Eurythmics / Touch [Bonus Tracks]

TouchEurythmics were a British musical duo, formed in 1980 by Scottish front woman Annie Lennox and English musician Dave Stewart. The pair have achieved significant global, commercial and critical success, selling 75 million records worldwide[1], winning numerous awards[2], and have undertaken several successful world tours. They are Britain’s biggest selling duo, and are noted for their songs that showcase Lennox’s powerful and expressive alto voice and Stewart’s innovative production techniques. They are also acclaimed for their promotional videos and visual presentation.

Touch is the third album by the British new wave duo Eurythmics, released in November 1983. The album was the duo’s first UK number-one album, and also reached the top 10 in the US. It has since been certified Platinum in both countries.

The Analysis:

Here Comes The Rain Again—-This has always eclipsed every other Eurythmics song for me….the synth lines that runs through this tracks is brilliant…the strings add atmosphere that is meant to rip your heart out and the vocal from Lennox is subtle and understated, but delivers enough punch to literally knock you out. This is a brilliant moment caught in time….when Lennox really lets loose towards the end of the song, you are laid out flat on the floor. Subtle emotion DOES work!

Regrets—-With an almost funky bass to set off the sexy and seductive vocal, this song is brilliant as well. Annie delivers a vocal that is trademark…even though she has no need to stretch her comfortable alto, it is still one of the most expressive vocals around today. Stewart delivers an instrumentation that reeks of early 80’s but also full of innovative little quirky sounds…this is just wonderful.

Right By Your Side—-Well this is almost beyond description!!! The song is so full of sounds that bring an elation despite what mood you are in and a vocal that is just as full of optimism. This has a slight Island sound that is so appealing and pleasant…Lennox stretches her voice a bit more and is joined in on the chorus by a mass of voices…giving the track a huge sound. This is phenomenal and put a much-needed smile on my face.

Who’s That Girl?—-Another of the real stand-outs on this release, I love the slight Asian feel to the music…the swirling underlying synths and the haunting vocal that Lennox delivers. You can almost feel the ice-cold emotions of one experiencing distrust and let-down…and how it all turns to anger in the end. To me, that is the magic of music…when you can successfully convey real emotion with voice and instrumentation you have made it. This is a triumph.

The First Cut—-Returning to a more post-punk and slight funk fueled sound, the band falters a bot with this track. This lacks a bit of originality for me…it could be anyone that plastered the charts in the decade of excess. The vocal is nice and sublime, but the music is too similar to many of the things we were being inundated with at the time.

Aqua—-This is a magical track…full of tribal beats but a remarkable coldness that leaves you icy. The lyrics are typical and full of those feelings of betrayal and disappointment…this time though, the music is such a polar opposite that it somehow collides into a huge melting glacier that allows you to devour every single ice crystal…leaving you as cold and upset as the singer. This is genius.

No Fear, No Hate, No Pain [No Broken Hearts]—-This remains my favorite track from this release…from the very first listen I was hooked. The music comes at you slowly..taking a few moments to reach it’s full power….the synths are accentuated by cold , icy strains that fit the vocal is a magnificent way. Lennox delivers one of the best vocals of her career…you can not get more expressive than she does on this track. The overlays that accompany the vocal are masterful. This is a huge song that speaks of more betrayal and disgust. It also speaks of the power of overcoming adversity and coming through the other side on your own power alone. this is empowering…tragic and full of a triumphant edge that allows you to know you will be just fine after all of this.

Paint A Rumor—-Synth heavy with a beat that gives away the time period of recording in a moment, Lennox enters with a vocal that is overlayed and delivered in a ghostly manner that makes this B-Side a magnificent track all on its own. This is swirling and full of atmosphere…combine the mastery of Stewart with the vocal of Lennox on a track like this and you can expect nothing less than a wonderful mastery such as this. This is simply delicious.

You Take Some Lentils—-This is rather bizarre….typical 80’s!!! This is obvious filler that really doesn’t have much substance…this is more for those late night acid house trips that make you roll on the floor in laughter and amazement…until you listen to it the nest day. Interesting, but unsubstantial.

ABC [Freeform]—-This is another Stewart experiment that is full of interesting synth laden blips and bleeps that leave you shaking your head and wondering what kind of drugs are being passed around. To me this is not a song, but rather a sound scape of sounds that leave you wanting more substance and Lennox.

Plus Something Else—-This is another very nice synth driven instrumental that actually allows Stewart to be the own star of his own music. this has a trademark kind of Human League style synth beat that I’m sure Oakey & Co. could have done something magnificent with. Why Lennox never added a bit of vocal to this is beyond me,….this could have been huge at the time…it is full of everything that is necessary. Although you catch a slight lean toward the song Regret, it never is more than just a hint….this is pretty wonderful though…nice synthpop that has substance.

Paint A Rumor [Extended]—-This only takes the original…which was pretty genius and adds a bit more of a heavy synth line to it and an extended atmospheric line. This is really nice, but it offers little new…still…I’m glad to have a version that is not on vinyl.

Who’s That Girl [Live]—-This is rather interesting….it removes the overt synth line and is a gentle acoustic guitar that truly allows Annie to be the star of the show. Her vocal is so haunting and startling that you will have tears in your eyes before the song even comes close to an end. This is brilliant emotion!!! I have never heard this before…it is magnificent.

Here Comes the Rain Again [Live]—-This is a nice very live acoustic version of this classic sound that the crowd goes literally nuts over. Lennox delivers a vocal that is spot on and even more emotive than the origianl…if that is possible. This is stark and gives the song an even more emotional and powerful lean. I love this majesty….

Fame—-This is a brilliant cover of the Bowie classic. Lennox embodies every single vocal nuance that made this song so huge for David and Stewart manages to produce a synth driven funk piece that literally takes your breath away. This is one of the best covers of a Bowie song I have ever heard…and when it comes to by Bowie…I’m pretty much a purist!!!

****1/2 out of 5



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