If you grew up with vinyl and cassette tapes, then you know about the favorite side bias.
It’s my description of liking a particular side of a vinyl record or cassette tape over another. I don’t know if there’s a generally-accepted term for this phenomenom, but I’m sticking with "favorite side bias".
For years, I would listen to Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) starting with side two, only because the tite track opened that side of the record. As young as I was back then, I wanted instant gratification — I didn’t pay much mind to the idea an album was actually sequenced to follow a general flow.
As such, I was always left with the impression that Sweet Dreams was a tepid, ambient album. It’s a whole different story when you listen to the album from the start.
In its proper order, Sweet Dreams has momentum. The first half contains its more rhythmic moments, while the second half winds down with more ethereal stuff.
Put "Jennifer" on as track two, and the album crashes. Put "Jennifer" on as track seven, and the album signals a turning point.
Here’s why the random function on CD players and MP3 devices should never, ever be pressed.
Annie Lennox’s voice has been described as icy, and detractors of New Wave at the time dismissed such bands as Eurythmics as robotic.
True, there’s a whiff of cyberpunk in the menancing timbres of "I Could Give You (A Mirror)", or the tribal drums of "I’ve Got an Angel", or the noir minimalism of "Somebody Told Me".
But there are also hints of warmth and humanity in "Wrap It Up" and "This is the House".
While the analog timbres of the duo’s synthesizers date the album, overdubs of Lennox’s versatile voice gave the music a distinct stamp. The icy-ness of her voice burns.
Touch, the band’s follow-up to Sweet Dreams, attempted the same feat but didn’t make it. From 1985’s Be Yourself Tonight, Eurythmics ditched the synthesizers for a live band and remodeled its sound.
But Lennox and Dave Stewart’s lasting imprint is on Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). It’s an album that showed the cold touch of a synthesizer wasn’t so cold.
Just remember to listen to the album in order, and don’t skip ahead to the title track.