Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox

Normally, being married to the guy who produced the Spice Girls movie would make FirstFoot suspicious. But as far as FirstFoot is concerned, Annie Lennox could join the Spice Girls and we would think no less highly of her. Actually that's a lie, we would think that she had over-indulged in exotic pharmaceuticals and would realise her mistake once she straightened out.

Annie Lennox was born in Aberdeen on Christmas Day, 1954. A musically gifted child in a working class family, she was accepted into the Royal Academy of Music in London. It must have come as something of a culture shock. The Royal Academy is a snotty English Establishment institution and nothing in Lennox's Aberdeen childhood had prepared her for the experience.

She stuck it out for three years, leaving in 1974 with no formal qualifications, but a legacy of academic rigour that would stand her in good stead.

The next two years were spent in a variety of going-nowhere bands and jobs, until one of those jobs led to a meeting with a scruffy Geordie; Dave Stewart, and a musical era was born.

The first manifestation of a collaboration which has been one of the most interesting and prolific of the late 20th century, was The Tourists. In common with the Bay City Rollers thirteen years previously, the Tourists released a cover version of Dusty Springfield's old hit, "I Only Want To Be With You". Spookily, both bands versions reached number 4 in the UK charts. Not so spookily, only one of the bands has associations with paedophilia (and it's not the Tourists).
Looking decidedly glaikit with The Tourists in 1979
Looking decidedly glaikit with The Tourists in 1979

The band released three albums; "The Tourists", "Reality Effect", and "Luminous", each of which had moderate success. They also had enjoyed one other top 10 single, "So Good to Be Back Home Again", before breaking up in 1980.

Thereafter, Lennox and Stewart, who had been an item, disentangled romantically, but continued their musical association in the form of Eurythmics. Their second album, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" in 1983, was a stormer and the one that launched the duo into pop stratosphere. Spawning four singles, the eponymous "Sweet Dreams" made them into household names, reaching number 2 in the UK and the stellar height of number 1 on the US Billboard chart.

Eurythmics had arrived. Over the next ten years they would enjoy twelve top ten singles, seven top ten albums and Lennox would collect six Brit awards.
In concert with Eurythmics - 1984
In concert with Eurythmics - 1984

But these are mere numbers and do not communicate the vibrance and immediacy of the music. Lennox's big, haunting, powerful and pure voice complemented perfectly the swirling, busy, intricate synth sounds of Stewart's production.

Some of most remembered music of the 1980's came from the duo including "Who's That Girl", "Right by Your Side", "Here Comes the Rain Again" and "Sisters are Doing it for Themselves". As this old fart types the track names, the sounds come crashing back, instantly remembered.

The band split up in 1990 although they have collaborated on various projects since. Lennox has had the most solo success. This surprised many people as there was an assumption that Stewart was the creative force and Lennox the articulation. But with a UK number 1 solo album, "Diva", Lennox has shown that she is a force to be reckoned with, with or without Dave Stewart.

There is perhaps one other reason to offer support to Annie Lennox; The fat, ugly, shrill and increasingly hysterical media monster that is Julie Burchill, once wrote "please let the Eurythmics die painlessly in a plane crash'.

If you accumulated all the pleasure that Burchill has created in twenty five years of journalism, you wouldn't find enough of it to stuff between the cheeks of her fat arse.

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