to her mystique. The duo disbanded in 1990, reuniting in 1999 before separating once more in 2005. One off appearances have happened since but Stewart focuses more on production these days while Lennox launched a successful solo career back in the 1990s.
Favourite songs so far:
The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)
Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)
The Doors – The End (1967)
The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)
Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)
Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (1978)
The Police – Message in a Bottle (1979)
Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart (1980)
Ultravox – Vienna (1980)