For Your Eyes Only (song)

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This article is about the Sheena Easton song. For the Blondie song of this name, see The Hunter (Blondie album).
"For Your Eyes Only"
Single by Sheena Easton
from the album
For Your Eyes Only O.S.T.
B-side "For Your Eyes Only" (instrumental)
Released 1981
Format 7" single
Recorded 1981
Genre Pop
Length 3:04
2:54 (7")
Label Liberty Records
Writer(s) Bill Conti, Mick Leeson
Producer(s) Christopher Neil
Sheena Easton singles chronology
"When He Shines"
(1981)
"For Your Eyes Only"
(1981)
"Just Another Broken Heart"
(1981)
James Bond theme chronology
"Moonraker"
(1979)
"For Your Eyes Only"
(1981)
"All Time High"
(1983)
Sheena Easton in the For Your Eyes Only title sequence

"For Your Eyes Only" is the theme tune to the 12th James Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only, written by Bill Conti and Mick Leeson, and performed by Scottish singer Sheena Easton. The song reached number four on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number eight on the UK Singles Chart.[1][2] It was nominated for Best Song at the Academy Awards in 1982.

Background[edit]

The American new wave band Blondie wrote a song entitled "For Your Eyes Only" in the hopes of making it the upcoming James Bond film's opening-title theme, but the producers preferred another song with the same title, written by Bill Conti and Mike Leeson.

Conti – who was also responsible for the film's score – had originally written the song thinking about Donna Summer or Dusty Springfield, singers he thought "fit the Bond style". Studio United Artists suggested Sheena Easton, an up-and-coming singer who had recently scored a No.1 hit in America with "Morning Train". Conti heard Easton's debut album Take My Time and felt unimpressed, but decided to work with her in the song after meeting Easton in person. Leeson's lyrics originally only used "for your eyes only" as the final line, as the lyricist felt he could only use the phrase as a conclusion. After Conti met credit sequence artist Maurice Binder, who complained about having to synchronize the unveiling of the title with it being said in the theme song, he decided to meet with Leeson to make lyrics that opened with "for your eyes only".[3]

Easton is the only artist to be seen singing the theme song to a Bond movie during its opening titles, as Maurice Binder liked Easton's appearance and decided to add her to the credits.[4] Her seductive appearance in these clips was, according to Roger Moore, more sexy than any of the Bond girls, although Easton herself states that the filming process was very unglamorous.[5][6] In particular, Binder had to attach Easton to a chair so she would be immobile during a take where the camera zooms on the singer's lips.[4]

Easton is one of three Scots to have sung a Bond theme, the others being Lulu's singing The Man with the Golden Gun and Shirley Manson (as part of the band Garbage) for The World Is Not Enough.[citation needed]

This was one of the few Bond themes not to have a contribution by John Barry. The song was produced by Christopher Neil, who was Easton's regular producer at the time.

The song was released as a single in June 1981, at the same time as the film's launch. It became a worldwide hit, reaching the top ten in the UK and top five in the US. It remains one of Easton's biggest hits and is still included on numerous compilation soundtrack albums.[7]

The video "For Your Eyes Only" was directed by Steve Barron. The song music with different lyrics ("To Know No Boundaries") was used in a series of advertisements for Merrill Lynch during the mid-1980s.

Cover versions[edit]

  • Helena Vondráčková recorded the Czech rendering "Jsem Stále Stejná" for her 1983 album Zrychlený Dech.
  • Bradley Joseph, who toured with Easton for a number of years as her musical director, arranged an instrumental version for his 2006 album, Piano Love Songs.
  • Also in 2006 the song was covered by Thomas Anders for his swing album Songs Forever.
  • The song was covered by Austrian symphonic metal band Edenbridge. It was released as a single in 2006.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
position
Australian Kent Music Report 6
Austrian Top 40 3
Belgium VRT Top 30 6
Canadian RPM Top Singles 5
Dutch Top 40 1
French Singles Chart 4
German Top 100 5
Irish Singles Chart 11
Japan Oricon Singles Chart 22
New Zealand Singles Chart 4
Norwegian Singles Chart 1
Spanish Singles Chart 11
Swedish Singles Chart 3
Swiss Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 8
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 4

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2006). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. London: Guinness World Records Limited
  3. ^ Bill Conti. For Your Eyes Only audio commentary. For Your Eyes Only - Ultimate Edition, Disk 1: MGM Home Entertainment. 
  4. ^ a b Silhouettes - the James Bond Titles. You Only Live Twice Ultimate Edition, Disk 2: MGM Home Entertainment. 
  5. ^ Channel 4 - Top Ten Pop Princesses (documentary)
  6. ^ BBC documentary - Never Can Say Goodbye, November 2000
  7. ^ Allmusic

External links[edit]