It’s music review time!
Since I started this with Florence and the Machine I thought it would be good to go on with other albums that I love from start to finish, meaning those, that don’t contain any songs I have to skip. Savage by Eurythmics definitely is one of those.
Now Eurythmics is one of my favorite bands ever. That is another way to say: don’t you dare to think that there won’t be any future posts about them! Combining the great musical minds of David Stewart and Annie Lennox, Eurythmics has produced several outstanding albums and hits over the years, the most prominent still being Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) probably.
Savage is their seventh studio-album and was released in 1987. It does not contain any iconic songs in terms of being instantly recognizable for a large number of people and has only had moderate commercial success, but it nevertheless for me epitomizes what I love and cherish about Eurythmics’ music. An interesting feature of this album is that it was the first time that they also produced a video album, meaning that they shot music videos for each song on the album, single or not. While it’s primarily about the music for me I also think that they have some interesting visuals in their videos as a band, so I totally think it is worth checking out the video-album, although that might be a little difficult. It has not been re-issued as a DVD, so you have to have a video-recorder and hunt for the tape on ebay. I’m trying to give you as much as possible within this post, but it seems that Sony holds the rights and there’s an issue with that in Germany, so I’m unable to see the videos on youtube. I assembled some nevertheless and give you alternate versions or live renditions of the songs, when I couldn’t insert the original. You’re welcome.
Beethoven (I love to listen to)
Love the intro. Perfectly matched in the (cool) music video with the up-the-stairs-shot. The beat feels in-your-face and I like it, because it compliments the lyrics so well. Especially the delivery of the lyrics, which is so hilariously snappy and bitchy at times that it makes me smile with blissful happiness. What I always thought was so very wonderful about the song was the utter randomness of the “I love to listen to Beethoven” line, as if it obviously mattered to the rest of the song, while it very much does not seem to at all. 5 out of 5 stars.
Did I tell you I was lying by the way, when I said I wanted a new mink coat. I was just thinking about something sleek to wrap around my tender throat.
I’ve got a lover (back in Japan) & Do you want to break up
I paired them together not only because they follow each other on the album, but also because they share the dubious position of being my two least favourite songs on the album. Since I already stated that I love the album from start to finish that doesn’t really mean a lot in terms of hating the songs, but it means that if I skip songs while listening, it is usually these two.
I’ve got a lover is the better one out of the two IMO, love the combination of drums and keyboard here, plus, the lyrics are pretty awesome. My complaint would be, and even more so for Do you want to break up, that it feels very repetitive, which sucks out some energy of the song(s). The most kick-ass part of Do you want to break up is obviously the intro. Nice build up with the drums and guitar, leading to the unexpected start of Annie’s singing. 3,5/5 for IGAL, 3 out of 5 stars for DYWTBU. Nice but hardly spectacular videos, I’d say.
He’s been tumbling around all over the place
The above video is an extended remix, you can see the original video here
So let me disembrace you now my little trouble boy
You have placed a chill in my heart
A moment of awesome on this album. Beautiful in both lyrics and music, this song is among my all-Eurythmics favourites. I also love the accompanying music video, probably because it is also how I got introduced to the song. I love the metaphors used in the lyrics, love how she sings it, and love how overall pop this song is. Pretty much a feel good song that makes me feel good, therefore 5 out of 5 stars.
Love is rock and love is roll, I just want someone to hold.
An obvious single choice, I think, although it sounds different from the rest of the album. Not a ground-breaking video. I like how within the song the drama builds up from verse to chorus. Shame in the dancehalls? Sweet. I’ve never really gotten around thinking through what to make of the lyrics though, maybe I should one day. Sounds much like a media-critique, right? But to what extent, what is the target of the critique? Like the stomping beat of the song, a quality shared by many of the other songs as well. 5 out of 5.
You with yer brand new shoes and you with yer greasy hair, you with yer mother’s pride and poetry
This was definitely a grower for me. Wasn’t overly impressed in the beginning, nor really aware of it as a song, but by now it holds a special place in my heart. Feels like a poem read to me, all about the lyrics here. With a nice melancholic feel to it. Actually the whole song reminds me of Roxette’s The first Girl on the Moon a lot. Anyone else? Like the laid back feeling of the whole thing, but I am admittedly still unsure what to thing of the electric guitars. Do I like it? Don’t I? Mmh, 4 out of 5 stars I’d say. Oh, and isn’t savage just a beautiful word, sound-wise?
