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30 Days of Songs: Day 16

June 7, 2011

day 16 – a song that you used to love but now hate: The Eurythmics: “Sweet Dreams”

When I had to choreograph an aerobics routine with A, a fellow member of my gym class my sophomore year in high school, we picked “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics:

What can I say? It was the ‘80s. Girls took aerobics in P.E. class (I’m not sure what the boys were doing. Probably something manly like wrestling.). Olivia Newton-John’s Let’s Get Physical album, which I owned on cassette, was still fresh in our minds.

I loved the relentless beat of “Sweet Dreams,” the drum machine, that synthesized sound. As someone whose life had been devoted to the pursuit of acoustic music, I was totally fascinated by the new digital synthesizers. It’s what drove me, in college, into the electronic music studio, where, as it happened, I played around with a Moog, monitoring my work with an oscilloscope and recording my compositions on reel-to-reel tape spliced together by hand.

The Yamaha Digital DX-7 keyboard with built in sounds gathered dust in the corner. I liked the hands-on work of the Moog. The DX-7 felt soulless. It was much less interesting. And these days, that’s how I feel about music like this. I wouldn’t say I hate it. It has a certain place in my nostalgic listening repertoire.

A and I worked hard on our routine, putting in as many steps as we could remember. To give you some idea of what we’re talking about, here’s an aerobics routine filmed in 1982, the same year “Sweet Dreams” came out:

We practiced our synchronized steps after school, and a week later, performed them for our class. We got a B. The teacher said we did a good job but our routine “wasn’t creative.” We were deeply hurt. But in retrospect, how much inspiration could the music have given us?

What music don’t you like anymore?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. freshhell permalink
    June 8, 2011 8:24 am

    Yeah, I feel the same way about that song. I really have little tolerance for that in-your-face synth sound of that decade. Everything from that era is infected with it.

  2. June 8, 2011 9:29 am

    I hate songs that have been played over and over, repeatedly, in my presence. One summer weekend in Myrtle Beach, a hotel beach band played “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” on nearly eternal repeat, and now I can hardly stand to hear it. A local radio station played “Don’t Worry, be Happy” over and over for two days while switching owners, and since it’s the only station that comes in on the clock radio in our bedroom, I had to get up to make it STOP. Nothing can quite make me hate the Pachelbel Canon, but a friend playing it over and over in 1980, at the height of its most recent general popularity, came close.

  3. June 8, 2011 12:04 pm

    Jeanne, have you seen this?:

  4. June 8, 2011 8:48 pm

    I had not seen that before. Thank you; it got funnier the longer he ranted!

  5. June 14, 2011 12:01 pm

    This song got D#2 into Eurythmics, which now has her into both Daft Punk and Annie Lennox. We got her the Christmas Conucopia album, and she has not stopped listening to it all year. It’s a surprisingly respectful group of songs. She wants to memorize the words to Daft Punk’s “Technologic” for the talent show next year.

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