In the Garden
1981: RCA 07863-66195-2
The first Eurythmics album. I didnt hear this one until after 1984, in fact not until after Be Yourself Tonight came out; a friend brought a copy of the album for me back with her from a trip to London, and I listened with great curiosity to it, knowing that it was a few steps back from what I had been enjoying in Eurythmics records. And the sound is definitely still being developed here Annie Lennox is trying a more neutral, steady vocal delivery than she had with The Tourists, and the two of them are concocting their own sound (still not quite free of production influence, this time by Conny Plank). The stripping-down process is still underway, to be culminated in the recording of the Sweet Dreams album.
I do like this album, though its not quite what I like Eurythmics for. In fact it was years before I heard how they got from In The Garden to Sweet Dreams; that transition is documented in the singles from In The Garden, the B-sides of which contain the strange new rawness they were just starting to experiment with at the time. For this album, however, theyre still finding their direction: some of the lyrics are tone-poems of an almost Imagist nature, and some are cold recastings of pop clichés. Of the tone-poem group, its probably English Summer that has grown on me most over the years theres something so wonderfully sickly-sweet about the resonant drone of the instruments coupled with the focused-yet-detached vocals that commands my attention. The telephone is good so wonderful and true we need the time to think everyones listening . Still gets me.
In retrospect, I get the impression that Shes Invisible Now is a precursor to Lennoxs imploding housewife character from the Savage video album.
Comments © 2005 Mark Ellis Walker, except as noted, and no claim is made to the images and quoted lyrics.