This Week In 1983: The Top Music of September 2, 1983
Several big names take big tumbles this week on their way out of the countdown: Stevie Nicks, Loverboy, Duran Duran, Def Leppard all fall at least ten spots or more. Other recognizable names are making big moves up the chart: “Sexy & 17” from The Stray Cats, Spandau Ballet’s “True” and the new single from The Police, “King of Pain”. Near the top, “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats, “Tell Her About It” from Billy Joel and Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” all find their way into the Top Ten. And finally, after eight weeks, we have a new song in the top spot. Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart, better known as The Eurythmics, score their first #1 hit with “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”. It’s also this week’s featured song.
Song Story: “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by The Eurythmics
While this is the fourth single in the UK from the album by the same name, this is the duo’s first US single. It’s also their first and only #1 song. Stewart and Lennox first started working together in a band called The Tourists in the late 70’s. When that project fell apart, they decided to continue working together as The Eurythmics. They had to take out a loan just to buy instruments and equipment for themselves and this was one of the first songs they wrote together with their new purchases.
Lennox was in a low place because her career had seemingly stalled. She says the original lyrics were a reflection of her state of mind: hopeless, depressed and nihilistic. Stewart, on the other hand, had just survived surgery on a puncture lung was felt like he had a new lease on life. He felt the song was too depressing so he added the “hold your head up, moving on” sections of the song to make it more uplifting. When the record company originally heard the song, they didn’t think it would make a good single because it lacked a chorus but a DJ in Cleveland kept playing the song so much that it developed a local following that spread to other larger markets so the label decided to release it.
Like we’ve mentioned before with acts like Duran Duran and Prince, The Eurythmics received a huge boost from the heavy airplay they received on MTV and this video is considered a classic early MTV clip. On a personal note, for non-digital production done in the early 80’s, this song is extremely well layered and produced. Put on a pair of headphones and listen to all the detail in the background. It’s quite spectacular.