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Eurythmics

Eurythmics

Rock duo

For the Record

From Tourists to Eurythmics

Launched World Tour

Influenced by Lennoxs Scottish Soul

Parted But Not Disbanded

Selected discography

Sources

One of the most successful pop acts to emerge in the 1980s, the British group Eurythmics combines the strong, often brooding, vocals and lyrics of Annie Lennox with the pop instrumentation and scoring talents of guitarist Dave Stewart. The duo burst onto the music scene in 1983 with their international hit-debut album, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). And over the next nine years they released a string of hit recordings that demonstrated their trademark fine line between themes of passion and disdain, optimism and angst, and a music style which eventually nestled itself somewhere between New Wave synthesizer pop and American soul. Eurythmics compelling, almost at-odds, sound was complemented by their diverse stage and music video personalities, with the dynamic Lennox sporting a chameleon-like array of gender-bending image transformations, and Stewart often off to the side in the role of aloof and absorbed musician. Both the music and image of Eurythmics are reflected in the origins of their name, derived from the Greek term for the art of harmonious body movement, through an

For the Record

Group formed in 1980, in London, England; members includeAnnie Lennox (born December 25, 1954, in Aberdeen, Scotland) andDave Stew

art (born c. 1952, in Sunderland, England). Lennox married Radha Rohnfeld, March 14, 1984 (divorced, 1985); married Uri Fruchtman (a filmmaker); one child from second marriage, and a daughter, Lola. Stewarts first wife named Pam; currently married to Siobhan Fahey (a singer). Education: Lennox attended the Royal Academy of Music, London, early 1970s.

Lennox and Stewart formed group, The Tourists, 1978. Lennox appeared in film, Revolution, 1985.

Awards: Grammy Award nominations for best new artist, 1984, and for best rock performance by a duo or group, 1986.

Addresses: Record company Arista, 6 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

expressive and synchronized response to improvised music.

Lennoxs and Stewarts musical and personal partnership (they were lovers before Eurythmics) is belied by very different backgrounds. Born in the northern Scottish seaport of Aberdeen, Lennox was the daughter of a boilermaker who played the bagpipes, and grew up an only child in a small two-room tenement house. She played both piano and flute as a girl, and at seventeen was proficient enough to study flute at Londons Royal Academy of Music. Lennox became exasperated with the academy, however, and left before graduating. Id been taught that there was a perfect phrasing, a perfect sound, a perfect dynamics, she told Freff in Musician. But there is no perfect. The most perfecting this is to express yourself, totally, but nobody teaches you that. To offset the academys rigors, Lennox began composing songs on a reed organ in her London flat and practiced singing. Already fond of the Scottish folk songs of her youth, Lennox discovered singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell and the soul music of Stevie Wonder. Once she listened to Wonders music under the effects of marijuana. It was such a revelation to me to listen with very heightened senses to the music; it touched me, she told Barbara Pepe in Ms. It was something that in the future I wanted to aspire to, that depth of subtlety and profound statement through music.

Dave Stewart, on the other hand, was born into a prosperous family in Sunderland, England, the son of an accountant and a bohemian mother who left her husband to become a writer and, eventually married a French Zen Buddhist. Stewarts pre-Eurythmics music career was variedto say the least. His early interests were medieval ballads and the songs of Bob Dylan, and at the age of fifteen, he stowed away in the van of the folk-rock group Amazing Blondels, travelling with the band for a time. He later worked as a guitarist for an off-shoot of the black African group, Osibisa, and as a composer-arranger for the Sadista Sisters (leaving his first wife to run off with one of the group members). In 1969, he was a guitarist for the group Longdancer, which obtained a contract with Elton Johns Rocket Records, only to break up after squandering most of their advance money on drugs. Stewart himself checked out on a year-long affair with LSD and was nearly fatally injured in a car crash in West Germany, surviving a major operation on a collapsed lung. He eventually cleaned up his act, ran a record store for a time, and teamed up with a singer-songwriter named Peet Coombs, who was looking for work in London. By the age of 25, as a Rolling Stone contributor writes, Stewart was a walking jukebox with a past.

