“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” is a song by new wave music UK duo Eurythmics (Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart). It is the 4th of 4 singles and title track of their album of the Sweet Dreams, released in 1983. It’s the song that made the duo known worldwide. It reached #2 on the UK Singles Chart and #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100, the first single released by Eurythmics in the US. It also reached Canada and France #1. It could not reach UK #1 due to the successful ballad of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler. It was home recorded by the Eurythmics following/setting a trend of musicians abandoning large recording studios in favour of smaller project studios.
The duo wrote the song after they just broke up, but continued working together and founded the Eurythmics. They bought new synthesizers as they shifted their interest to electronic music.
Annie Lennox stated that the lyrics reflected the hopelessness and nihilism after the break up of the Tourists, when she felt that they were “in a dream world” and their dreams were not going to come true and they hit rock bottom. Dave Stewart added the “hold your head up, moving on” line to make it more uplifting and less depressing.
“Sweet Dreams” was created and recorded in two places, 1st in the Eurythmics’ tiny project studio in the Chalk Farm district of London above a picture framing shop, then in a small room at The Church Studios in North London.
Lennox and Stewart had to get a bank loan for £5,000 and could only get 2nd-hand equipment and borrowed some gear as well.
Stewart recalls he was in a manic mood while Lennox was depressed, with both moods reflected in the song lyrics. Stewart was upbeat because he had just survived surgery on a punctured lung, and felt like he had been given a new lease on life. Lennox was feeling low because of the poor results from past musical work.
Image by eurythmics.com Derived from a scan of the album cover. Copyright held by the record company or the artist. Claimed as fair use regardless.