October 20 – Desert Island Album Draft, Round 11 (Soundtracks): Eurythmics – 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother)

I’m participating in an album draft with nine other bloggers, organized by Hanspostcard. There were ten initial rounds, and now we’re into the first of three bonus rounds which will cover soundtracks, compilations, and music related movies, with draft order determined randomly by round.

Fair or not, the 1980’s is an easy target for blanket criticism of an entire decade’s worth of music. And, of course, it’s all subjective. There was a lot of really good music thirty to forty years ago, and though much of the overall obvious “80’s sound” doesn’t hold up to my ears, there are also some standout albums (did I mention this is subjective?). Mike’s choice yesterday, Purple Rain, is one of them. Another one that passes the ear test for me all these years later is a lesser known soundtrack album by Eurythmics, 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother).

1984 with original Eurythmics soundtrack(Winston's Diary scene) - YouTube

I recall being given this on cassette as a random gift maybe a year after its release in 1984, and a year or so before I read the Orwell novel or watched the film adaptation. Therefore, I became very familiar with it as an album – both instrumentally and vocally driven – before I was able to relate it to a storyline. I liked it then, and I still do. Its nine tracks follow the novel’s themes, with two of them issued as singles: the danceable synth-pop Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four) (though Dave Stewart suggests the music is not synth-pop, but “Kraftwerk meets African tribal meets Booker T and the MGs.”), and the atmospheric Julia, which is a perfect fit in such a dystopian film.

Eurythmics for the Love of Big Brother

There was a bit of a controversy surrounding this soundtrack. Eurythmics were commissioned by Virgin Films to create it, but Virgin failed to notify the film’s director, Michael Radford, who was not pleased to have a pop group “foisted” on him. The later director’s cut of the movie replaced most of the Eurythmics’ music with a more traditional orchestral score. Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart were also not aware that their contributions were not welcomed by the director until it was too late. I felt as a teen at the time that the music fit the film perfectly, and I feel the same today as we teeter on the edge of our real life dystopia. Eurythmics were as hot as anyone else on the early-mid 80’s pop scene, and Lennox and Stewart’s post-Eurythmics careers have proven them to be anything but synth-flashes in the pan.

Tracklist:

  1. I Did It Just the Same
  2. Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four)
  3. For the Love of Big Brother
  4. Winston’s Diary
  5. Greetings from a Dead Man
  6. Julia
  7. Doubleplusgood
  8. Ministry of Love
  9. Room 101

-Stephen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1984_(For_the_Love_of_Big_Brother)

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