From Tourists to Eurythmics

In the mid-1970s, Stewart and Coombs were dining in a London restaurant, where their waitress was Lennox, who was about to chuck her ambitions to be a singer-songwriter for a career as a music teacher. She invited them to her place, and the three struck up an immediate musical kinship; Stewart and Lennox soon after became lovers. The trio formed a group called Catch, which by 1978 came to be called The Tourists, a folk-pop group. The Tourists released three moderately successful albums, and had a British top-five single with their cover of an old Dusty Springfield record, I Only Want to Be with You. Disputes with their recording label, however, led The Tourists to break up in the 1980s, and Lennox and Stewart likewise dissolved their personal relationship. The two decided to continue working together as musicians, however, and named themselves Eurythmics. Stewart remarked to a Rolling Stone interviewer: We are the only couple I know that lived together and then virtually on the week we stop living together we form Eurythmics and become famous as a couple. Usually it is the other way around.

Eurythmics first album, In the Garden, was recorded in a West German studio. Further troubles with record management, however, led Stewart and Lennox to construct their own studio, which they installed in a warehouse attic and eventually moved to a sixteenth-century church in the Crouch End section of London. The Church, as it was known, became a meeting place for local musicians, and Stewart began experimenting with recording equipment, synthesizers, various instruments, and an array of unlikely musical sounds. Eurythmies second album, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), was entirely recorded and mixed in their private studio, and incorporated such sounds as the roar of a subway train, voices of people in their neighborhood, and musical pitches from water-filled milk bottles. Two singles off the album, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) and Love Is a Stranger, became international hits, and Eurythmics were on their way to becoming pop superstars. The title track, bolstered by its video, combined an alternating husky and piercing Lennox vocal and ruminating lyrics, with a catchy New Wave-pop and funk-influenced score by Stewart. The song displayed what would become vintage Eurythmics. As Stewart explained to Stephen Holden in the New York Times: In our music we like to have the sense of two things battling at once. You have to have something that sounds nice on the surface, but underneath theres an ominous side. Lennox concurred, adding that most really inspired music has a kind of friction about it. Theres an element of danger, of roughness and crudeness that goes along with something very melodic.

Launched World Tour

1984 was a busy year for Eurythmics. Their second album, Touch, was released and had more hit singles, including Here Comes the Rain Again, Right By Your Side, and Whos That Girl? On an extensive world tour in early 1984, Lennox developed what would become a recurring problem with nodes on her vocal cords, and had to rest her voice as much as possible. The same year, Lennox startled many when she performed on the 1984 Grammy AwardsEurythmics were nominated for Best New Artistand sang Sweet Dreams dressed in Elvis Presley garb, complete with sideburns. Coupled with their music videos, in which Lennox sported short-cropped, orange-dyed hair, a haughty demeanor, and mannish clothes, Eurythmics became as famous for their music as for what Holden described as a look of elegant transvestitism. Lennox explained to Rolling Stone that her androgynous look was intended to detract from what people had come to expect from women singers. Ironically, a different kind of sexuality emerged from that. I wasnt particularly concerned with bending genders. I simply wanted to get away from wearing cutesy-pie miniskirts and tacky cutaway push-ups.

Influenced by Lennoxs Scottish Soul

Future Eurythmics albums showed an increasing influence of soul. 1985s Be Yourself Tonight included a feminist anthem duet with queen of soul Aretha Franklin, entitled Sisters Are Doin It for Themselves, while another track, There Must Be an Angel, featured Stevie Wonder on a harmonica solo. Although many reviewers in the past commented on an iciness in Eurythmies music, particularly Lennoxs vocals, their music on Be Yourself Tonight and subsequent albums displays a continual warming up of styles, and a confidence in approach. Regarding 1986s Revenge, Jon Young in Musician wrote that Eurythmics have an ability to make records sound good. Stewart uses studio smarts to construct tracks that are models of streamlined efficiency, while Lennox takes firm command of a melody from the very first line. Commenting on the 1988 album Savage, Ken Richardson wrote in High Fidelity: The tick-tock of technology remains, but Dave Stewart works a lot of human touches into the mix. And Annie Lennox, though still showing off her impeccable vocal technique, gives warmth a chance and, equally welcome, sings bare for a spell.

