228. Eurythmics – ‘Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four)’ (1984)

“And so I face the wall
Turn my back against it all”

Taken from the album 1984 (For The Love Of Big Brother)

UK #4, AUS #5, US #81

The stuttering effect in the production on this song is absolutely brilliant. Futuristic and yet very 1984, a bit like someone from the past guessing what the big thing would be in the eighties. Stuttering vocals! Yes, that’s going to be very popular. Luckily stutterama isn’t the only great thing about ‘Sexcrime’, it’s also got a relentless drum beat, a big chorus (made up almost entirely of stuttering) and a vocal from Annie Lennox that switches effortlessly between defiant and defeated.

In fact listening to ‘Sexcrime’ for the first time in a while now I realise just how much of an indulgent production showcase it was for Dave Stewart, who trades in his cold electronic style for more warmer instruments and a suffocating feeling to go with the 1984 film. That “Ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-YEAH” bit is fantastic, like the stutter effect represents a wall Annie is trapped behind, and with every yell she gets closer and closer to breaking free from it.

I loved the video when I was younger but it wasn’t really anything remarkable, just a straight-up stylished performance video, but what was really interested was the way Annie moves, the way she expresses herself through every outlet she can possibly manage. The images in the video and the disturbing/intriguing title ‘Sexcrime’ ensured this was a song I wouldn’t be forgetting anytime soon. I refuse to acknowledge Ultimate Collection as a perfect hits collection because it doesn’t have this on it. I guess until every Eurythmics singles is on the same album, their perfect greatest hits won’t ever exist.

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