the review site with a difference since 1999
Reviews Interviews Articles Apps About

BMG Special Products presents

Eurythmics—Greatest Hits (1991)

"Sweet dreams are made of this/Who am I to disagree?"- Annie Lennox

Stars: Annie Lennox, David A. Stewart
Other Stars: Aretha Franklin
Director: David A. Stewart, Chris Ashbrook, Sophie Muller, Willy Smax

Manufacturer: Sonopress USA
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mild adult themes)
Run Time: 01h:33m:32s
Release Date: 2000-10-24
Genre: pop

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- B-C+A D


DVD Review

BMG's Eurythmics: Greatest Hits brings a collection of 1980's music videos featuring the Annie Lennox/David A. Stewart combo to DVD for the first time. The disc features twenty tracks:

Sweet Dreams
Love Is a Stranger
Who's That Girl?
Right By Your Side
Here Comes the Rain Again
Sex Crime (1984)
Would I Lie to You?
There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart)
Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves
It's Alright (Baby's Coming Back)
When Tomorrow Comes
Thorn In My Side
Miracle of Love
Missionary Man
Beethoven (I Love to Listen To)
I Need a Man
You Have Placed a Chill in My Heart
Don't Ask Me Why
The King & Queen of America

The videos are fairly typical 80's material, from the days when MTV really meant Music Television and the art form was developing the clichés it continues to use today. All are set to the familiar recordings released as singles during Eurythmics' heyday, and the disc can be viewed as a CD with accompanying eye candy. One wonders whether all of these are truly "Greatest Hits;" it's more likely that this is simply a collection of singles promoted with music videos, whether or not they actually became hits.

Still, the songs achieve a kind of pop greatness more often than not—Annie Lennox's versatile, energetic voice is as impressive as ever, and the tunes are rooted solidly in rock/blues/pop tradition, though they have an audibly dated 1980's quality about them: instrumentation is heavily synthesizer-dominated, with a quasi-ELO sound on a few tracks, and vocals are treated with excessive reverb now and then. The videos aren't bad, though many of them rely on overused techniques—overlapping dissolves, slow-motion fire, self-conscious black-and-white, and cheesy video effects turn up with alarming frequency. The best videos include a stylishly Elizabethan There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart), Lennox's high-spirited duet with Aretha Franklin on Sisters are Doin' It for Themselves, the partially animated, creatively colored It's Alright (Baby's Coming Back), and Beethoven (I Love to Listen To), which integrates song and video very well and segues neatly into the following track, I Need a Man. Less impressive tracks include Sex Crimes (1984), which mixes generic video footage with clips from the film 1984, and Would I Lie to You?, which tries to be a mini-movie but gets bogged down in a clichéd "jealous lover" scenario. At least all of the videos take advantage of Lennox's strikingly beautiful blue eyes.

I was surprised to learn that David A. Stewart directed or co-directed several of the videos; rather than presenting individual video credits MTV-style, the disc saves the information for the end credits. The disc's structure is straightforward, though annoying sampled "remix" video clips circa 1991 are inserted between tracks, creating an unnecessary, thankfully brief wall of noise between each of the segments.

The entertainment potential of this disc depends to a large degree on one's nostalgia for 1980's music and music videos; the style of this material is so obviously "of its time" that it's hard to gauge its appeal in any objective sense. Eurythmics fans will be thrilled that this comprehensive collection is now available on DVD, and even casual fans will find it listenable, if not visually riveting. I only recently rediscovered Eurythmics myself, but I had a great time, though our dogs seemed concerned when I started dancing around the home theatre during Thorn In My Side. Rock on, Annie and David. Rock on.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Eurythmics: Greatest Hits is presented in the material's original 1.33:1 full frame television aspect ratio, drawn from semi-dated broadcast quality videotape masters, even though many of the videos were shot on film originally. The quality varies; a few pieces suffer from video glitching, chroma noise and color instability here and there, and the collection has a generally soft look with minor edge enhancement. Still, detail is good and color is rich considering the source, and I'm sure these videos have never looked better at home.

Image Transfer Grade: C+

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: Despite a "Remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1" sticker on the packaging, BGM's Eurythmics: Greatest Hits DVD is actually presented with a linear PCM 48k stereo track. The audio is up to BMG's usual standards, clean and solid with smooth, well-engineered bass. Played through a ProLogic decoder, the mix tends to cluster in the center speaker with faint left/right audio and a bit of rear speaker bleed. I found the experience much improved after I set my receiver for old-fashioned stereo listening, preferring the diffuse, spread-out stereo soundstage for which the music was originally mixed. Your mileage may vary, and simulated surround DSP modes may provide a more enveloping experience, but the CD-quality-plus audio sounds crisp and clear any way you choose to listen.

Audio Transfer Grade:

Disc Extras

Static menu
Music/Song Access with 21 cues and remote access
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Eurythmics Discography
Extras Review: This is a compilation of music videos, with little call for supplements in the traditional sense. So it's not a great shame that the only extra here is a discography featuring the cover art from Eurythmics, David A. Stewart and Annie Lennox albums. There are 21 song selections, though the final credits chapter (22) isn't available from the disc's menu, only through the DVD remote.

Extras Grade: D

Final Comments

Eurythmics: Greatest Hits is a comprehensive collection of music videos featuring one of the more enduring pop music duos of the 1980's. BMG's DVD is competently transferred, given a somewhat dated videotape source; the linear PCM soundtrack sounds great, and these pieces have never looked this good on home video before. I prefer the more recent Eurythmics: Peacetour concert DVD, truth to tell, but this is a fun time warp back to the synth-heavy 80's.

Dale Dobson 2000-12-17