Lennoxs wide-ranging and expressive voice has often been singled out as one of the strong points of the Eurythmics sound. Describing herself as coming from an earthy working-class Scottish family, Lennox commented to Rolling Stone on the soul of her music. I suppose its all to do with people who have some knowledge of povertythe struggle. I cant say that I really know the black experience, but theres something in knowing about the rich and poor and the differences in class and not being able to get this and that. Reviewers have noted a Scottish strain of melancholia permeating Lennoxs lyrics as well, even in her most upbeat moments. Stewart commented in Rolling Stone that certain people have the feelingits a kind of angst. And Annie has it. Its the way they approach things. That is soul, and theres a lot of soul in Scottish folk songs. Its very passionate stuff.

Parted But Not Disbanded

Eurythmics 1990 album, We Too Are One, turned out to be their last, at least temporarily, as the following year Lennox and Stewart took a break from working together. We just need to go away and do something different, she told Mat Snow in Q. Weve been through such a lot and never had a break, like a divorced couple that want to be apart, though when we split up as a couple, we knew we still wanted to be in a group. Wanting to make music was what kept us together. But now we need space if were not to destroy the goodwill that exists between us. The future of Eurythmics is unclear, and their last album, according to a Stereo Review contributor, doesnt represent any bold new developments. Instead, it reaffirms the talent and ability of one of rocks most captivating duos.

Selected discography

In the Garden, RCA (United Kingdom), 1982.

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) (includes Sweet Dreams [Are Made of This] and Love Is a Stranger), RCA, 1983.

Touch (includes Here Comes the Rain Again, Right by Your Side, and Whos That Girl), RCA, 1984.

Be Yourself Tonight (includes Would I Lie to You? and Sisters Are Doin It for Themselves), RCA, 1985.

Revenge (includes Missionary Man), RCA, 1986.

Savage (includes I Need a Man), RCA, 1988.

We Too Are One (includes Revival and Angel), Arista, 1989.

Greatest Hits, RCA, 1991.

Other

Eurythmics Live (video recording), Polygram, 1987.

(Lennox as contributor) Red Hot & Blue, Chrysalis, 1990.

Greatest Hits (video recording), BMG, 1991.

Sources

Books

Contemporary Newsmakers, 1985 cumulative edition, Gale, 1986.

Hill, Dave, Designing Boys and Material Girls: Manufacturing the 80s Pop Dream, Blandford Press, 1986.

Stambler, Irwin, The Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock and Soul, revised edition, St. Martins, 1989.

White, Timothy, Rock Stars, Stewart, Tabori, and Chang, 1984.

Periodicals

Creem, July 1984; August 1985; September 1985; December 1986.

High Fidelity, May 1988.

Los Angeles Times, August 2, 1986.

Melody Maker, January 29, 1983; July 9, 1983; November 19, 1983; May 4, 1985; November 22, 1986.

Ms., February 1986.

Musician, November 1983; July 1985; November 1985; August 1986.

New Yorker, March 14, 1988.

New York Times, July 17, 1983; February 5, 1984; August 3, 1984; September 3, 1989; November 12, 1989.

People, December 19, 1983; May 20, 1985; November 27, 1989.

Q, May 1991.

Rolling Stone, September 29, 1983; June 20, 1985; October 24, 1985; September 11, 1986.

Stereo Review, January 1990.

Michael E. Mueller

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eurythmics

eurythmics or eurhythmics (both: yŏŏrĬŧħ´mĬks), harmonious bodily movement, especially as expressed according to the system of Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, who developed eurythmics (1903) at the Geneva Conservatory of Music in an effort to overcome the rhythmic difficulties of his students. His aim was to bring the body under control of the mind through a system of gymnastics correlated with music. First, an unconscious technique of bodily response to the rhythm of music is developed, with the student eventually able to improvise an interpretation, through gesture language, of an entire composition. The system has influenced not only musical instruction but also the ballet and even fields outside musical study. The first demonstrations of it were given in 1905, and the first Jaques-Dalcroze Institute in the United States was established ten years later.

