At last, after years of speculation and ever-changing release dates, the Eurythmics have finally managed to release the remastered editions of their eight classic albums - minus the notable exception of the soundtrack to the movie "1984". It's fair to say right from the start that all of these remastered editions, gathered here in the "Boxed" deluxe package, were well worth the wait.
If anything, this complete anthology is a testimony to the ever-changing nature of a band as complex and evolutive as the Eurythmics were. From their experimental and obscure debut ("In the garden") right to the masterful pop of their final album ("Peace"), Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart were never afraid to change and to challenge their audience by trying something different. Just when you thought you had pinned them correctly as an icy-synth band via their legendary "Sweet Dreams" and "Touch" albums, they bounced back with two highly accessible and soulful rock albums (1985's "Be Yourself Tonight" and 1986's "Revenge") without losing one ounce of credibility. Expecting another rock album next, fans of the Eurythmics were instead delivered a dark and experimental tour de force about domestic alienation ("Savage", 1987) and were then granted a beautiful vintage pop album full of graceful melodies (1989's "We Too Are One") before the band parted ways for a decade. What an exhilarating and unpredictable ride, and what a beautiful musical legacy this band has left us...
This band has left behind many hits, which you will find here scattered around the eight albums included in "Boxed"; classics such as "Sweet dreams (are made of this"), "There must be an angel (playing with my heart)", "Missionary man", "Don't ask me why", "Here comes the rain again", "Thorn in my side", "I need a man", "Sisters are doin' it for themselves", "17 again", "Would I lie to you ?", "You have placed a chill in my heart", "Love is a stranger", "Who's that girl ?", "I saved the world today" and many, many more. However, the remastered eight albums allow the attentive listener to remember that the Eurythmics, in spite of their strength as a hit singles machine, also made great albums. The album "Savage" is particularly eloquent of the band's ability to elaborate a concept interesting enough to hold the listener's attention well-past the hit singles. Their underrated debut "In The Garden" turns out to be the biggest surprise of this package, its many qualities highlighted by the remastering process; it sounds cleaner, crisper and more earthy than the original recording, which had always sounded a little stiff to me. Without changing one iota of the album's original production, the band has managed to dust it off nicely and to allow its rich sonic palette to shine through.
It must be said that great album tracks abound in this retrospective, as well as many arresting remixes, unreleased covers, live cuts and forgotten B-Sides. In fact, each album offers from 4 to 7 bonus tracks - 44 bonus tracks in total ! This generosity is not surprising, coming from a band that once boycotted their own VHS release because they didn't like the final product that their record company had come up with (the infamous "Sweet Dreams" concert, released on domestic video around 1983-84). The Eurythmics obviously wanted their loyal audience to have something more with these remastered albums, and the end result is anything but a rip-off for diehard fans.
The price of this package may be a little high, but all of these albums are interesting enough to make it worth your money and attention. The packaging of each album is beautiful, with plenty of revealing and arresting liner notes and many unreleased photographs. And it's still cheaper than purchasing each of these remastered editions individually.
Diehard fans would be wise to purchase this limited edition boxed set before it vanishes from the face of the earth - it's one solid pack of above-average music, from an extraordinary duo that has earned its place in pop music history books.