Eurythmics are known mainly for a lot of their mainstream releases but not so much for what was supposed to be their first motion-picture soundtrack release –titled 1984– for a movie also with the same title.  Ok, that was a long sentence.  I’ll simplify my point: Eurythmic’s 1984 was the soundtrack for the 1984 movie which was based on George Orwell’s novel:  1984/Nineteen Eight Four. Phew!

Back in 1984, I bought the LP vinyl & cassette of Eurythmics’ 1984, as well as the 7″ and 12″ singles of Sexcrime.  This entire album is actually my very favorite of any Eurythmics’ release.  It has all the synth-pop, electronic elements with Moroder-esque basslines, drum machine polyrhythms, stuttering vocal samples, layers of synth pads, lush sound engineering & mixing, seas of processed reverb and cutting-edge dark-noir feel to it all (with a touch of pop sparkles on top).  It’s pop and SERIOUS at the same time.  Timeless.  Emotional.  Deep.  All in all, 1984 is different in style & sound from Eurythmics’ previous forte, falling somewhere between Peter Gabriel’s Birdy soundtrack and The Art Of Noise.

Play Eurythmics “1984″ LP/Soundtrack…

Eurythmics 1984 Tracks…

  • Track 01 – I Did It Just The Same  (mp3)
  • Track 02 – Sexcrime (nineteen eighty-four)  (mp3)
  • Track 03 – For The Love Of Big brother  (mp3)
  • Track 04 – Winston’s Diary  (mp3)
  • Track 05 – Greetings From A Dead Man  (mp3)
  • Track 06 – Julia  (mp3)
  • Track 07 – Doubleplusgood  (mp3)
  • Track 08 – Ministry Of Love  (mp3)
  • Track 09 – Room 101  (mp3)
  • Review of ’1984′ by DjProject…

    Review by DjProject…

    When Michael Redford set out to make a film adaptation of George Orwell’s well-known dystopia Nineteen Eighty-Four, Sir Richard Branson (Virgin was producing the film) wanted to have a pop act to contribute to the soundtrack. And so he brought onboard Eurythmics (still signed to RCA at the time). Although only a few of the cues were actually use in the theatrical cut and subsequently for laserdisc and DVD they were all but absent from the film (Eurythmics have become “unpersons” =] ), this is a fine alternative soundtrack to the work, both the novel and the film.

    If Eurythmics were known solely for their pop sensibilities, this album would demonstrate their creative talents. The thing that makes this album stand out is the way it’s able to capture the mood and spirit of the world of Oceania. The sound is very modern and accessible to today but there’s a unsettling trait running through the album that compliments a future run by the principles of Ingsoc. Perhaps the best example in this album is “Greetings from a Dead Man.” The percussion makes it very dance-like yet the organ/synth sounds and Anne Lennox’s vocalizing give it a dark quality. This could very well be the first cyberpunk soundtrack =].

    This is perhaps why Michael Redford disliked it so much. He was much in favor with Dominic Muldowney’s orchestral score. While Muldowney’s score is a good traditional film score and points to Orwell’s inspiration (the music is very “social realist” and would fit well with a socialist/communist band’s repertoire), it does very little to really explore and solidify the dark mood of the film. For an example, “I Did It Just the Same” was used (albeit in a slightly different form on the film) when Winston was recounting his encounter with prole prostitute. The rhythm track, the striptease-like synth bass and the other electronic oddities (Anne’s vocalizations were not on the film cue) help to amplify the sexuality in the scene, a verboten idea in the world of “1984.” Muldowney’s score just doesn’t cut it (pun intended).

    While most Eurythmics fans would consider this a curiosity, I think it helps them to be seen as artists in their own right rather than just a pop group who happened to be at the right place at the right time. As for its failed use in the film, all I can say that I’m sorry that Michael Redford failed to see what this soundtrack could have done for the film.

    Peter Gabriel - "In Your Eyes" (Special Mix) 12" record atop 1/4-inch reel tapes at Hashmoder's studio.Ah, this is one rarity from an outstanding, legendary British artist: Peter Gabriel. There was an actual 12″ record of In Your Eyes which featured the Special Mix. But what made this particular record more special was that the track In Your Eyes (Special Mix) was also featured on the B-side of a Peter Gabriel/Kate Bush 12″ single Don’t Give Up.

    I have never opened nor played this record before. Thus, after nearly 25 years, I’ve unsealed it and recorded the track on the B-side to digital.  Therefore, a triple special indeed!

    Peter Gabriel – “In Your Eyes” (Special Mix)…

    B-side of Gabriel/Bush 12" record of "Don't Give Up" which features Peter Gabriel's - In Your Eyes (Special Mix) track.Artist: Peter Gabriel
    Title: In Your Eyes (Special Mix)
    Year: 1986
    Label: Virgin Records
    Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

    Peter Gabriel – “In Your Eyes” (Special Mix) (mp3)

     

    It’s been a long time; I shouldn’t have left you.
    Without a strong article to blog a post to.
    Think of six months you had to wait through.
    Time’s up.  I’m sorry I’ve kept you…
    waiting for this, with your hand on the mouse, soon…
    as you click it, turn up the volume!

