‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)’ Is 40 Years Old

In case you need a reminder that time passes quickly, the EurythmicsSweet Dreams (Are Made of This) – one of the seminal examples of synth pop – is 40 years old.

The song’s success is a result of great songwriting by bandmembers Dave Stewart & Annie Lennox, iconic sound design and production, and a heavy dose of WTF in the music video.

“People think it’s about sex or S&M,” notes Lennox, “and it’s not about that at all.” But that probably didn’t hurt sales.

Lennox says that the song is an expression of having to survive in a world that is often hopeless. Stewart suggested adding the “Hold your head up, moving on” to keep the song from being too depressing.

40 years later – it’s clear that the song, the video and the band were way ahead of their time.

17 thoughts on “‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)’ Is 40 Years Old

  1. As a kid (I guess I was 8 when this was released) I remember being obsessed with that synth line and I would think about it constantly. What a fantastic track.

    1. I was seven. Hearing this song and that bass line literally changed my life. I asked my mom what made that sound and she said it was a “synthesizer.” 40 years later and I’m still obsessed. Thanks Dave! Thanks Mom! 🙂

  2. Never mind all that! I recommend their soundtrack to “1984,” starring Richard Burton. Its more prominently instrumental than their other works, yet Annie still shines through like Clare Torry did on “Great Gig In The Sky.” Its a pounding masterpiece. Crank it up. The dog will hide under the bed and the dishes will rattle, but you’ll still rock out.

    1. ‘golden oldies’ venues have beaten these tunes to death for me. I hear about a “name that tune!”‘s worth, and before I know it, it’s over. my brain just knows it so well, it’s not listening or something. I can put Abby Road on, sing the intro to Here Comes the sun, and next thing I know, I’m in the middle of Medley singing Mean Mister Mustard, with no memory of the intervening time. same with this tune, I love the beat, then all of a sudden it’s over. can’t listen to any of it anymore. it IS definitely a great tune though.

  3. Personally, I really liked the Eurythmics, and Sweet Dreams still stands up pretty well, cliches and all. However the thing I remember most was discussions of Dave Stewart on rec.music.synth and synth-l. He almost became a standing joke, “Not THAT Dave Stewart”, made in reference to the “real” Dave Stewart who was the keyboardist in Egg, Hatfield and the North, and National Health.

  4. One of those songs that starts with the chorus….this one and Every Breath you Take by The Police get brought up often as a breaking of the song-structure mould in the same way…the verses are the choruses….Brilliant

    also the main bass riff sounds like 2 riffs to me. Dave panned one riff left and the other one right, and the combination of the two riffs is what your brain actually thinks is the summed bassline. again…Brilliant

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