See N. Slonimsky, Music since 1900 (4th ed. 1971), for a history of the Dalcroze method of eurythmics; see also E. Findlay, Rhythm and Movement: Applications of Dalcroze Eurhythmics (1971).

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eurhythmics

eurhythmics was the name given by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze (1865–1950), a Swiss composer and teacher of music, to his system of training that linked musical rhythm with movements of the body. He gave instruction in his method in Dresden before World War I, and later, in 1915, he founded his own Institute in Geneva. Marie Rambert was one of his notable disciples: she learnt the method from him, passed it on to the Diaghilev ballet and later applied it in her own company. ‘Eurhythmy’, or ‘eurhythmic’, from the Greek meaning good proportion or rhythm, had been used earlier in several contexts including architectural harmony, postural grace, and regular pulse.

Stuart Judge


See ballet; music and the body.

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eurhythmics

eurhythmics System of musical and dance training which influenced ballet and acting. Developed in Switzerland and Germany by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze during the early 20th century, and also applied by Rudolf Steiner, it evolved from a series of interpretive gymnastic exercises in response to music.

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eurhythmics

eurhythmics. Method invented by Jaques-Dalcroze for expressing rhythmical aspect of mus. through gymnastic exercises.

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Eurythmics

Eurythmics

Pop duo

For the Record

Eurythmies Had Sweet Dreams

Other Career Options Explored

A Surprise Reunion

Selected discography

Sources

Throughout much of the 1980s, Eurythmies were one of the most popular music acts in the world. Combining the production and instrumental talents of Dave Stewart with the soulful voice and provocative stage presence of Annie Lennox, the duo outlasted many other synthesizer-laced New Wave bands that cropped up at around the same time. Eurythmics delved increasingly into their soul and rhythm & blues roots as time went on, while Lennoxs creative use of androgyny on stage and in videos kept audiences fascinated. By 1990, though, their popularity had started to wane, and the two quietly decided to stop recording and performing together, going their separate ways. In 1999, though, a reunion to record one song for a greatest hits album found them collaborating so successfully that they produced Peace, their first new album in nearly a decade.

Their vastly different backgrounds made their eventual collaboration, let alone their success, sound unlikely. Lennox grew up in Scotland and moved to London to attend the Royal Academy of Music to study flute. Stewart, on the other hand, ran away from home as a teenager to work for and occasionally play with a folk-rock band. When they met in a London restaurant, Lennox was waiting tables after having left the Royal Academy because she felt uncomfortable with the schools pretensions. Stewart was dining with his song-writing collaborator at the time, Peet Coombes, having just left his band Longdancer following a car accident in which he had suffered lung injuries. According to Lennox, Stewarts first words to her were, Will you marry me? Whether true or not, the two quickly struck up a romance.

They also formed a musical partnership. Along with Coombes they started a band called the Tourists in 1977. Over the course of two years, they released three albums. They achieved some commercial success, with their version of I Only Want to Be With You climbing to number four on the British pop charts. The Tourists also lived up to their name, traveling around the world to perform, only to disband while in Bangkok, Thailand. Lennox and Stewarts romance ended at about the same time.

No longer a couple, the two decided that musically they could still work well together. They came up with the idea of Eurythmies, taking the name from a late nineteenth-century method of teaching music to children through movement. Their original notion was that they would form the core that would write for and perform with shifting combinations of supporting players. They took their idea to Germany and began writing in a studio owned by Conny Plank, the producer for the German synthesizer group Kraftwerk. The sessions resulted in In the Garden, released in the United Kingdom in 1981 to little fanfare. Having more of a mechanical electronic music sound than the soulful rhythms that would mark their later work, the album

For the Record

Members include Annie Lennox (born on December 25, 1954, in Aberdeen, Scotland; married Uri Fruchtman, 1988; two children), vocals, flute; Dave Stewart (born David Allan Stewart on September 9, 1952, in Sunderland, England; married Siobhan Fahey, 1987; two children), guitar, keyboards, vocals.

