The song that made all my sweet dreams come true: Dave Stewart on why he’s going on tour to mark 40 years of Eurythmics’ biggest hit
- It will be the first full-length show of Eurythmics classics in over 20 years
- READ MORE: Joss Stone takes to the stage in a pretty cream floral dress as she performs with Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart at The Time Traveller’s Wife: The Musical press night
When Eurythmics released their breakthrough single Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) 40 years ago, getting a chart hit really did seem like a dream for Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox.
They’d had little luck with their band The Tourists and their first studio album as Eurythmics, In The Garden, had been a flop.
But Sweet Dreams changed everything, reaching No 1 in the US, No 2 in the UK, selling millions globally and heralding the start of one of the most successful pop duos of the 1980s.
It also changed the former couple’s lives so much it enabled them to start fulfilling their own dreams – such as Sunderland-born Dave’s childhood ambition to live in the Caribbean.
He now spends most of his time in the Bahamas with third wife Anoushka and usually one or more of his four children.
Dave Stewart with Annie Lennox in Eurythmics’ 80s heyday. As Eurythmics, the duo wrote 140 songs, the most famous being Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), which reached No 1 in the US and No 2 in the UK
To commemorate the release of Sweet Dreams, Dave is embarking on his Eurythmics Songbook tour of Europe.
It’s the first time in over 20 years that fans can see a full-length show of Eurythmics classics, and Annie’s given him her blessing to perform their songs without her.
‘Annie decided not to tour again ages ago,’ says Dave, 71. ‘She finds it gruelling now. We’ve been offered stadiums, arenas – but Annie kept having to say no.
‘We still perform together but it’s usually two or three songs, like for Sting’s charity earlier this year.’
It was US record producer Nile Rodgers who inspired Dave to tour on his own after encouraging him to play Eurythmics songs at the Meltdown Festival in 2019.
‘I was really nervous but the show got great reviews, so I thought I’d take it on tour – but Covid happened and I forgot about it.
‘Then when we were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame and the Songwriters Hall Of Fame, and this being the 40th anniversary of Sweet Dreams, I thought, “It’s now or never.”’
Singing on the tour are English singer RAHH, Australian Vanessa Amorosi and Dave’s daughter Kaya, who is Annie’s goddaughter and has inherited her dad’s musical talent in spades, which she demonstrated while competing on American Idol earlier this year. Did Annie give her blessing to the singers?
‘She gave her blessing to the whole thing,’ explains Dave. ‘She always knew if I was going to do something like this that Kaya would sing. She’s heard her lots of times.’
Annie and Dave have had an enduring friendship, deciding to form Eurythmics on the day they split as a couple yet miraculously making it work.
Dave recently collaborated with musician Joss Stone (pictured) to create the music and lyrics for new West End musical The Time Traveller’s Wife
‘It’s unusual,’ he admits. ‘We were a couple in a band but didn’t write any songs while living together. Then we decided not to be together, formed Eurythmics and then wrote about 140 songs.’
Annie also prevented Dave from sliding into addiction. When he met Annie in 1976 he had a hedonistic rock’n’roll lifestyle, but he says it meant he’d got drugs out of his system before they hit the big time.
‘I went off the rails before we got famous,’ he explains. ‘When we started to live together I had a 24in waist and would eat a crisp and think it was filling because I was on speed; I took LSD so many times. She encouraged me to get off all that and actually eat something.’
He’s since sold over 100 million albums and worked with countless stars including Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks and Aretha Franklin. He also recently created the music and lyrics for new West End musical The Time Traveller’s Wife with Joss Stone.
‘The first time I heard her sing, I was like, “Holy sh*t!”’ he smiles. ‘So when Mick Jagger and I were doing the score for Jude Law’s Alfie film in 2004 I suggested Joss. She nailed the song in one go and we’ve been doing stuff together ever since.’
Does he ever think of retiring? ‘Retire from what? I’m not really working as such. I love writing, filming, taking photos, making music… That’s what I do.’
- The Eurythmics Songbook tour plays the London Palladium on Friday. Tickets: livenation.co.uk. The Time Traveller’s Wife is on now at the Apollo Theatre, London.
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