These are my guns, these are my furs, this is my living room
The above video is a live version, see the original video here
I need a man
Hey! Whoooaaao! The drunk rock chick kinda screaming in your face sorta song. Or whatever. It’s not really that I believe Annie Lennox to be like that, but then again the whole concept of both album and accompanying videos is to present her in the guise of different characters. And my diva-love extends to her blond-wig-ed character here, plus I think this song kicks ass pretty hard (which is a good thing, mind you). Yay for the electric guitars here, no need to mention my love of prominent drums (again), so let’s just hand out 4,5 stars to this one.
I don’t need heartbreaker, Fifty-faced trouble maker, two timing time taker, dirty little money maker, muscle bound cheap skate low down woman hater, triple crossing double dater, yella bellied alligator
The above video is a remix of the song, you can see the original video here
Put the blame on me & Heaven
Again, I group them together not only because they follow each other, but also because they evoke similar reactions in me. Both are more about the music than about the lyrics, they feel like instrumentals with the singing added as an afterthought. Nevertheless I find both of them to be effective in that they create this lounge-y sort of feeling that is both relaxed and pressing at the same time, as if something curious were about to happen to you in the safety of your being just comfortable with yourself. Both of them get 4 stars from me, with the acknowledgment that Heaven makes me shake my body to its beat every time I listen to it, because it just has this take-you-on-a-ride kind of beat that makes my shoulders go UMH (which is not a technical term of any kind) and my hips go round.
Take me to a dark room and hug me to bits
See the original video here
Takes a little time
See it here
Wide eyed girl
Really like the melody of this one and while I like the delivery of the lyrics I am not overly thrilled with the lyrics themselves. Ermh, okay, wide eyed girl discovering her independence etc. While I don’t want to disrespect anyone making the same experience and while my love for movies has a lot to do with stories of just that, I don’t really feel myself touched by the lyrics in this case. What I completely love about the whole song though is the very ending, because it goes from seemingly bubbly pop to despair within seconds. And then just leaves you there. Actually I think that the chorus just seems to be pure pop, and is really much more pessimistic than it pretends. 4,5 stars for this one.
Don’t you walk away when I’m communicating with you!
See it here
I need you
Yes, I Do Love This Song. With All My Heart.
This to me is the most awesome track of the whole album and always inspires me to think about picking up my guitar and finally learning how to play it in order to play that very song. I never get beyond the thinking about it part, though, but that does not diminish my love for this song. It is very simple, all stripped down acoustic and shit, but oh so effective in that it puts all focus on the lyrics and their delivery, which I would describe as raw. As in emotionally raw. Cause that is how the song leaves me, and I quite kinda like that. 6 out of 5 stars, just because I can.
I need someone to listen to the ecstasy I’m faking
See it here
Brand new day
The most awesome song is followed by the probably second most awesome song of the album. Starts out all acapella and then introduces choirs, punching drums and twinkling electro-stuff, all of which are always points on the plus side of life. Extremely uplifting as a song, and it being the last song of the album that’s a pretty fantastic feature, leaving you sitting there feeling all good about yourself and what you just heard. 5/5.
Six o’clock in the morning and I step into the streets, the pavement’s cold and empty, got the blues beneath my feet
See it here
There are five extra tracks on the re-issue, two of them remixes and one being a live rendition, but it is really the cover of The Beatles’ Come together and the awesome extended philharmonic version of Beethoven (I love to listen to). The former is a good song in itself and the Eurythmics version is a nice listen, but the latter just Blows My Mind. Transforms the song to something completely different but all the while completely amazing. Being basically and instrumental it makes my head go on a trip to some happy fantasy realm where we all are friends and everything is beautiful, makes sense and tastes like Fanta Grape (which is a good thing, in case you wondered). I wish all remixes on earth would achieve this level of utter awesomeness by taking a chance and not just housing-it-up.
Don’t know it yet? Go listen!