Diary of an old cheeser

Hi there! Like other blogs, this is my chance to wax lyrical (some might say talk utter cr*p) about a) what's happening in my life b) all of my pet obsessions in particular music, tv, movies, books and other generally connected things, quite often of the retro, old and "cheesy" variety. Hence the title of my blog. Feel free to leave a comment if the mood takes you. There's nothing like a good chinwag about one's favourite topics and besides I love to meet new people! Cheers, Simon

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Video of the fortnight - Eurythmics - Beethoven (I Love To Listen To)

An all time favourite of mine, from 1987, taken from Eurythmics' "Savage" album. In fact the group brought out a video version of the album too, with a video for every track, an unusual move at the time. I'm not sure if it's still available but if you get the chance, check it out, it's brilliant! I wish they'd bring it out on DVD!

Anyway, the whole theme of this video is both weird and wonderful. And I love Annie Lennox's performance in this - truly versatile, proving that pop stars really can act!

In it Ms Lennox plays a twitchy, neurotic and unhinged housewife, totally obssessed with domestic chores like cleaning, cooking and knitting and incapable of sitting still for five minutes. She's a kind of UK equivalent of a Stepford Wife (although the frumpy clothes and brown wig are more charity shop granny than glamorous wife - hilarious attire, though). And who's the little girl who keeps smashing and breaking everything Annie has fixed? And the clown-faced guy watching her every move? And watch what happens to Annie at the end. It's all psychological I think. For instance, maybe the little girl represents what housewife Annie would really like to do? And at the risk of sounding pretentious, I think the video is a very interesting representation of gender roles. Further suggestions on a postcard please...

I love the lyrics too:
"I was dreaming like the texan girl...
The girl who think she's got the right to everything!
The girl who thinks she should have something...extreme".

This bit is also incorporated into a spoken monologue at the start. Annie L is truly scary, fixing the camera with her unnerving stare whilst she does the knitting, suggesting that all is not well with this particular house frau...


  • At 10:35 pm , Blogger matty said...

    I can still remember the first moment I heard and saw this vid-clip. I remember thinking, "wow, they are really talented!" ...I had always dismissed them before.

    That entire CD still holds up if you ask me -- and the vid-clips still put the viewer in a place nudged uncomfortably between funny and fucking scary!

    I love them!


    You rock! ...like a Texas girl! LOL!

  • At 5:58 am , Blogger TimeWarden said...

    I saw Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart live when they were part of The Tourists, supporting Roxy Music on their Manifesto tour at the De Montfort Hall in Leicester back in 1979. As well as the arduous task of working with members of All Saints, Dave Stewart must’ve struck up a friendship with Ferry as he worked on his solo album “Frantic” five years ago.

    I wonder who the Texan girl in the lyric is? There’s a very famous model from Texas linked to at least a couple of rock stars! Ferry wrote a song about her called “Prairie Rose” before she appeared on the cover of “Siren”. After which, she married Mick Jagger! Frailty, thy name is Jerry Hall!!

    Anyway, like you say, an interesting song and video. Annie’s a bit too handy with that knife, for my liking, on those poor vegetables! The little girl’s the child she never had so she fills her time, needlessly, with the chores a child would’ve necessitated. Perhaps the clown-faced guy is there to tell her she’s a fool for staying in an unhappy, childless relationship. Or, he could be the Watcher seeking employment before returning to “Doctor Who” in “The Greatest Show in the Galaxy”! The dates fit!!

  • At 11:34 am , Blogger Steve said...

    Incredible video - so full of tension and angst. Annie is so good at playing "on the edge" characters. It's amazing how she can dress so dowdy but still look so incredibly striking at the same time.

  • At 2:45 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Matty - You're right - there is something very funny yet equally disturbing about that video.

    Timewarden - The Tourists! I remember them too. I don't think the "Texan girl" is anyone specific - seems to be quite a throwaway reference - then again one can't be too sure, perhaps it was Jerry Hall! Was she a girl who thought she had the right to everything? Maybe! After all most supermodels are very diva-ish in their behaviour, look at Naomi...

    I really like your interpretation of the video. You could be right about the child although isn't it also significant that she destroys everything that Annie fixes? Perhaps she represents the woman's inner child, the spirit that wants to say "f*ck it all" to everything and just create chaos? The clown does seem to be some kind of sad commentator on Annie's status. I think I like your last interpretation the best though!

    Steve - Yes it's a very tense piece. And you're right Annie certainly makes an impact in that outfit, dowdy or not! She wears the same combo in some of the other "Savage" videos. Shame Ms Lennox is off the radar so much these days. Okay, the "Bare" album wasn't so long ago, but she just doesn't appear much on our screens any more. Still "Beethoven" was 20 years ago and I guess she's happy to sit back and do less, Kate Bush style...

  • At 3:07 pm , Blogger matty said...

    I sort of felt like "Bare" made it clear that she had passed into adulthood with style and grace. It really is a great CD. It just doesn't have the normal pop hooks that everyone "expects" --- but I love it.

    Can't wait for the next one.

    ...but, I suspect the "glory days" are passed her and I think she is aware of that.

    I dated a guy who played drums for her for two shows during her limited US tour for BARE. He liked her but told me she was "nuts" ...and, then I saw an interview and she did seem a bit manic.

    Maybe SAVAGE took us into that psyche!?!?!

  • At 5:18 pm , Blogger Minge said...

    I had that video. it's long since ruined. I wish they'd bring it out on DVD, too.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home