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Thursday, September 27, 2007


Annie Lennox Week: A Look Back...

Sure, I could give you a straightforward history of Annie Lennox's dates, album releases, and pop chart success. But I'd rather walk through the legacy and achievements of Annie today in a different way....through her video work. The list below contains 20 completely subjective choices (hits missing include "Here Comes The Rain Again", "Thorn In My Side" and "No More I Love You's", among many others), but it's a fair sampling of her genius. Directors include

20. Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), 1983
The classic that introduced most of us to Annie: androgyny, gender, and seduction, all in one.

19. There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart), 1985
For an updated trip into 1960's soul, the video switched it up: a baroque renaissance vision of kings, cherubs and Annie as the angel.

18. Don't Ask Me Why, 1988
Glam Annie! Frosty and chilling as a band-leading diva who's had it with her relationship. And check out that gown!

17. I Saved The World Today, 1999
The most straightforward clip here, highlighting the lyrics and leaving the showmanship to guitarist extraordinare Dave Stewart.

16. Cold, 1992
Annie plays a repressed woman who sheds period drag to face her own demons...and the deadness of the soul.

15. Precious, 1992
Angel imagery appears again -- it does in six Eurythmics/Lennox videos, by my count -- but this is a dark, compelling vision.

14. Missionary Man, 1986
Bringing S&M leather wear to the masses, via a Dr. Frankenstein parable set against a stomping rock tune.

13. Waiting In Vain, 1995
Strange and thrilling. Marley's famed track finds new resonance in Lennox's metaphoric vision (with Mickey Mouse ears!).

12. Angel, 1999
A seance? A gathering of the souls? A paean to loss? All of these, and more. An elegy of exquisite visual beauty.

11. Would I Lie To You?, 1985
Sexy Annie! After kicking a bad boyfriend to the curb, she rips into a live performance of staggering power.

10. Dark Road, 2007
Her new video finds her contemplating the places we all have to go these days. Quiet, serene, but not without a compelling message of struggle.

9. Julia, 1985
From the soundtrack to 1984, this is the most unadorned Annie has ever been. And she's stunning.

8. I Need A Man, 1987
Her drunken, sex-up alter ego was taken as a symbol of female empowerment. Take a listen again, and you'll hear what was really going on.

7. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye, 1990
From the Red Hot and Blue charity album, Derek Jarman's astonishing, minimalist video remains one of my favorite videos of all time.

6. You Have Placed A Chill in My Heart, 1988
A love song for those of us who hate love songs. Real, honest, and bracing.

5. Little Bird, 1993
Annie goes postmodern, presiding over a circus of her previous video incarnations...now portrayed by drag queens!

4. Who's That Girl, 1983
The vamp in the nightclub, watched by Dave, Bananarama and Marilyn! Kistch without being camp, ironic without being simple.

3. Why?, 1992
Has there ever been a more glamorously seductive piece of video? Luxurious filmmaking.

2. Love Is A Stranger, 1983
The ultimate statement of Annie's transgressive stage personas...genderfucking your head every time you try to box her in.

1. (I Love To Listen To) Beethoven, 1987
Perhaps the greatest music video of all time. A housewife falls apart, with magical, magisterial consequences.

In Her Own Words, Part 2: Annie discusses Destruction's themes, motifs, and inspirations. "Loss, regret, longing, love whatever that means to you, romantic love or universal love...those things are all in there. And there's humor in it, too. It's not only just kind of poor-faced....there's all kinds of ways to listen to it."

Annie Trivia Game:
Congratulations to yesterday's winner, Justin B. of Northampton, MA!

To win your free copy of Songs of Mass Destruction, email us your name, address, and the correct answer to the question below. We'll pick one lucky winner at random and announce them tomorrow!
Identify the song title for the following lyrics, an early Eurythmics tune:

"You can hear the sound of the underground trains/You know it feels like distant thunder..."
Email your answer, name, and address now!
Tomorrow: What's with this Destruction business, anyway?
Pre-Order: Songs of Mass Destruction, Annie Lennox
Pre-Order: Songs of Mass Destruction (Deluxe Edition), Annie Lennox
Pre-Order: Songs of Mass Destruction (iTunes), Annie Lennox

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Blogger JB said...

YEAH! I never win anything and what could be better than this? Thanks ModFab!

9/27/07, 10:17 AM  
Blogger Nick Davis said...

I read through the whole (fantastic) entry hoping that "(I Love to Listen to) Beethoven" would be #1. How could I ever have doubted your infallible taste? That video was a total obsession for me.

And that "Don't Ask Me Why" gown is indeed a stunner. And I love that you keep invoking "Julia" and the 1984 album, maybe my favorite by the Eurythmics.

9/27/07, 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a glorious way to spend my day here at work. Thank You!

9/27/07, 10:11 PM  
Blogger T$ said...

all the videos for savage rock - ("beethoven"; "I need a man": "you have placed a chill..."). a friend of mine used to have the collecton as an entire "video album" on VHS...don't think it ever made to DVD, sadly...

9/29/07, 4:44 PM  

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