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Inspirations: Eurythmics Sweet Dreams (are Made of These)

May 18th, 2012 by Fitz, Inspirations, 0 Comments

Eurythmics Sweet Dreams single album cover

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Sweet Dreams (are made of these) by Eurythmics – Amazon

Synthpop doesn’t get much better than the Eurythmic’s 1983 hit, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These). The robotic drums, the spidery synth riff, and Annie’s haunting vocals all create a mood that was so very 1983. The song is mysterious and embraces the techno fetishsim of the era but also soulful and very human. The production of the entire Sweet Dreams album was also facinatingly DIY as detailed in this article of Anything Goes Publication Musician Article Dated 11/1/1983:

Their “studio” was a dingy, v-shaped warehouse attic. No acoustical tiles, no drum booth, no double-sealed glass window; they played and sang in the same room with their tape deck and mixing board, which were a TEAC half-inch 8-track and a cheap, used Soundcraft, respectively. For microphones, they had two Beyers, which they used to record everything – Annie’s voice, trumpets, percussion, the piano – and for outboard processing gear they had a handful of old effects boxes, a space echo, and one (count it, one) spring reverb. They made the Sweet Dreams album with that. Go and listen to it. It sounds like it was recorded in the finest of two-hundred-dollar-an-hour rooms, instead of a place most people would barely credit with demo capability. Raw talent and no pressure from the time clock are two reasonable explanations for that disparity, but at the heart of the record’s sonic success is a different attitude about recording. No more “fix it in the mix.” Instead it was get the sound right, no matter how long it took, and then record it flat. And if it didn’t sound right later, scrub it and do it again.

Sweet Dreams Video

The video was just as good as the song. The photogenic Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart drift thru a surreal collage of scenes that include corporate board room meditaion, a rowboat, cellos, and cows. Note also the glaciar glasses Dave wears (very trendy at the time) and the Movement Systems Drum Computer which he is “playing” throughout.

The Synthesizers

Roland Juno 60 - 2

Or should I say, “synthesizer”. The entire album apparently uses only one synth: the Roland Juno 60. I’m not suprised as the Juno has plenty of sonic versatility. In addition, I often think that limiting one’s tools is the best choice for improving creativity. Maybe the album sounded so good in part because they didn’t have a gaggle of polysynths to distract them.

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