Ebony Eyes was a collaborative effort by Smokey Robinson and Rick James. It was first released on the album Cold Blooded, the title song quickly became Rick James' third number one R&B hit but Ebony Eyes also climbed the R&B/Hip Hop charts and peaked at number 26. Ebony Eyes remains one of James' most notable hits as it is one of the few to not use the style he labeled "punk-funk" but instead uses a more contemporary tempo and follows a more classic style of R&B. Robinson was credited for singing the introduction, bridge, and other more calm verses while James sang the chorus.
Ebony Eyes begins with a simple beat which leads into a more complex rhythm and the vocals of both Robinson and uncredited background vocalist who repeat falsetto vocals twice before Robinson begins the opening verse. The song chronicles the narrators affection for a certain woman. Lost for words and made weak by the mere presence of this lady, Robinson requires James' vocals to reveal how he really feels about this woman, who James thinks is unaware of his affection and apparent need for her.