    Heh. How ya like my own take on Eric B & Rakim’s – “I Know You Got Soul” lyrics above!

    And hey… Thank you for your patience.

    In the long break which I’ve taken away from my blog, I was going through and reorganizing my entire vinyl and CD collection. I was listening to a lot of music, as well as searching and buying a lot of new and used records and CD’s from niche record stores, thrift stores, garage sales and internet. I’ve added more music to my arsenal in the past few months, especially certain old-school tracks which I’ve been searching for years to find… such as the 12-inch extended version of Promises Promises by Naked Eyes.

    What the hell is it about this track which makes it deliciously and emotionally congenial? …And why is it so immortal?

    Oh, I know… It is the plethora of rich, creamy & lush layers of weaving sound textures in a sea of sound-design bliss — an artwork trademark of Naked Eyes’ two British members Pete Byrne (guitars & vocals) and Rob Fisher (synthesizers & keyboards). They deliver Promises Promises with such bliss, thickened with consistency and splendiferous substance of utmost quality in the beautiful combination of different musical elements, threaded and embedded deeply in the song’s inner core and exterior fabric.

    According to Wikipedia:

    Naked Eyes was one the very first bands to make significant use of the Fairlight CMI sampling beast of an instrument.  Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush had used the Fairlight on prior efforts, but the usage had been far less than Naked Eyes would employ on their debut effort.

    However, before becoming a two-man band, Byrne & Fisher had formally played in a band called Neon with future members of Tears For Fears — also a two-man band who used the Fairlight extensively. The relationship between the two bands is perhaps why both bands had similarities in their use of rich, epic sound-textures in the music, albeit each having their own musical styles.

    The lyrics of Promises Promises was obviously about a person’s disappointment in his/her significant-other who made countless promises but was not able to keep nor follow through any one of them. If having read the lyrics without listening to the music first, one might have gotten an impression that the song would be slow and sappy.     Sappy/slow it was not!       Surprisingly, this track was paced at mid-tempo with:

    • Tight drums at the core;
    • Percussive marimba’ish synth stabs;
    • Lush synth pads and swells coming in & going out through both left/right channels of the stereo-field;
    • Echoey electric guitar licks drenched in reverb ambience; and
    • Moderate and not over-the-top vocals with not too many words.

    ●●● Overall sound-&-feel of the song was (and still is) moody and emotional but hopeful.

    Moody… Emotional… These are exactly the feelings I go through sometimes when thinking about how I might’ve been given the short-end of the stick in life. I start to loathe myself many times for being a middle-eastern person born in Baghdad, Iraq. And then I wish that I wasn’t born an arab nor a muslim –– I really do hate my religion!

    I renounced Islam when I was 6.5 years-old in 1977. I was mandated to attend “Quran” class at the end of first day of school (Rosary) in Abu Dhabi. I was late for that class. As soon as I entered the classroom, the arabic teacher asked me to recite any verse from the Quran. I had no idea what she was talking about, because I wasn’t aware to have a religion.  All of a sudden the bitch slapped me hard on my face, almost knocking me down to the floor and blacking-out. That very moment… I made up my mind: FUCK THIS! AND FUCK ISLAM!!

    After being slapped and physically abused for nearly three years, my stuttering became severely worse, as I was living in fear of those kinds of people. And because of those sons of bitches, I loathed (and still loathe) myself for being a brown, muslim arab. Therefore I moved to England and Canada with my parents at a young age of nine years in 1980. I was happy to get away from the middle-eastern world of autocratic and punitive Islamic-states in Arabia. During all my years living in Europe and North America, I’ve adapted and became accustomed to modern western civilization and culture.

    But whenever I do feel down like that, I can simply shake it off by either thinking of Promises Promises or playing the song. Perhaps a lot of the good promises in my life where broken or never fulfilled, but I am being hopeful at the end of each day.

    Naked Eyes – “Promises, Promises” (Extended Version)…

    Artist: Naked Eyes
    Title: Promises, Promises (Extended Version)
    Year: 1983
    Label: EMI America
    Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

    Naked Eyes – “Promises Promises”  (Extended Version) (mp3)

     

    Naked Eyes – “Promises, Promises” (Instrumental)…

    Artist: Naked Eyes
    Title: Promises, Promises (Instrumental)
    Year: 1983
    Label: EMI America
    Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

    Naked Eyes – “Promises Promises” (Instrumental) (mp3)

     

    Mercy Street is one of the most beautiful, original and highly intelligent and emotional songs ever composed and produced. It still gives me the goose-bumps every time I listen to it, and I’ve been playing it endlessly for the last 26 years. I listen to Mercy Street when I’m hurting and in search of healing; when I’m at peace and in solitude; and when I’m meditating and mind-traveling. The song never seems to wear out on me but rather continually evolve to something bigger and much richer for me to appreciate even more over time as it goes by.  Mercy Street is the song I want to be played at my funeral.

