33 1/3 rpm recording, Private Stock Records, New York, 1976
VHB, “Beethoven’s Fifth (Street) Symphony”
33 1/3 rpm recording, Streetwave, London, 1984 Includes a long version (7:03), short version (4:39); hip hop version (3:28); and a hip hop a cappella version (2:54).
Eurythmics, “Beethoven (I Love to Listen to)”
33 1/3 rpm recording, RCA (UK), 1987
Eurythmics is a British pop-rock duo formed in 1980 that is currently disbanded but reunites from time to time. Members Annie Lennox and David Stewart achieved international success with their second album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), topping the chart in the United States. In 1987 the duo released the album Savage, which contained the song “Beethoven (I Love to Listen To),” which became a top hit in the U.K. A video album was also made, featuring Lennox as a housewife-turned-vamp. Perhaps because the songs are darker and more obsessive than the duo’s previous work, Savage was mostly ignored in the U.S., though the Beethoven song was among the most popular tracks.
Magazine advertisement for Eurythmics, “Beethoven (I Love to Listen To)”
Magazine advertisement for Eurythmics’ “Beethoven (I Love to Listen To)” Words and music by David A. Stewart and Annie Lennox
Club Risque, a short-lived duo consisting of the American rap artist Daryl White and the Dutch singer Elvira Valentine (aka “Goddess”), released “Beethoven was Black” on the “Love This Records” label in England in 1996. An electronic/hip hop song that that begins by alternating the opening of the Fifth Symphony with a chorus singing “Beethoven was black,” the singer asserts that, if Beethoven were alive today, he would have “dreads,” write funky track after track, and “his name would be at the top of every chart.” The piece, described by one critic as a “great piece of tongue in cheek pop, a mix of rap swingbeat, and Beethoven,” plays with the argument made in 1942 by Joel Waters that Beethoven had African blood.