Missionary Man (Eurythmics song)

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"Missionary Man"
Eurythmics MissionaryMan.jpg
Single by Eurythmics
from the album Revenge
ReleasedUS: July 1986
UK / Europe: February 1987
Format7", 12"
RecordedJuly 1985
GenrePop rock, soul
LabelRCA Records
Songwriter(s)Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart,
Producer(s)David A. Stewart
Eurythmics singles chronology
"The Miracle of Love"
"Missionary Man"
"Beethoven (I Love to Listen To)"
Music video
"Missionary Man" on YouTube

"Missionary Man" is a song by the British pop music duo Eurythmics. It was taken from their sixth album, Revenge, and continued the band's rock/R&B musical style of the time and featured Jimmy Zavala on harmonica and Joniece Jamison on back-up vocals.

In the band's native UK, it was the fourth single to be taken from the album and peaked at number 31. It was more successful in the United States, where it was the first single to be taken from the album and peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 (becoming their last main US Top 20 hit to date). It also made the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot Dance/Club Play chart, and it received extensive airplay on American rock radio, reaching number 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks, Eurythmics' only song to top this chart. The single was also a top ten hit in Australia, where it was released as the second single from the album.

"Missionary Man" earned Eurythmics a 1986 Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.[1]


Upon the single's July 1986 US release, the song was described as being inspired, in part, by Lennox's 1984-1985 marriage to devout Hare Krishna, Radha Raman. When discussing the song's inspiration and meaning, Lennox stated "Obviously, there is a personal meaning in [Missionary Man] for me, because of my past history. But I also think that there are a great deal of people in the media, in the form of politicians or religious speakers or philosophical people, people who are generally trying to have some power over other people, who I just don`t trust."[2]

Track listings[edit]

UK 7" Single[edit]

  • A: "Missionary Man" (7" Version) - 3:50
  • B: "The Last Time" (Live at The Roxy in Los Angeles)

UK 12" Single[edit]

  • A: "Missionary Man" (Extended Version) - 6:55
  • B: "The Last Time" (Live at The Roxy in Los Angeles)

US 7" Single[edit]

  • A: "Missionary Man" (7" Version) - 3:50
  • B: "Take Your Pain Away" (LP Version) - 4:37

US 12" Single[edit]

  • A: "Missionary Man" (Extended Version) - 6:55
  • B: "Take Your Pain Away" (LP Version) - 4:37


Lennox in the "Missionary Man" video

Directed by Willy Smax, it featured stop-animation techniques similar to those used in Peter Gabriel's acclaimed "Sledgehammer" promo video from earlier in 1986. The video received heavy play from MTV and was nominated for Best Video at the MTV Video Awards.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1986–87) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[3] 9
Belgian Singles Chart[4] 16
Canadian Singles Chart[5] 13
Dutch Singles Chart[6] 77
French Singles Chart[7] 74
Irish Singles Chart[8] 13
New Zealand Singles Chart[9] 12
UK Singles Chart[10] 31
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[11] 14
U.S. Billboard Dance/Club Play Songs Chart[12] 6
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales Chart[13] 18
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart[13] 1

Cover versions[edit]

Swedish heavy metal band Ghost covered "Missionary Man" on their EP Popestar.[14]


  1. ^ "Winners: Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal". Grammy.com. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  2. ^ Lynn Van Matre (20 July 1986). "Eurythmics: They Express Themselves Through the Way They Look". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  3. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives: Australian Chart Book. p. 105. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between 1983 and 19 June 1988.
  4. ^ "Song artist 244 - The Eurythmics". Tsort.info. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  6. ^ Steffen Hung. "Eurythmics - Missionary Man". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  7. ^ "InfoDisc : Tout les Titres par Artiste". Infodisc.fr. Archived from the original on 28 January 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  8. ^ Jaclyn Ward. "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  9. ^ Steffen Hung. "Eurythmics - Missionary Man". charts.nz. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  10. ^ "EURYTHMICS | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". officialcharts.com. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  11. ^ "Music News, Reviews, Articles, Information, News Online & Free Music". Billboard.com. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  12. ^ https://www.billboard.com/music/eurythmics/chart-history/alternative-songs
  13. ^ a b Eurythmics. "Eurythmics - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  14. ^ http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/rock/7526405/ghost-popestar-ep-interview

External links[edit]