EURYTHMICS AND ARETHA FRANKLIN
"Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves"
By Mark Nobes, chief editor
This uplifting 80s feminist anthem was initially going to be a duet with Tina Turner, but as she was too busy, Lennox and Stewart decided to approach Aretha Franklin, instead. The single entered the UK singles chart at No.38 on 27th October 1985, and it was the only new entry in the Top 40 that week. The single peaked at No.9 on 17th November, in the same weeks that Feargal Sharkey was at No.1 with "A Good Heart".
This is one of three different vinyl sleeves.
The song featured on Franklin's 1985 album Who's Zoomin' Who?, and also Eurythmics' fourth studio album Be Yourself Tonight - it was released as the third single, and followed the No.1 hit "There Must Be an Angel an (Playing With My Heart)".
Penned by Eurythmics and produced by David A. Stewart, the track featured three members of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers; keyboardist Benmont Tench (on organ), drummer Stan Lynch and lead guitarist Mike Campbell. The American session musician Nathan East played on bass guitar, and the gospel choir was The Charles Williams Singers. The song was engineered by Adam Williams and Jay Willis.
The B-side on both the 7" and 12" single featured the LP version of "I Love You Like A Ball and Chain", which also features The Charles Williams Singers. The 12" also included the ET Mix of "Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves" as the first B-side track. The LP version was on the A-side.
The single also reached No.5 in Ireland, No.6 in New Zealand, No.15 in Australia, No.17 in The Netherlands, No.18 in the U.S., No.20 in Switzerland, No.22 in Germany, No.28 in Belgium and No.33 in Canada.
The video starts with footage from old black and white movies which depict a dominant male - one clip shows cavemen dragging their women around. For the rest of the video, we see Annie and Aretha performing on a stage in front of the gospel choir, who are singing joyously while waving their arms in the air and clapping in time to the music. There is also further archival footage of women being depicted in a more positive light, being strong and independent. Some of this is shown on a fake screen behind them. David Stewart briefly appears playing the guitar wildly in a separate room - he can be seen wearing two different outfits.