Biggest hit Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) (Eurythmics), February 1983 – No 2; 14 weeks in chart
Biggest Album Diva (solo), April 1992 – No 1; 80 weeks in chart
Singing is a great experience. But writing and performing your own songs is a deep and powerful means of self-expression. I started writing when I was 19 as I was simply fascinated by the effects of words, melodic line, phrasing, nuance, chord progressions, and all the magical things that go into the alchemy of the process.
A lot of alcohol and narcotics have been imbibed by a lot of people in pursuit of the muse. Whatever works and doesn’t damage you is fine by me.
I take lots of breaks.Going out for coffee and sandwiches. Lying down.Getting up again. Lots of repeating lines and phrases over and over until they find their true nature. I work on my laptop, cutting and pasting. Is songwriting ‘describable’? I’d answer this with another question. ‘What does it feel like to play with sand?’ You’re just ‘in the moment’ of attention and connection.
In the Eurythmics, Dave and I were a male and female version of the Three Musketeers… with the sum of our parts adding up to more than two. I wrote the lyrics and Dave would work as a kind of mentor/editor. Sometimes I’d write 90 per cent of a song, like Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves or There Must Be An Angel, where Dave would have great input for structure and form, and at other times we’d start from scratch and both put ideas in, like Sweet Dreams, or Here Comes The Rain Again.
He was definitely in charge of the technical side of the recording process, as he’s incredibly au fait with cutting-edge technology, so he was more of the ‘producer’ in that sense, but I also had a part to play in production ideas in a more organic way. We always shared everything 50-50, as that was how we saw our partnership.
Thorn In My Side was work in progress. Rage, fury, revenge, regret… What can I tell you?
Did you have territories of writing as your relationship with Dave Stewart developed?
I wouldn’t really like to think of them as “territories”, but I wrote the lyrics and Dave would work as a kind of mentor/editor in that department. Sometimes I’d write 90% of a complete song … like “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves”, or “There Must Be an Angel (Playing With My Heart)”, where Dave would have great input in terms of structure and form, and at other times we’d start a song from scratch and both put ideas in, like “Sweet Dreams” or “Here Comes the Rain Again”. He was definitely in charge of the technical side of the recording process, as he’s incredibly au fait with cutting-edge technology, so he was more of a “producer” in that sense, but I also had a part to play in production ideas in a more organic way. We always shared everything 50-50, as that was how we saw our partnership.
Annie writing on her Facebook page
‘Here’s Page 288 in my copy of The Isle of Noise ( Conversations with great British songwriters ) which I received today. Featuring 25 artists such as the likes of Ray Davies, Paul Weller, and Sting..It makes for a fascinating read..Especially if you’re trying to get a sense of what it takes to write songs…I’ve been trying to figure out that old chestnut for quite a few years now!’