ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 8, 1986
By Steve Newton
With super tunes like “Sisters Are Doin’ it For Themselves” and “Woud I Lie To You?”, Eurythmics’ Be Yourself Tonight was among the cream of 1985’s rock albums. With songs like “Missionary Man”, “Thorn in my Side”, “A Little of You”, and “Take Your Pain Away”, the team of Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart have again struck the right chords on an album full of tantalizing pop, Revenge.
While Be Yourself Tonight sported appearances by a number of high-profile musicians, including Elvis Costello, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder, there are no big-name guests taking part in Revenge. With a basic core that includes drummer Clem Burke, keys man Patrick Seymour, and three different bassists–Phil Chen, John McKenzie, and Jannick Top–Annie and Dave use their singing and guitar-playing talents to great effect on both soothing ballads (“The Miracle of Love”) and rowdy stompers (“In This Town”). The latter tune, which was “recorded at Manu’s party”, has a strut-yer-stuff tone similar to “Would I Lie to You?”. It features the sax work of Jimmy “Z” Zavala, who blows like mad on seven of the LP’s 10 tracks.
Whether it’s Stewart’s tasty reverb on “The Last Time” or Lennox’s soulful crooning on “Let’s Go”, the effects and vocal stylings on Revenge always come through with a lot of class. As a pop songwriting team, Lennox and Stewart come about as close to Lennon and McCartney as anybody for writing simple tunes with hooks that kill. There isn’t one dud on this album.