Thursday, August 17, 2017

"Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four)" by Eurythmics

Song#:  2135
Date:  11/24/1984
Debut:  86
Peak:  81
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Rock, Synthpop, Dance-Pop, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  Following the success of their 1983 album Touch, the duo of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart were commissioned by Virgin Films to write music for a new movie version of the George Orwell classic 1984, which would appropriately be issued in that title year. Eurythmics did their work and handed it over to Virgin. Their music was used in the film along with portions of an orchestral score done by composer Dominic Muldowney. The tracks written and performed by Eurythmics were assembled and released as 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother) under their name. To promote the soundtrack, this first single was issued. It would be another significant hit in Europe for the duo hitting the Top 10 in several countries including their UK home where it got to #4. In the US, the song was a big hit at the clubs and it got to #2 on the Dance chart. However, it didn't translate to Pop audiences and the single quickly disappeared after a month on the chart.

ReduxReview:  I've always liked this song and was sad it didn't catch on in the US. It played well in the clubs, but it may not have played well on Pop radio. I'm guessing that a song titled "Sexcrime" was probably not going to be popular with radio stations and I also think the whole 1984 theme and references were totally lost. Perhaps if the movie had been a hit the song would have done better. The song mixes up different styles and sounds, yet still sounds cohesive and solid. I heard David Bowie, Kraftwerk, R&B and synthpop rolled up and covered in a distinct Eurythmics coating. Although it doesn't rank among their best and is not all that Pop friendly, it's still a terrific track that gets overlooked in their catalog.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  The use of the Eurythmics' tracks in the film ended up causing a bit of a controversy, mainly with the film's director. While Eurythmics were busy writing music for the film based on a commission from Virgin, director Michael Radford already had a score set for the film that was done by Dominic Muldowney. Apparently, Radford did not want the Eurythmics' music and was not sought out by Virgin for approval on their involvement in the film. Radford intended to just use the orchestral score he had commissioned. However, with money spent and the potential to boost ticket and album sales, Virgin was set on using the Eurythmics' music. With the final cut in the hands of Virgin and not the director, the duo's tracks were used in combination with Muldowney's score. Radford was less than pleased and at an awards show publicly stated that the Eurythmics' tracks were forced on him. Producer Simon Perry even went so far as saying the music was rubbish. Dave Stewart responded back saying that they acted on good faith via the commission and had no knowledge that the director already had a score in place. They assumed all was well. In the end, reviews for the film were mixed and it was not highly successful at the box office. However, Eurythmics had a bit of a last-laugh when this song became a hit in many countries.


No comments:

Post a Comment