Ever since the dawn of MTV and Friday Night Videos, the music video has significantly impacted musical tastes and pop culture. It might not be as extreme as when the Buggles declared that "Video Killed the Radio Star", but there is no arguing that the music video certainly could make or break a song's popularity. So this regular Flashback Video feature will serve to remember some of the music videos from the great '80s decade that made an impact on me in one way or another.
This issue we will cover "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by Eurythmics. It was released in January of 1983 in the UK as the fourth and final single from their album of the same name. This is the band's breakthrough hit especially in the U.S. where it was actually their first single (released in May). It is a great song, but much of that attention especially in the U.S. was due to the music video for the song which received heavy rotation on a young MTV and other video shows. This helped propel "Sweet Dreams" all the way to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September of that year after it had spent the entire month of August in the #2 position. It also reached the top 5 in at least eight other countries.
The music video for "Sweet Dreams" was directed by Dave Stewart along with Chris Ashbrook and filmed in January 1983. This was Ashbrook's first directing experience with some previous and later experience as a camera operator and cinematographer. He would also direct some other Eurythmics videos, but none of their other major hits. The music video itself is quite strange and disjointed, but highlighted Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox. The music video really helped make Annie Lennox a star in particular due to her androgynous look and orange buzz cut. I know it certainly caught my attention because I hadn't seen many women look like that in my young life at the time. In addition to her bright orange buzz cut and stoic facial expression, Lennox also wore what was traditionally man's suit in the video. Annie Lennox really helped open the door for the gender-bending looks that became popular for both men and women in '80s pop music. Here is the music video for "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by Eurythmics...
You probably noticed the cow in the video. It is reported that the cow, while very eye-catching, posed a logistical problem for making the music video because most studios can't accommodate an animal that size. Stewart really wanted the cow, so the Eurythmics found a basement studio in London with an elevator big enough to transport the cow and that determined where they filmed the video.
Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!