2020 Album Draft- Round 11- Pick 3- Soundtracks- Introgroove selects- Eurythmics- 1984

Fair or not, the 1980’s is an easy target for blanket criticism of an entire decade’s worth of music. And, of course, it’s all subjective. There was a lot of really good music thirty to forty years ago, and though much of the overall obvious “80’s sound” doesn’t hold up to my ears, there are also some standout albums (did I mention this is subjective?). Mike’s choice yesterday, Purple Rain, is one of them. Another one that passes the ear test for me all these years later is a lesser known soundtrack album from the same year by Eurythmics, 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother).

I recall being given this on cassette as a random gift maybe a year after its release in 1984, and a year or so before I read the Orwell novel or watched the film adaptation. Therefore, I became very familiar with it as an album – both instrumentally and vocally driven – before I was able to relate it to a storyline. I liked it then, and I still do. Its nine tracks follow the novel’s themes, with two of them issued as singles: the danceable synth-pop Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four) (though Dave Stewart suggests the music is not synth-pop, but “Kraftwerk meets African tribal meets Booker T and the MGs.”), and the atmospheric Julia, which is a perfect fit in such a dystopian film.

There was a bit of a controversy surrounding this soundtrack. Eurythmics were commissioned by Virgin Films to create it, but failed to notify the film’s director, Michael Radford, who was not pleased to have a pop group “foisted” on him. The later director’s cut of the movie replaced most of the Eurythmics music with a more traditional orchestral score. Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart were also not aware that their contributions were not welcomed by the director until it was too late. I felt as a teen at the time that the music fit the film perfectly, and I feel the same today as we teeter on the edge of our real life dystopia. Eurythmics were as hot as anyone else on the early-mid 80’s pop scene, and Lennox and Stewart’s post-Eurythmics careers have proven them to be anything but synth-flashes in the pan.


  1. I remember Sex Crime and the movie. What a mess that was behind the scenes with the soundtrack. I do agree their music has aged well especially compared to a lot of other 80’s recordings. Enjoyed your review Stephen…it’s been a while since I heard this.

  2. Wow, a bit of a leftfield pick, but cool! I recall the title track, but didn’t really realize the album it came from was a real soundtrack. That would be quite a movie to have to work with for creating music – Eurythmics seemed a good choice for that decade. Great review and writeup, Introgroove

    • Thanks Dave. I think their soundtrack works well for a then-modern film adaptation. Orchestral scores usually work regardless, but the 80’s era with communism being the big threat on both sides of the pond, this sound just hit the spot.

    • they had a kind of other-wordly, cold, detached sound on it, which fit the theme well. Yes, for some films orchestral scores work best… Max and I talked of that once and how Lucas was smart to do that with the first Star Wars instead of go for a contemporary disco , Bee Gees, Ohio Players, donna Summer kind of soundtrack that would have sold well in ’77 but might make the film seem hokey now.
      Great book by the way.I read it around the year- 1984 or so – then we re-read as a family a few years back as part of the kiddo’s curriculum.

  3. I remember the book very well, the movie not so well, and the soundtrack not at all. Good choice that has a political message as well. Not only are the Eurythmics talented but Annie Lennox is gorgeous. Good writeup, Stephen.

  4. I really like the songs you’ve provided as samples. Other than that, I somehow have no knowledge of this movie or soundtrack. I was pretty much constantly listening to music, including the Eurythmics, back when this came out, so there’s no logical reason for me to not know this existed. That’s quite a story about the ‘miscommunication’ over who was to do the soundtrack, too.

  5. These are the kinds of things I look for. Heard of the movie but never pulled the trigger. After your write up I will have to do it. Sounds like the music had a big effect. I’m totally new to this. Very curious to check out. Thanks for a new (old) film to catch.

Comments are closed.