Monday, March 13, 2017

Women Who Rock and/or Make History: Eurythmics and Edith Head

March is Girl Women's History Month.

Fact: girls can do things too!

Fact: girls can't do rock and roll, or so one might conclude from the paucity of females inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (motto: "We've got Randy Newman!"). Real fact: girls can do rock and roll (some of them).

Since I am enjoying getting on my high horse (or getting high on horse), I'm going to double dip with a series of girl-on-girl posts. It's a combination of a female musical act (or a band with a female member [possibly more]) that merits* induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and a female who did something like bake a cake or killed a guy (Laura Bush killed a guy).

Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart formed Eurythmics in 1981, following the dissolution of their prior band, The Tourists. In 1983 they released Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), and the title track became a massive worldwide hit (#1 in the US, #2 in the UK), on rock, pop and college radio, and through a burgeoning MTV.  The won the first MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist and lost the Grammy for Best New Artist to Culture Club.

They recorded 5 more studio albums (plus original music for Michael Radford's 1984) before taking a hiatus (they've released 1 post-hiatus album as Eurythmics and an album as an Annie Lennox solo album with Dave producing and playing on most of the tracks). In the US they've charted with 14 Hot 100 singles and 10 Billboard 200 albums. They won the Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 1986 for "Missionary Man" a year after losing that category for "Would I Lie to You?" and the R&B equivalent for their duet with Aretha Franklin, "Sisters Are Doing it For Themselves" (losing to Aretha and George Michael).

Edith Head won 8 Oscars out of her 35 nominations (she holds the record for nominations and wins among females). Two of her Oscars are for Audrey Hepburn classics, Roman Holiday and Sabrina, and in both cases Hepburn's outfits were design by European designers. Credit (and the Oscars) went to Head as the head of the studio's costume department (standard practice at that time).

She also designed the women's uniforms for the US Coast Guard. She was never even nominated for a Primetime Emmy.

* There is a wide spectrum of rock & roll gravitas for the artists included in the 31 I will include. I feel like a reasonable case can be made for each, and everyone one of these is at least as worthy as Randy Newman, 2103 inductee.

No comments: