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The origins of Eurythmics lay in the Tourists, a British post-punk band of the late '70s formed by Lennox and Stewart. The pair met in London while she was studying at the Royal Academy of Music. Stewart had recently broken up his folk-rock group Longdancer and was writing songs with guitarist Pete Coombes. Immediately after meeting, Stewart and Lennox became lovers and musical partners, forming a group called Catch with Coombes, which quickly evolved into the Tourists in 1979. Though the band was only together for two years, the Tourists released three albums -- The Tourists, Reality Effect, and Luminous Basement -- which all were moderate hits in England; two of their singles, "I Only Want to Be with You" and "So Good to Be Back Home Again," became Top Ten hits.
During 1980, Lennox and Stewart's romantic relationship dissolved and, along with it, so did the Tourists. Despite this, Lennox and Stewart decided to continue performing together under the name Eurythmics and headed to Germany to record their debut album. Featuring support from various members of Can and Blondie drummer Clem Burke, among others, the duo's debut, In the Garden, was released in 1981 to positive reviews, but weak sales. Stewart set up a home studio, and Eurythmics recorded a second album, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), which was released in January 1983.
"Love Is a Stranger" was the third British single pulled from the album, and it became a minor hit in late 1982, a few weeks before the LP appeared. The title track was released as a single in late January, and it rocketed to number two on the U.K. charts; shortly afterward, it climbed to number one in the States. "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" was helped enormously by its stylish, androgynous video, which received heavy airplay from MTV, which had only recently become a major influence within the music industry. After "Sweet Dreams," Eurythmics re-released "Love Is a Stranger" and it reached the U.K. Top Ten (number 23 U.S.). Touch, the duo's third album, was released toward the end of 1983 and continued their success throughout 1984, spawning the hits "Who's That Girl?" (number three, U.K.; number 21, U.S.), "Right by Your Side" (number ten, U.K.; number 29, U.S.), and "Here Comes the Rain Again" (number eight, U.K.; number four U.S.). At the end of the year, they released the soundtrack for the film adaptation of 1984, which became their lowest-charting album, despite the Top Five U.K. placing of its single, "Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four)."
Released in May of 1985, Eurythmics' fourth non-soundtrack album, Be Yourself Tonight, boasted a tougher, R&B-influenced sound and featured a duet with Aretha Franklin, "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves." The duet became one of three hit singles from the album, in addition to "Would I Lie to You?" (number 17, U.K.; number one, Australia; number five, U.S.) and the lyrical "There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart)" (number one, U.K.; number 22, U.S.). Revenge, released the following year, followed the R&B and soul inclinations of Be Yourself Tonight to a harder-rocking conclusion. Though the album peaked at number 12 in the U.S. and spawned the number 14 hit "Missionary Man," its sales were noticeably weaker than its predecessor. In the U.K., the group was slightly more popular -- "Thorn in My Side" reached the Top Ten -- but it was evident that their popularity was on the decline.
As appropriate for a group passing their commercial pinnacle, Eurythmics began branching out into other areas. During 1985 and 1986, Dave Stewart produced a number of superstars, including Bob Dylan, Daryl Hall, Tom Petty, and Mick Jagger. Annie Lennox began a short-lived acting career, appearing in Revolution. Eurythmics reconvened in 1987 to release Savage, which reached number seven in the U.K. but placed just outside the Top 40 in the U.S. That same year, Stewart married Siobhan Fahey, a former member of Bananarama who had also appeared in the "Who's That Girl" video; she would later be a member of Shakespear's Sister, which was produced by Stewart. In 1988, Lennox had a hit duet with Al Green with "Put a Little Love in Your Heart," taken from the Scrooged soundtrack. The following year, Eurythmics released We Too Are One, which sold well in Britain, reaching number one, but poorly in America, despite "Don't Ask Me Why" becoming their first Top 40 hit since "Missionary Man."
Eurythmics quietly went on hiatus as of 1990, releasing Greatest Hits the following year. Lennox began a successful solo career in 1992 with Diva, an album that topped the album chart in the U.K. and would eventually sell over two million copies. Her second album, 1995's Medusa, went to number one in Canada and the U.K. and peaked at number 11 stateside; Lennox won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for its cover of the Lover Speaks' "No More 'I Love Yous'." Stewart continued producing records and writing film soundtracks as well as forming a band called Spiritual Cowboys. In 1995, he officially launched a solo career with the release of Greetings from the Gutter. Lennox and Stewart re-formed Eurythmics in 1999, releasing Peace, their first studio album in a decade. It was well-received, reaching number four in the U.K. and number 25 on the Billboard 200. With Lennox still thriving as a soloist -- 2003's Bare hit the Top Five in the U.S., U.K., and Canada -- Eurythmics returned in 2005 with two previously unreleased songs from the Peace sessions that were included in that year's Ultimate Collection. One of the songs, "I've Got a Life," was issued as a single and reached number 14 in the U.K.
While little else was heard from Eurythmics as a duo in the years to follow, Lennox went on to win a Grammy for her song "Into the West" for the soundtrack to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media), and she had two more U.S./U.K. Top Ten albums in 2007's Songs of Mass Destruction and 2014's Nostalgia, a collection of covers from the Great American Songbook. In that span of time, Stewart delivered four more solo albums, including 2013's Lucky Numbers, which included collaborations with Martina McBride and Vanessa Amorosi, among others. In 2016, he produced Starlight, an album by New Zealand singer Jon Stevens that went to number 16 in Australia. The following year, Lennox appeared on a single to raise funds for the homeless: "Streets of London" by Ralph McTell featuring Lennox and a choir. Her song "Requiem for a Private War" for the film A Private War (about investigative journalist Marie Brenner), was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song in 2019. When she didn't have music to promote, Lennox remained in the public eye with her activism, including her work as founder of The Circle, a global NGO in the fight for gender equality. Eurythmics were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2020 and were nominated for membership in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2022. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Marcy Donelson
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