Songwriter, musician, producer, and Eurythmics co-founder Dave A. Stewart has lived the songwriter’s life. Starting out in the ’70s with his folk-rock band Longdancer, Stewart landed a record deal with Elton John’s the Rocker Record Company while he was still a teen. Throughout the 1970s, Stewart continued writing and collaborating with various artists in London before joining The Tourists with then-partner Annie Lennox, with the two branching off as the Eurythmics.
Formed in 1980, Stewart and Lennox released In The Garden in 1981 and from there sold more than 75 million records and hits like “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” Missionary Man,” “Here Comes the Rain Again,” and more, releasing nine albums together with their final Peace in 1999.
Working with Lennox on the Eurythmics, Stewart also began to collaborate and write for dozens of artists in the 1980s—co-writing Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ 1985 hit “Don’t Come Around Here No More.” Throughout his career, Stewart has co-written and produced songs and albums with Stevie Nicks, Jon Bon Jovi, Mick Jagger, Bryan Ferry, Sinéad O’Connor, Katy Perry, and more.
Stewart has also scored music for film and television, including the theme song to the 1986 comedy Ruthless People, the score for the 2004 film Alfie, which picked up two Golden Globe awards for Best Original Song and wrote the music for the musical adaptation of the 1990 Jerry Zucker film Ghost along with Glen Ballard.
Stewart also established Dave Stewart Entertainment, a cross-pollination of creative projects spanning music, TV and film theater, literature, and more.
Nearing his upcoming induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2022 as part of the Eurythmics, we took a look at 10 songs Stewart wrote with and for other artists.
“Don’t Come Around Here No More,” Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers (1985)
Written by Tom Petty and Dave Stewart
Inspired by a “romantic” encounter between Dave Stewart and Stevie Nicks, when Nicks uttered the exact words “Don’t Come Around Here No More” to Stewart, the song, ultimately written by Petty and Stewart, was the lead single on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 1985 album Southern Accents. The video, directed by Jeff Stein, was heavily themed around the 1865 Lewis Carroll classic “Alice in Wonderland.”
“Ruthless People,” Mick Jagger (1986)
Written by Dave Stewart, Mick Jagger, Daryl Hall
The 1985 comedy Ruthless People needed just the right song to capture the ruthless storyline based on Danny Devito’s tycoon character Sam Stone and his plot to murder his wife Barbara, played by Bette Midler, for her inheritance. Enter Dave Stewart and Mick Jagger. The duo wrote the title track to the film, which appeared on the soundtrack, also featuring Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, and more.
“This is the World Calling,” Bob Geldof (1986)
Written by Dave Stewart and Bob Geldof
“This is the World Calling,” co-written by Stewart and the then former Boomtown Rat Bob Geldof was one of two releases off Geldof’s 1986 debut solo album Deep in the Heart of Nowhere. Stewart also played guitar and keyboard on the album, along with a cast of musicians Geldof enlisted, including Eric Clapton, Alison Moyet, Midge Ure, Bono, Blondie’s Clem Burke, and more
“Stay,” Shakespears Sister (1992)
Written by Dave Stewart and Shakespears Sisters Siobhan Fahey and Marcella Detroit
Working with his then-wife Siobhan Fahey and her former Bananarama bandmate Marcella Detroit, Stewart—credited as “Jean Guiot”—penned “Stay,” a hit for the pop duo’s Shakespears Sister. Fahey and Detroit released four albums together as Shakespears Sister, including their final Songs from the Red Room in 1999.
“Midnight in Chelsea,” Jon Bon Jovi (1997)
Written by Dave Stewart and Jon Bon Jovi
Released off Jon Bon Jovi’s second solo album Destination Anywhere in 1997, also produced by Stewart, “Midnight in Chelsea,” centered around the London neighborhood with references to a big red bus and The Sun, though the video was shot in the Chelsea section of New York City.
“Jealous,” Sinéad O’Connor (2000)
Written by Dave Stewart and Sinéad O’Connor
“Jealous” was the second single off O’Connor’s fifth album Faith and Courage, her first album after signing with Atlantic. Also produced by Stewart, the album followed a very tumultuous time for the artist, personally and creatively.
“Underneath It All,” No Doubt (2001)
Written by Dave Stewart and Gwen Stefani
A hit for No Doubt, the punk-ska ballad “Underneath It All,” off the band’s fourth album Rock Steady, showed another vulnerable side of the band since their powerhouse Tragic Kingdom hit “Don’t Speak.” The single became one of No Doubt’s highest-charting songs, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 2 on the Adult Top 40, and No. 1 on the Mainstream Top 40 charts. Though recorded in Jamaica with producers Sly and Robbie, the song was written by Stefani and Stewart in London and is about her then-boyfriend and former husband Gavin Rossdale of Bush.
“Goddess of Love,” Bryan Ferry (2002)
Written by Dave Stewart and Bryan Ferry
Co-produced by Stewart, Bryan Ferry’s 11th solo album Frantic featured a handful of covers—Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”— and originals, including “Goddess of Love,” which Ferry co-wrote with Stewart. The duo also wrote the Frantic track “San Simeon” together.
“Ordinary Miracle,” Sarah McLachlan (2006)
Written by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard
Working with longtime collaborator Glen Ballard, who co-wrote and produced Alanis Morissette’s groundbreaking 1995 album Jagged Little Pill, Stewart wrote “Ordinary Miracle” for McLachlan to perform in the 2006 film Charlotte’s Web.
“Taking Chances,” Celine Dion (2007)
Written by Dave Stewart and Kara DioGuardi
The title track of Celine Dion’s 10th English-language album Taking Chances, the song was written by Kara DioGuardi and Stewart for their band named Platinum Weird. The pair ultimately shared the song with Dion, who released it as the first single off the album.
Photo: Milestone Publicity