Record Review: Eurythmics – This Is The House

I’m a bit of a rare bird. I was a fan of Eurythmics long before I ever heard them. I was previously a huge fan of The Tourists, the band from whence came Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart. When I had read that The Tourists had broken up in 1981, I was saddened as they were one of my favorite New Wave bands. Peet Coombs wrote great songs and shared lead vocals with Annie Lennox, who always sounded fantastic! To this day I still love The Tourists more then Eurythmics. More to the point, once I knew that Annie and Dave had started this new band, Eurythmics, I had to wait a long time before ever finding their releases.

I had the indignity of reading about their releases for over a year before actually finding any for sale. It was late September in 1982 when I finally found the 7″ single of “Never Gonna Cry Again;” their debut single finally appearing for sale in a store near me a year ex post facto. I liked it and not much longer I managed to finally find a 12″ single in the used bins of Retro Records.

RCA | UK | 12" | 1982 | RCAT 199

Eurythmics: This Is The House UK 12″

  1. This Is The House [ext. ver.]
  2. Your Time Will Come [live]
  3. Never Gonna Cry Again [live]
  4. 4/4 In Leather [live]
  5. Take Me To Your Heart [live]

The A-side was actually the second single from the “Sweet Dreams” album, but that record was completely non-existent in my world! I never saw that or their first album as imports. It wasn’t until the title track was released from it that the band finally had a commercial success when it [the fourth single] went to #2 in the UK. Then it crossed the Atlantic and became number one. At that point, the “Sweet Dreams” album was ubiquitous. However, that was a good eight months down the road from my snagging this 12 inch!

The A-side is a typical extended version that is not remixed, just longer. This was a unique electro-latin dumber that didn’t recall anything else I can name. Dick Cuthell’s mariachi horns added a distinctive touch along with Annie’s Spanish backing vocals. The B-side of the disc was of far more interest. It offered four live tracks of material from the period of the still unheard debut [by me at least] album of Eurythmics, “In The Garden.”

“Your Time Will Come” in this live arrangement is absolutely stunning. After a Spanish recitation over a chirping rhythm box and rising backing vocals from Annie, Dave’s guitar rings solid with all of the power of the universe dawning. The opening chord of this song is without a doubt the best opening chord I’ve ever heard in my life. The Wasp synthesizer they used in performance added nervous, tense energy and a theremin-like quality to the song that was perfectly counterbalanced by Annie’s vocal, which was as calm and placid as the synths weren’t. The long arrangement of the song absolutely wipes the floor with the studio rendition of the song. Sadly, when Eurythmics were laboriously remastering their back catalogue in 2006, this track didn’t make the transition to CD. It remains for my definitive Eurythmics BSOG® to take it to digital format.

“Never Gonna Cry Again” features a wonderful flute duet on the song between Annie and Tim Wheater that again, paints the studio version of the number very much in the shade. Next came a number that only appeared live on this disc. “4/4 In Leather” was a provocative number that had Eurythmics fans paying top dollar for this record for years later. I remember seeing multiple copies of this 12″ for sale months later in the legendary Record City import cutout bins and many are the times I’ve regretted not buying up all of them for resale. Annie had another flute solo [she was in orchestra in college] on this track that ratcheted up the tension.

The final track was a methodical, relentless live version of “Take Me To Your Heart” from “In The Garden” that sported a long, spaced out intro as the song faded up gradually over a minute or so. The live side of this 12″ was a real treat since I had been searching for a long time to hear this music to no avail. It was still 1982 when I finally heard this, though. By the spring of 1983, Eurythmics would be household names worldwide.

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4 Responses to Record Review: Eurythmics – This Is The House

  1. ronkanefiles says:

    Around here, it was Holger Czukay’s appearance that got us all interested in Eurythmics. Never a big Tourists fan, in 1980 I was buying anything with Czukay’s name on it. By the time of “Sweet Dreams”, they were somebody else’s video sweetheart. I liked “It’s Alright, Baby’s Coming Back”, but little else.

    I sold my 45’s & 12″ singles when the gettin’ was good. I definitely remember the live 12″ of which you have written…but I did not keep a copy of it, once the prices went up.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      @ronkanefiles – Czukay’s single french horn note in “Belinda” takes the already fantastic song into the stratosphere. Whoever thought of that was a genius! When I finally got “In The Garden,” it seemed like no one bothered to import it prior to “Sweet Dreams,” it was a pretty wonderful record. Groups like Stereolab wouldn’t exist today but for tracks like “Sing-Sing.” Maybe it was because I heard them live first, but I always felt like the “This Is The House” B-sides smoked their studio counterparts.

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  2. chas_m says:

    I too remain a bigger fan of The Tourists than almost anything that came after that, except for that first Eurhythmics album. Man that’s good stuff, especially “Belinda.” I’ve not heard this UK 12″ but live stuff from that era would be icing on the cake. I somehow got the first album early on, probably because I have always loved Annie’s look, but have somehow never managed to get it on CD iirc. Probably guilty of waiting forever for the “inevitable” full remaster treatment …

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      @chas_m – The current RM boxed set is really fine. The packaging is phenomenal. Rare photos to die for – great liner notes. Dave Stewart did a bang up professional job on the RM work – no brickwalling at all, just depth and clarity. The bonus tracks are good. A lot is missing, but then the inevitable REVO BSOG® will be all of this and more. The previously unreleased material is pretty good. But they took forever to finally get that project out, and by the time it was released, 2xCD RMs were more common.

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