Kindly written for Ultimate Eurythmics by Chris Wik.
Should we walk into the wind, maybe fall when autumn falls, let’s walk into the wind
Dave Stewart and Terry Hall made one of the absolutely best and most interesting albums of the 90s. They called themselves Vegas and their self-titled debut album was released in the autumn of 1992. The album was promoted by three singles: Possessed, She and Walk Into The Wind.
In an interview aired on Super Channel in 1993 Stewart explained: ”Terry and I met about a year ago and we got together to basically write some songs together, just for fun. And those songs turned very quickly into the idea that it should be an album. And it had a particular sound about it”.
Terry Hall is of course famous for being the lead-singer of The Specials (who recently embarked on a sold out 30th anniversary tour in the UK) and also as a member of Fun Boy Three and The Colourfield. But Stewart also brought in his friends Manu Guiot (”engineer with a difference”) and Olle Romo (programming); two musicians not unfamiliar to many fans of Eurythmics. In the promotional material that preceded the album release Stewart was quoted as saying: ”Manu and Olle have worked with me on numerous things over the years and they represent much more than session musicians and engineers. They make Vegas into a natural band”.
Vegas created a totally unique sound and to this day the album sounds just as fresh and exciting as it did when it was released nearly 20 years ago (And let us hope for some kind of 20th Vegas anniversay in 2012. At least a deluxe edition of the album with all the excellent B-sides!).
In the highly recommended The Dave Stewart Songbook, volume one (Published by Surfdog, Inc) you can read Stewart’s own words about his meeting with Hall and his recollection of their fascinating time together. For instance Stewart writes about the music he was experimenting with when he met Hall in the early 90s or as he put it himself ”this weird fusion of reggae and electronics”.
In the interview on Super Channel in 1993 Stewart also talked about his experimental way of working in the studio:
”For me I don’t think there’s been any difference. I’m still sort of crawling around on my hands and knees trying, sort of, make a wah-wah pedal work through a funny box and trying to work out how the sounds yell together and how to get a correct photo taken, to represent…. You know, everything that you do when you’re in a band in the beginning we try to do”.
The third single released from the album was the exquisite composition Walk Into The Wind. Two videos were made to promote the single. The first one was filmed in a studio, the second, and much better one, was filmed in black and white on a beach location somewhere. Both videos also featured the great Siobhan Fahey (Stewart’s wife at the time) who had lent her voice to the song. Fahey and Hall had collaborated already in the early 80s when Bananarama guested Fun Boy Three and vice versa.
Before you taste another tear my love, I know a place where rainbows end. The kingdom of the final kiss is but a breath away, here comes those shooting stars again.
The gripping words letting a loved one know that ”the kingdom of the final kiss is but a breath away” are very moving and beautiful. But Walk Into The Wind is not just a love song in the conventional sense. It’s much more than that! The emotional lyrics paint the perfect picture of human love and what it takes to achieve it – caring and giving.
You have to learn to love by loving, turn around and say you care. You have to learn to give by giving. Give me a beatnick love affair.
Walk Into The Wind is a very soothing song and it has a nice dreamy, almost hypnotic, feel to it. The music – the haunting beat, the beautiful orchestration and Stewart’s sublime acoustic guitar solo – adds to the entire experience. And it’s definitely on my top 10 list over the best songs ever written.
Let’s finish it here, but if you happen to catch Paul Verhoeven’s cult classic Showgirls on TV on a late evening, don’t be surprised if you hear Walk Into The Wind sung by someone very different from Terry Hall. By the way, I think he calls himself Mr Andrew Carver!