Eurythmics – Would I Lie to You?
It often happened in the 80s that with the release of a new album, an artist or a group changed skin and showed up quite differently from how we used to see them, or maybe hear them. New styles and sounds, different looks, when the first single of a new album came out (which usually preceded the album’s release) it was always a moment of great expectations and also of great amazement, especially when it came to the big names of those years.
And in fact that’s what happened on April 8, 1985 when Would I Lie to You, the new song and new video by Eurythmics, was released. The previous year they had a sort of interlude related to the release of the movie 1984, for which they had recorded two songs, the very famous Sexcrime (1984) and the less famous Julia, but let’s say we hadn’t heard them since the beginning of 1984, from the days of Here Comes the Rain Again.
And the surprise was great: their sounds had changed. Dave and Annie were now both in their thirties and at the top of their of success but also of their creativity. Dave Stewart had absolutely lightened the weight of electronics and synthesizers, and acoustic sounds appeared: brass, choirs reminiscences of soul music. The rhythm was also more serene: the echoes of the new wave had given way to the influence of rock and the result was absolutely captivating and full of energy.
The text is clear enough: Annie Lennox is about to leave her partner, clearly telling him that she is leaving, and that she is not kidding. The song evidently had a base of truth, and at the time we had the doubt that the song was dedicated to Dave Stewart, because between they also had a romantic relationship, at the beginning of the professional one. Actually, the song was probably inspired by Annie’s marriage breakup with her first husband (she had three in hr life), who was a member of the hare krishna group and who had been married to the Scottish singer for a year, and from whom she had just parted.
And the video helps to clarify: Annie arrives in the club where she will perform accompanied on a motorbike by a man who treats her quite badly and insults her. When she walks into the dressing room, Dave Stewart comforts her amicably, which of course explains why he wasn’t the subject of the song. Dave then gives her an important advice, before playing, a meaningful encouragement: Be Yourself Tonight, which was the title of the album that would be released in a few weeks.
By the way, in the same album there was also another very famous song, It’s Alright (Baby’s Coming Back), which would later be released in December of the same year, which ends with Annie repeating the phrase “take it easy, be yourself tonight”. In short, a real mantra of the album.
In the video, Annie’s boyfriend, after treating her badly, also shows up on stage while she is singing, trying to ruin the party and probably take her away with him, but Annie pushes him back, and at the end the audience takes him out of the club. The boyfriend is played by Cuban-born actor Steven Bauer, who two years earlier had appeared in the film Scarface with Al Pacino. The video also confirms the musical turning point of Eurythmics: soul chorus singers, musicians with sax and trombones, a real U-turn from the surreal times of Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)! And Annie’s image has also changed: her androgynous look gave way to a much more feminine image in clothes and moves.
In short, Eurythmics had turned a page of their career with determination, but their talent and their musical genius, as the title of the song says, would never lie to us!