Saturday, May 26, 2018

"There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart)" by Eurythmics

Song#:  2415
Date:  08/03/1985
Debut:  64
Peak:  22
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Synthpop, Blue-Eyed Soul

Pop Bits:  Eurythmics burst back into the Pop Top 10 with "Would I Lie to You?," the first single from their album Be Yourself Tonight. The workout jam would reach #5 at Pop while getting to #2 at Rock. For a follow-up, this Motown-inspired track was selected. It didn't quite capture the same audience that loved the previous single and it stalled just short of the Pop Top 20. It also briefly appeared on the Dance chart getting to #31. While the song was not a major hit in the US, it certainly was in the duo's home country. The track would become their first and only #1 on the UK chart.

ReduxReview:  While this was a big hit in the UK and other countries, for some reason it just didn't connect as well in the US. I thought it was the right single choice, but it was a change of pace for the duo who had become known for their dark synthpop tunes. This one is bright and upbeat with a bit of the ol' Motown soul tossed in for good measure. Perhaps folks in the US wanted more of what they offered up via "Would I Lie to You?" rather than this retro-ish track with its high flying chorus. I figured it might just eke out a Top 10 appearance, but it unfortunately stalled earlier than what I expected.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) It is most likely obvious to many folks, but the harmonica solo on this song was performed by Stevie Wonder. Eurythmics recorded the track in Los Angeles and made a request for Wonder to play the solo. It seemed all arranged, but the duo kept waiting and waiting at the studio for Wonder to arrive. As time passed, they were getting bummed thinking that he might not show, but he finally came in and jammed the solo out in no time. Eurythmics and Wonder did perform the song live together in 1999 in an appearance on the Brit Awards.  2) The strings for this song were arranged by an up-n-coming film composer/arranger named Michael Kamen. Although he had been working since the 70s, it wasn't until his work with Pink Floyd and on Eurythmics' Touch album that he really began to become and in-demand arranger. He would go on to work with some of the biggest names in music including Queen, Metallica, David Bowie, Bon Jovi, Sting, Guns N' Roses, and many others. He would also compose scores for many films and along the way grabbed an Oscar nod for Best Original Song as co-writer of Bryan Adams' #1 hit "Everything I Do (I Do It for You)" from 1991's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (the song and a track from the score netted him two Grammys). Kamen and Annie Lennox would remain good friends through to his death in 2003. When Lennox won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2004 (for "Into the West" from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), she dedicated the award to her mother and Kamen who both had passed away the previous year.


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