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2012 Reissue wish list / Day 1 / Eurythmics: Savage

Eurythmics / Savage / 25th Anniversary ReissueWelcome to our ‘Twelve days of Christmas’ reissue wish list for 2012.

Each day for the next 12 days we will be looking at an album that – for one reason or another – deserves to be reissued in the next 12 months. Today Savage by Eurythmics…

When Eurythmics launched the Savage album in October 1987 with the experimental single, Beethoven (I Love to Listen To), it was clear that this was going to be quite different from the commercial rock of 1986’s Revenge. All the music was performed by Dave and Annie, although much of it was programmed electronics, with heavy use made of the Synclavier sampling keyboard (programmed by drummer Olle Romo). There was still quite a bit of fantastic guitar playing from Dave (notably on I Need A Man and I Need You). Intensely personal songs of alienation, jealousy, and loneliness, Savage came to life visually through a ground-breaking “video album” directed (mostly) by Sophie Mueller.

That is the primary reason this album desperately needs to be reissued. This superb career-high for Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox is truly outstanding, but the video album is an essential visual companion to the original listening experience, and needs to be seen to be believed (videos were made for all 12 tracks on the album). Sophie Mueller worked with the band and directed 10 of the 12 promos (Shame and I’ve Got A Lover (Back In Japan) are the exceptions), and they are everything videos should be. Beautiful to look at, bursting with creativity and bringing the very best out of the music. The visuals really do add an extra dimension to the album, with the semi-narrative of the distressed, hallucinatory housewife, transforming into the androgynous / transsexual figure in search of love, lust and an alternate reality.

The Savage video album saw an initial release on VHS in 1988 but has scandalously never been reissued on DVD, and has therefore effectively been out-of-print for over 20 years. The 2005 reissue of Savage added a few extra tracks, but ignored the videos. Therefore, a 2CD+DVD 25th anniversary reissue of Savage, to include the video album – preferably with the 5.1 surround sound audio option – is high on our wish list for 2012. A second CD should be adequate to mop-up all relevant remixes and live tracks.

The album isn’t technically 25 years old until November, so that’s enough time to undertake such a project. ‘Like’ this post and/or leave a comment if you agree!

ALBUM: Savage by Eurythmics
ANNIVERSARY: 25th
WHY REISSUE?: Complete video album out-of-print and unreleased on DVD

Tomorrow / Day 2 / Paul McCartney: Tug of War

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17 responses to 2012 Reissue wish list / Day 1 / Eurythmics: Savage

  1. Steven says:

    Yes… I agree. Am i allowed to make other suggestions? Prince “1999”. 30th anniversary in 2012. Excellent b-sides like “Irresistable Bitch”. “Purple Rain”, not a milestone date, but extraordinary b-sides like “Erotic City”, “17 Days”, “Another Lonely Christmas”. Tons of unreleased gems – some featured in the film, 12″ versions, etc. Blur “Modern Life is Rubbish”. There’s three versions of Chemical World. All sung differently with different music and b-sides like Young and Lovely – –
    w finally Paul McCartney “Pipes of Peace” with 12″ of Say Say Say tacked on

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Hi Steven – yes all good choices. Agree with you about the Prince b-sides. Edited versions of some appeared on the Prince The Hits/B-sides 3CD in 1993. Modern Life Is Rubbish is excellent, actually prefer that to Park Life, but not a ‘milestone’ date as you mention, same with “Pipes of Peace”, which would need 12″ of Say Say Say, plus the instrumental remix and “Ode To A Koala Bear” (2 versions), plus unreleased b-side to cancelled The Man single (whose name escapes me). “Tug Of War” IS on the list and is up today. Prince “Sign ‘O’ the Times” 25th anniversary IS in the running for inclusion…. cheers for stopping by. Paul

  2. Steve Marine says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. “Savage” is Eurythmics’ masterpiece and the video album is essential. The remastered version that came out several years ago was nice, but could definitely have been more thorough. (I’d also add Eurythmics’ “1984 (For the Love of Big Brother)” to my wish list. I think it’s their most underrated album and it was completely ignored when they released the remasters of their catalog.)

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Thanks Steve. I think with the 2005 reissues a decision was made that they would be 1CD only, so as you say very limited in what they could do. I also do prefer it when the actual album is left alone without bonus tracks tacked on, but obviously no choice when you have just a 1CD issue.

