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EURYTHMICS GREATEST HITS

Review by Michael Jacobson

Stars:  Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart
Directors:  Various
Audio:  PCM Stereo
Video:  Various
Studio:  BMG Special Products
Features:  None
Length:  95 Minutes
Release Date:  October 24, 2000

Film ***1/2

The Eurythmics were probably the 80’s most signature band, or at least one of the top three.  When they first arrived on the scene back in the early part of the decade, their synthesized stylings reflected the then-current new wave trend, and they rode the so-called second British Invasion to the top of the American charts.  I can still remember the first time I saw the video for “Sweet Dreams”, which became a staple of that new thing they called MTV.  The video was strange, the song was definitely new wave with some hints at soul and classical, and Annie Lennox was an unforgettable sight.  With her bright red hair in a crew cut and her masculine suits, she was almost the androgynous David Bowie reborn…except for her undeniably pretty eyes.

But, like most defining bands, Eurythmics would soon grow beyond reflecting current musical trends and begin influencing them.  Both members had the talent to do so:  Dave Stewart had been an accomplished producer and studio engineer for years, and Annie was a classically trained flutist and singer.  After two successful albums, the duo released their masterpiece, Be Yourself Tonight.  It was an instant critical and commercial success, and a bold step forward for Annie and Dave, who injected their signature electronic sound with Motown horns, heavy rock guitars, gospel backing vocalists, and pounding drums.  Suddenly, Annie opened up and really showed the world what those magnificent pipes were capable of.  The lead single from that LP, “Would I Lie To You?”, is pure rock and roll electricity.

This DVD contains videos for 21 different songs from the band’s heyday.  All the hits are there, from the aforementioned ones to “Who’s That Girl?”, “Don’t Ask Me Why”, “Missionary Man”, and my personal favorite, “Here Comes the Rain Again”.  But there are also videos for songs you might not have heard of.  “Beethoven” is a strange, eclectic song with an equally strange video.  “Angel”, from their final release We Too Are One, is a beautiful tune.  But the entire program, from beginning to end, runs the gambit of the heart of what 80’s music was all about.  The videos are a real trip down memory lane, from the terrific songs to the fashions of the time.  Ms. Lennox and Mr. Stewart often injected their visuals with a sense of humor (look no further than “The King & Queen of America” for proof).

Eurythmics Greatest Hits, in other words, is a fun look (and listen) back.  This is one group from the decade that deserves to be remembered and preserved on DVD.

Video ***

Overall, the video quality is fine…the songs are in chronological order, so you will notice improvement as the program goes along.  Earlier videos don’t look much different from the way you remembered them from TV, but the later ones take on a bit more integrity and quality.  A lot of the videos are in standard 1.33:1 ratio, as you might expect, but there are a few that are framed at 1.85:1, too, which is a nice treat.

Audio ***

This is a simple PCM stereo mix, which sounds as good as your favorite Eurythmics CDs will:  nothing more, nothing less.  No complaints.

Features (zero stars)

Nothing, but I didn’t really expect any from a music video compilation, especially from a disbanded group.

Summary:

For fans of the band or new wave music in general, Eurythmics Greatest Hits is an important compilation of video hits that doesn’t leave anything out in preserving the best of what made this duo so great.