I Like to See Them Suffer

In 1981, the new wave duo of Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox included a song titled ‘Revenge’, as the closing track of their debut album In the Garden.  The Eurythmics fifth studio album was titled Revenge and it was released in 1986.  In 2005, this album was remastered, and the new edition contained the bonus track ‘Revenge 2’.  I am almost certain that ‘Revenge’ and ‘Revenge 2’ have the exact same lyrics, so to me this is not a radically different remake that would warrant it needing a new name.  Lennox and Stewart produced music videos that were unusual for their theatricality.  Video allowed Lennox to present a much wider range of characters than she could in live performance.  The song ‘Revenge’ featured Lennox in an array of female guises, but the short- haired, icy cold and sexually unavailable Annie seemed dominant.

The story of the Eurythmics began in London, 1975, when Stewart fortuitously encountered Lennox at the restaurant where she worked as a waitress.  The Scottish singer had recently dropped out of the Royal Academy of Music, which she felt didn’t suit her musical interests. Stewart and Lennox strongly connected over their love of music, and they quickly became a couple who were inseparable.  Along with singer/ songwriter/ guitarist Peet Coombes, Stewart and Lennox formed a short-lived group the Catch.  After one failed single, they added two members and renamed themselves the Tourists.  The Tourists released three albums and they toured extensively, but their success was fleeting.  Lennox and Stewart endured a painful ending to their romance which was said to be tumultuous sometimes, but they recognized the power of their musical chemistry and decided to continue working together as a duo, so the British group became The Eurythmics including vocals and lyrics of Annie Lennox with the pop instrumentation and scoring talents of guitarist Dave Stewart.  The duo burst onto the music scene in 1983 with their international hit-debut album, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) and the music video for this song helped to propel it to #2 on the UK Singles Chart and it went to #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100.  Over the next nine years they released a string of hit recordings that demonstrated their trademark fine line between themes of passion and disdain, optimism and angst, and a music style which eventually nestled itself somewhere between New Wave synthesizer pop and American soul.  The Eurythmics emerged in a crucial period for popular music and the duo won an MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist in 1984.

Throughout much of the 1980s, Eurythmics were one of the most popular music acts in the world, outlasting many other synthesizer-laced New Wave bands that cropped up at around the same time. Eurythmics delved increasingly into their soul and rhythm & blues roots as time went on, while Lennox’s creative use of androgyny on stage and in videos kept audiences fascinated.  By 1990, though, their popularity had started to wane, and the two quietly decided to stop recording and performing together, going their separate ways. In 1999, though, a reunion to record one song for a greatest hits album found them collaborating so successfully that they produced Peace, their first new album in nearly a decade.

She said revenge can be so sweet
I like to take it when I can
I need to play with the ones I hate
I like to see them suffer

It has to be dangerous
It has to be refined
It has to be skillful
You need to take your time

She said I take care
Of my resources
You never know
When you might need them

(She said, “You got a snake,
And that’s a good example
You don’t even notice it until you’re bitten,
You learn to enjoy it.)

I’m fast and I’m strong
My reflexes are good
It doesn’t take long
To achieve my deserved revenge

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the theme is Anger, Frustration, Furious, Irritated, Mad, Provoked, Revenge suggested by Amy Braun, ☆ai love music☆ aisasami.

18 thoughts on “I Like to See Them Suffer

  1. I remember when I first heard the Tourists on the radio. I went ahead and bought the first album which was pretty good but I wasn’t so impressed with the ‘dificult’ follow-up album.
    I still like Annie Lennox’s unique voice though.

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  2. It took me a while to like them. I started to like them when they released “Would I Lie To You” because it wasn’t as synth based. From then on I listened to them and started to like their earlier songs also.

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  3. I didn’t know the story behind the band too! “Revenge” is something different then their iconic hits like “Sweet Dreams”.

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