1984 (For the Love of Big Brother)

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1984 (For the Love of Big Brother)
Soundtrack album and studio album by Eurythmics
Released 12 November 1984
Recorded August 1984
Genre New Wave, synthpop, electronica, avant-garde
Label Virgin
Producer David A. Stewart
Eurythmics chronology
Touch Dance
(1984)
1984 (For the Love of Big Brother)
(1984)
Be Yourself Tonight
(1985)
Singles from 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother)
  1. "Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four)"
    Released: 22 October 1984
  2. "Julia"
    Released: January 1985
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]

1984 (For the Love of Big Brother) is a soundtrack album by Eurythmics, their fourth studio album overall, containing music recorded by the duo for director Michael Radford's 1984 film Nineteen Eighty-Four, the colour remake film version of George Orwell's classic dystopian novel of the same name. Virgin Films produced the film for release in its namesake year, and commissioned Eurythmics to write a soundtrack.

Background[edit]

Recording[edit]

Lennox and Stewart worked as a duo for these recordings, with no contribution from other musicians. The music, whilst containing many electronic elements, was far from being "synth pop"; Stewart described some tracks as being like "Kraftwerk meets African tribal meets Booker T and the MGs."

Unknown to the group, Radford had commissioned his own orchestral score, and was not fond of Eurythmics' work. Two versions of the film were released, one featuring Eurythmics' music, and the "director's cut", which replaced most of Eurythmics' music by the orchestral score. When accepting an award for the film, Radford publicly complained of having Eurythmics' music "foisted" on him. Eurythmics issued a statement saying that they had accepted Virgin's commission in good faith, and would never have done so if they had known that it was not being done with the director's approval.

Musical concept[edit]

Most of the tracks are instrumental, with song titles and lyrics of two songs on the album being derived from Orwell's text. For instance, "I Did It Just The Same" is taken from a passage in the book where the protagonist, Winston Smith, relates how he committed "sexcrime" with a prostitute—initially deceived by her makeup, when he got close to her, he realised she was "about fifty – but I did it just the same". "Julia" was the name of Winston's lover. "Sexcrime" and "Doubleplusgood" are examples of Newspeak, the revised version of the English language spoken in Orwell's story. The track "Doubleplusgood" features a female announcer—the voice of the omnipresent Telescreen in the movie—reading out various memos which Winston had received at his job in the Ministry of Truth, where his role was to amend past and present newspaper articles so that they conformed to current Party dogma. The "Ministry of Love" was the government police and torture department, and included "Room 101", a room which contained "the worst thing in the world"—i.e. where each torture victim would be confronted with their own worst nightmare.

Release[edit]

The album was released by Virgin Records in the UK and RCA Records in the US. Two singles were released from the album, the punchy pop track, "Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four)", and the long, gentle ballad, "Julia". The former was a top 10 hit in most territories, however, "Julia" achieved little commercial success and broke the duo's run of six consecutive Top 10 hits in the UK when it peaked at #44. Promotional videos were produced for both singles.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart

No. Title Length
1. "I Did It Just the Same"   3:28
2. "Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four)"   3:58
3. "For the Love of Big Brother"   5:05
4. "Winston's Diary"   1:22
5. "Greetings from a Dead Man"   6:13
6. "Julia"   6:40
7. "Doubleplusgood"   4:40
8. "Ministry of Love"   3:47
9. "Room 101"   3:50

Personnel[edit]

  • Annie Lennox: vocals, keyboards/synthesizers, percussion
  • David A. Stewart: backing vocals, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards/synthesizers, drum & sequencer programming
  • Produced by David A Stewart
  • Mixed by David A Stewart & Eric 'E.T.' Thorngren

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
position
Canadian Albums Chart[2] 33
Dutch Albums Chart[3] 38
German Albums Chart[4] 23
New Zealand Albums Chart[5] 21
Swedish Albums Chart[6] 6
Swiss Albums Chart[7] 18
UK Albums Chart[8] 23
US Billboard 200[9] 93

Certifications[edit]

Organization Level
BPI (UK) Gold

References[edit]

  1. ^ William Ruhlmann. "1984 (For the Love of Big Brother) – Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Results – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  3. ^ Steffen Hung. "Eurythmics – 1984". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "Album – Eurythmics, 1984 – For The Love of Big Brother". charts.de. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  5. ^ Steffen Hung. "Eurythmics – 1984". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  6. ^ Steffen Hung. "Eurythmics – 1984". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  7. ^ Steffen Hung. "Eurythmics – 1984". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  8. ^ "Eurythmics – 1984". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  9. ^ "Artists / Eurythmics". Billboard. Retrieved 28 May 2013.