Formed first band, the Tourists, 1977; formed Eurythmies and released first album, 1981; released multi-platinum album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), 1983; performed soundtrack for the movie 1984, 1984; released We Two are One, their last album before 10-year hiatus, 1989; performed together again in public for the first time, 1998; reunited for new album, Peace, 1999.

Awards: BRIT Awards, Lifetime Achievement Award, 1999.

Addresses: Record compary; Arista Records, 6 W. 5th St., New York, New York 10019. Website http://www.eurythmies.net.

went nowhere, and their tour in support of it resulted in illness for both Lennox and Stewart.

Eurythmies Had Sweet Dreams

When they went back into the studio for their next effort, they did so in one built in a warehouse by Stewart. The lush arrangements remained, produced on an eight-track recorder. Yet a new element emerged, one that made a commercial and critical success of Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) in 1983. Justin Lewis described what made the album stand out in Rock: The Rough Guide: The music had hit a chord: contemporary and hugely catchy, it was synth-and production-driven, yet it had a soul, melancholy, and personal. The title track shot to the top of the charts, hitting number one in the United States and number two in the United Kingdom.

Eurythmies didnt rest on their laurels, and later that year released their third album, Touch. Again, they had a hit on their hands, enhanced by the videos that they released in support of the songs. MTV had just come into existence, and the Eurythmies took advantage of the new medium to showcase Lennoxs presence and her provocative gender-bending performances. The video for Whos That Girl from Touch featured her in both a male and a female role, and through special effects her characters kiss at videos end. Lennox also made waves by dressing as a man for a performance at the 1984 Grammy Awards ceremony.

Not every project Eurythmies touched turned out successfully, though. Enlisted to write and perform the music for a new movie production of the George Orwell novel 1984, their differences with the director led to much of their work getting left out of the film. Still, they released a soundtrack album, 1984: For the Love of Big Brother. The single Sexcrime made the top ten in the United Kingdom, but received little air play in the United States. Many radio stations refused to put it on, deeming the subject matter too controversial. That same year the duo also had differences with their record label when RCA issued the EP Touch Dance. Consisting of remixes of earlier songs, it was released in spite of the duos objections.

The events of 1984 turned out to be minor irritants instead of career setbacks. Their 1985 album Be Yourself Tonight spawned such hit singles as Would I Lie to You and Sisters are Doin It for Themselves. The latter featured soul legend Aretha Franklin singing with Lennox, a collaboration that typified two important elements of the album. It featured appearances by a wide range of guest performers, including Elvis Costello and Daryl Hall. The songs themselves also showcased Eurythmicss return to their roots in the soul sounds of the 1960s. 1986s Revenge saw a shift again to other roots, rocking harder than their previous work. While the album sold less in the United States than their previous ones, in Europe it racked up more sales than any of their earlier releases.

Other Career Options Explored

Both Lennox and Stewart took advantage of Eurythmicss success to work without each other in realms other than playing music. Lennox made her acting debut with a part in the 1985 film Revolution, while Stewart worked as a producer for Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, and Tom Petty, among others. Still, the duo kept going as Eurythmies, releasing Savage in 1987. The album, with more of a disco style than their previous two, didnt go over very well and showed that they had passed their peak of popularity. While 1989s We Too Are One spawned their first American hit (Dont Ask Me Why) since Missionary Man from Be Yourself Tonight, it would prove to be what both members thought of as the end of Eurythmies.

The breakup of the band took place quietly, with no public rancor. Lennox retreated to her home to write songs and give birth to her first child, while Stewart continued producing and took up writing movie soundtracks. Reflecting on their song writing process, Lennox told David Gates of Esquire, I was the one wandering around saying, Never, never, never, and hed be going, Oh, come on this is great. While this interplay between the pessimist and optimist had been fruitful, Lennox went to say that it became a struggle for us to be in the room together. For his part, Stewart told Jeremy Helligar of People, Youre tied together, and it comes to a point where you just need space. Still, I think shes a great songwriter. Thats why we spent so long together.