      I agree with you totally about “1984”. I’d actually prefer a reissue of that than “Savage”, but for the sake of naturally limiting the choice the ‘rule’ is that it has to be an anniversary release, 30th, 25th etc!. Because it was recorded for Virgin (I think) there were legal reasons why it couldn’t form part of the old reissue campaign. Apparently they recorded loads of stuff for the film/album that has yet to see the light of day so a 2CD deluxe of this would be amazing. The 12″ of “Julia” has an extended version of Ministry of Love, and there is an extended version of Sexcrime (1984) but I think they are the only non-album tracks available (one of the formats – might be CD single of 1984 – has a supposed ‘extended version’ of Julia but it’s just the album version).

  3. Bruno says:

    If memory serves, they had huge amounts of grief with the 1984 soundtrack, so perhaps they simply wish to forget about it (although Julia was on the VHS version of their first Greatest Hits).

    I agree with all your observations about Savage – by far their best and most affecting work, and the nutty videos were always splendidly jarring when they snuck onto The Chart Show. To this day I can’t understand why Shame didn’t fare better, and You Have Put A Chill In My Heart is hands-down their finest moment

    Btw Merry Christmas Paul – you’ve done an amazing job with this site in 2011. Am looking forward to carrying on visiting in the new year.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Thanks Bruno for your kind comments. Merry Christmas to you too!

      You are right about the grief I think. They had some kind of deal to do the soundtrack but IIRC the director hadn’t signed off on this and didn’t want to use any of it. Some kind of compromise was reached and the mainly unused soundtrack album was edited and reworked into the actual release. Probably not great memories but they can be really proud of what the came up with in the end, such an emotive set of “songs”. What they achieved between 1983 and Savage in 1987 was incredible. P

  4. omar says:

    Savage should’ve deserved more recognition than it got back in 1987. It was technically an Annie Lennox record with Dave providing production duties and some guitar work.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      A common misconception. Dave Stewart wrote most of the music on his own, with Annie’s significant lyrical and melody contribution happening afterwards. It is therefore a proper collaboration.

      • omar says:

        But i guess all the songs were made to look like they were short stories about Annie.

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          She would have written most/all the lyrics and is centre stage in the visuals, but Dave is definitely a co-author rather than technical/guitar man on this album!

  5. Paul Rymer says:

    Just discovered this page linked from elsewhere. Yes I agree with the proposal wholeheartedly. The album is their best in my view and as has been stated, the video album is absolutely essential.

    When the reissues were being produced in the early 2000s there was virtually no budget, as with the Japan reissues I assisted with. I think the team (including Dave and Annie plus a few fans as well as BMG staff) did a good job given the circumstances at the time. I was certainly pleased that they included some unreleased material (the cover versions on each CD reissue), though as other posters have said, the ideal format is 1 CD with the original album and then bonus discs for the rest.

    However, I think that Dave and Annie haven’t had the treatment they deserve yet – there’s very little by The Tourists available for example – and there are many Eurythmics b-sides that deserve re-appraisal e.g. the b-side version of “I Could Give You (A Mirror)”.

  6. Pingback:Savage reissue not coming any time soon, says Dave Stewart | superdeluxeedition

  7. AndyRhodes says:

    I agree…..apart from the DVD should be a blu-ray!

  8. pablo says:

    Excellent idea, one of my favorite albums of Eurythmics.
    Personally albun is incredible, the sound, the videos, deserves a special anniversary edition.
    The letters written by the duo magically
    I drink is made.

  9. BronsonBalls says:

    Well if its not coming out ever again then someone should make a great copy available from the laserdisc ;-) Also, does anyone know about the unreleased ‘video album’ that apparently is made up of tour footage and ‘on the road’ footage of the Revenge tour?? Im not sure what its called but I have seen a copy of it on ebay a few years back. I didn’t jump on it because the seller was asking $$$ … It looked legit… no idea. Anybody know anything about this??

  10. Simon says:

    I am a little late to contribute here, but I wholeheartedly agree that a re-release of “Savage” is essential! However what I would like to see most of all is an actual DVD release of “Savage” the video album! A group of friends and myself were chatting about Eurythmics yesterday which then lead to a discussion of “Beethoven” and Annie Lennox’s amazing performance in the video. In fact the entire video album for “Savage” was inspired and showed what a great actress Miss Lennox really was – the neurotic, scared frumpy housewife, the painted harlot… I loved the whole “opposing aspects of woman” theme that ran throughout the whole thing and it tapped into some very serious ideas. Okay so some of the vids may seem dated now but it was still way ahead of its time. Get this out on DVD soon please!! (Although I do take one of the above points made that rights issues can often get in the way)

  11. Marc Bijlsma says:

    A reissue of Savage would be great. The dvd could include, besides the 12 track VHS-version of Savage, the four videos of the singles. These differ slightly from the versions that were included in the video album. Well, perhaps in 2017, when it’s the 30th anniversary?

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