Sunday, May 10, 2015

16: There Must Be An Angel - Eurythmics

A couple of years after their Big Big Hit (Sweet Dreams), Dave and Annie of the Eurythmics came up with this one. The year was 1985, it was the last week of July and I was at a Summer Soccer School, and all I remember from that week (aside from the smell of the sports hall at Marjons, which was distinctive enough to last thirty years in my psyche) was all the boys there - aged 10 to 14 or so - walking round humming and singing this song, which is decidedly feminine in nature. "Ba-da do da do da do daaaah" they'd sing. These big (by comparison with me, since I was ten at the time) football-playing guys all walking around during the lunch break, walking between the playing areas, practising their Cruyff turns and ball-juggling, all mumbling falsettos about angels playing with their hearts. Which is all memorable in itself.

Then we get to the song. Annie Lennox's vocals are as always at the top of the class - she is without doubt one of the best female vocalists of her generation, hitting such a wide range of notes with both ease and strength - you know it's no struggle for her to get up there at the high notes, but in the same way she doesn't bottom-out and lose it at the lower registers. And here she showcases it all. It's happy, upbeat and really joyous and while there's no one part of the song that lifts you to some other place (although Stevie Wonder's harmonica sections are really, really good) it's the effect of the whole song that does it. The long-list for the Top Forty At Forty contained 'Walking On Sunshine' and even 'Rocking All Over The World' just because of this effect - the entire song itself being happy, lifting, envigorating like the sun breaking through the grey winter clouds, and energising in a way that, for example, the Bee Gees 'Too Much Heaven' is not. But they fell by the wayside because they're not really strong enough musically.

This song, however, has the lot. Plus it mentions angels so gets bonus points for that.

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