While Lennox began recording her own solo work within three years of the breakup, releasing the album Diva in 1992, it took Stewart longer to start recording on his own. At one point he even spent six weeks in a psychiatric hospital in order to get his confidence up, telling Helligar, I had never done my own album because of insecurity and self-doubt. After working with a band called the Spiritual Cowboys for a few years, he finally put out his first solo album, Greetings from the Gutter, in 1995. While Lennox enjoyed considerable success with her solo albums, including a Grammy Award for 1995s Medusa, Stewarts didnt fare so well.

A Surprise Reunion

Although the two were out of touch during the mid 1990s, they got together to perform as a surprise at a party for a friend in 1998. After that, they played their first public gig in years at a tribute concert for a British journalist. When they received a Lifetime Achievement award at the BRIT Awards ceremony in 1999, they decided that they should also write together again, agreeing to create one new song for a greatest hits album. They found they couldnt do just one, though. Stewart told Larry Flick of Billboard, We ended up writing four or five songs in a few days. Soon we realized it sounded like an album. We went into the studio and immediately started recording.

The resulting album, Peace, garnered mixed reviews, often eliciting comments about the quality of the whole but noting the absence of any remarkable songs like the duos past hits. Barry Walters of Rolling Stone wrote, Peace charms with repeated listenings, but its well-crafted down-tempo musings lack the old urgency, while David Gates in Newsweek noted, Stewarts production sounds richer and more organic and Lennox sounds warmer and more expressive. Still, the new songs mostly lack the transcendent strangeness of old Eurythmies hits. The record-buying public evidently didnt share this concern, especially in Europe, where the album reached the Top Ten charts in several countries, although it peaked at number 25 in the United States.

Just as reviewers inevitably compared the new album to Eurythmicss past work, Lennox and Stewart revisited their past with the albums first single, Seventeen Again. The song traced the arc of their career from first meeting to breakup, commenting on their past work along the way. As far as the future was concerned, they had no definite plans for the Eurythmies beyond a tour to benefit Amnesty International and Greenpeace. Clearly, though, the two of them were glad to be working together again. Lennox struggled to explain to Flick how they collaborated, calling the process an unexplainable, almost psychic way of making music. I dont question it anymore, nor do I wonder how long it will work. Im just grateful every time it happens.

Selected discography

Eurythmies

In the Garden, RCA, 1981.

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), RCA, 1983.

Touch, RCA, 1983.

Touch Dance, RCA, 1984.

1984: For the Love of Big Brother (soundtrack), RCA, 1984.

Be Yourself Tonight, RCA, 1985.

Revenge, RCA, 1986.

Savage, RCA, 1987.

We Too Are One, Arista, 1989.

Greatest Hits, RCA, 1991.

Eurythmies Live 1983-89, RCA, 1993.

Greatest Hits, BMG International, 1998.

Peace, Arista, 1999.

The Tourists

Tourists, Logo, 1979.

Reality Effect, Epic, 1980.

Luminous Basement, RCA, 1980.

Annie Lennox solo

Diva, Arista, 1992.

Medusa, Arista, 1995.

Dave Stewart solo

Lily Was Here (soundtrack), Arista, 1990.

Greetings from the Gutter, East West, 1995.

Sources

Books

Buckley, Jonathan and Mark Ellingham, editors, Rock: The Rough Guide, Penguin, 1996.

Clarke, Donald, editor, The Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Penguin, 1989.

Larkin, Colin, editor, The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Muze, 1998.

Romanowski, Patricia and Holly George-Warren, editors, The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll, Fireside, 1995.

Stambler, Irwin, editor, Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock& Soul, St. Martins, 1989.

Periodicals

Billboard, October 2, 1999, p. 5; October 30, 1999, p. 18.

Esquire, July 1992, p. 82.

Newsweek, October 25, 1999, p. 82.

People, March 13, 1995, p. 21.

Rolling Stone, October 14, 1999, p. 36; November 25, 1999, p. 98; December 16-23, p. 236.

Online

Eurythmies, All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (September 21, 2000).

Lloyd Hemingway

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eurhythmics

eurhythmics: see eurythmics.

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