In 1983, The Eurythmics released Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). Featuring the powerful voice of Annie Lennox, this pop song with the repetitive minor-key riff drove straight into our heads and rose to number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The video is full of dream sequences and even features a cow!
Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
I travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody’s looking for something
If Annie Lennox’s image is somewhat androgynous, Marilyn Manson definitely takes androgyny further. He chose his stage name to convey the idea that celebrity in our world can come from anything, including being a movie star or being a mass murderer. In keeping with his heavy metal style, Manson’s 1995 version of the Eurythmics’ classic is much darker, but it is also quite a bit slower and still really compelling. His video makes the “dreams” of the song seem much more nightmarish and is not for the faint of heart. (“Billboard” rated the video as 3rd-scariest video of all time in this 2013 article.)
Now for a really cool version of this song performed with voice over looping cello, here is Canadian singer/cellist Kevin Fox. I had the pleasure of seeing him live, opening for Chantal Kreviazuk last year.
I’m always fascinated when an artist sings a song that takes them out of their comfort zone or is not their usual genre, showcasing their talent and proving that they are not just a “one-trick pony”. I also appreciate when an artist takes a well-known song and makes it their own. “Surprising Songs Sung” features some of these songs that have caught my interest.