    The only versions of Mercy Street which I love and respect are two of them: LP version and the William Orbit mix which is featured in a 1992 CD-single of Blood Of Eden by Peter Gabriel. Please take the time to read the lyrics and the meaning of the song below. I’ve provided a video of Peter Gabriel talking about what inspired him to write and dedicate his song to Anne Sexton who wrote a poem and play called 45 Mercy Street.

    Peter Gabriel – “Mercy Street” (LP Version)…

    Artist: Peter Gabriel
    Title: Mercy Street (LP Version)
    Year: 1986
    Label: Real World Records / Real World Music

    Peter Gabriel – “Mercy Street” (LP Version) (mp3)

     

    Peter Gabriel – “Mercy Street” (William Orbit Mix)…

    Artist: Peter Gabriel
    Title: Mercy Street (William Orbit Mix)
    Year: 1992
    Label: Real World Records / Real World Music

    Peter Gabriel – “Mercy Street” (William Orbit Mix) (mp3)

     

    Mercy Street Lyrics…

    Looking down on empty streets, all she can see
    Are the dreams all made solid
    Are the dreams all made real

    All of the buildings, all of those cars
    Were once just a dream
    In somebody’s head

    She pictures the broken glass, she pictures the steam
    She pictures a soul
    With no leak at the seam

    Lets take the boat out
    Wait until darkness
    Let’s take the boat out
    Wait until darkness comes

    Nowhere in the corridors of pale green and grey
    Nowhere in the suburbs
    In the cold light of day

    There in the midst of it so alive and alone
    Words support like bone

    Dreaming of mercy st.
    Wear your inside out
    Dreaming of mercy
    In your daddy’s arms again

    Dreaming of mercy st.
    Swear they moved that sign
    Dreaming of mercy
    In your daddy’s arms

    Pulling out the papers from the drawers that slide smooth
    Tugging at the darkness, word upon word
    Confessing all the secret things in the warm velvet box
    To the priest-he’s the doctor
    He can handle the shocks
    Dreaming of the tenderness-the tremble in the hips
    Of kissing Mary’s lips

    Dreaming of mercy st.
    Wear your insides out
    Dreaming of mercy
    In your daddy’s arms again

    Dreaming of mercy st.
    Swear they moved that sign
    Looking for mercy
    In your daddy’s arms

    Mercy, mercy, looking for mercy
    Mercy, mercy, looking for mercy

    Anne, with her father is out in the boat
    Riding the water
    Riding the waves on the sea

    The Meaning Of The Lyrics & Anne Sexton’s Poem 45 Mercy Street

    Peter Gabriel was inspired by Anne Sexton’s poem 45 Mercy Street which led him to write/compose his song Mercy Street, dedicating his song to her. Gabriel could relate to Sexton as a deep thinker with a troubling depression who searches for meaning through her art.

    Anne Sexton, a poet, committed suicide in 1974 after a life marred by mental illness. The first couple of verses in the song play on the difficulty she had differentiating between her successful creative life as a poet and her failings in her “real” life as a daughter/mother/wife. Years after leaving the home where she lived with her father, one day she decided to go back and look for the place on 45 Mercy Street. But when she walked there, she wasn’t able to find the house nor recognize the neighborhood what she once knew.  It has all been changed over time. so in essence, this is what the song Mercy Street is all about … Anne’s searching of her home and past.

    According to the uncredited sources on the internet:

    As a poet, Anne, in effect, had a “leak at the seam,” her inward thoughts and feelings that got expressed through her poetry. Many poets have commented on the pain that comes through revealing one’s inner self.

    The boat references allude to her final book of poetry, “The Awful Rowing Toward God,” about our inevitable journey toward death and the afterlife. “Tak[ing] the boat out” refers to her intention to accelerate her own demise. (She killed herself just after finishing the book.)

    Corridors of pale green [aka 'hospital green'] and gray” could refer to her stays in mental institutions during her manic episodes (which alternated with her stints of “ordinary life” in the suburbs of Boston).

    Wear your inside out” again refers to the way a poet exposes his soul to the world. That which, for most people, remains private and unknown is shown to all. The “daddy” allusions again seem to refer to God, in whose arms she might find that elusive mercy (so difficult to attain in this life, hence the reference to the moved street sign.

    All of the confession allusions have double meaning, as much of Anne’s life was spent “confessing” her innermost feelings to psychiatrists ((whereas in the song, the “warm velvet box” might also refer to the psychiatrists and mind doctors)) as well as revealing them to the public through her poetry. The shocks can doubly refer to shock therapy administered by psychiatrists as well as the shocking things a priest might hear in confession. Per Wikipedia, Sexton was the epitome of a “confessional poet.”

    Live Performace of Peter Gabriel – “Mercy Street”…

    Live Performance of Peter Gabriel – “Mercy Street” (1988)…

    Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studio…

    The pictures you see below are Peter Gabriel’s own Real World Studio where he recorded Mercy Street as well as the most of his previous albums, soundtracks and productions of other artists signed on his label Real World Music/Records.

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