Eyes Without a Face (song)
|"Eyes Without a Face"|
4 track EP cover
|Single by Billy Idol|
|from the album Rebel Yell|
|Format||Vinyl (7" and 12")|
|Recorded||Studio A, Electric Lady Studios, New York, 1983|
|Genre||New wave, synthpop|
|Writer(s)||Billy Idol, Steve Stevens|
|Billy Idol singles chronology|
"Eyes Without a Face" is a song by Billy Idol, co-written with guitarist Steve Stevens from Idol's 1983 album Rebel Yell. The song is softer and more ballad-like than most of the album's other singles.
In the liner notes for the Expanded Edition of Rebel Yell, Idol notes that this song was one of the first three written for the album (the other two being the title track and "(Do Not) Stand in the Shadows"). The original track was recorded in Studio A at Electric Lady Studios in New York, with a Linn drum machine and the bass parts played by Steve Webster.
The song is notable for the female voice of Perri Lister (who appeared in the banned video for "Hot in the City") that sings "Les yeux sans visage" (French for "Eyes without a face") as a background chorus.
In a retrospective review of the single, AllMusic journalist Donald A. Guarisco praised the song. He wrote: "The music plays against the dark tone of the lyrics with a ballad-styled melody comprised of yearning verses that slowly build emotion and a quietly wrenching chorus that relieves the emotional tension in a cathartic manner."
Formats and track listings
- UK 7" vinyl single
- "Eyes Without a Face"
- "The Dead Next Door"
- UK 12" vinyl single
- "Eyes Without a Face"
- "The Dead Next Door"
- "Dancing With Myself"
- "Rebel Yell"
The video was directed by David Mallet and begins with a close-up of Idol's sneering face, interspersed with three female singers. During the song's bridge, the scene changes to Steve Stevens soloing on guitar while Idol poses dancing in a flaming hexagon surrounded by hooded acolytes. The highly aggressive imagery of the video contrasts with the relative slowness and restraint of the song.
The video was released in June 1984 and subsequently nominated for MTV Video Music Awards for "Best Editing" and "Best Cinematography". It was shot over an exhausting three-day period on a set with fog machines, lighting, and fire sources. Immediately after the shoot, Idol flew to perform in Arizona, where he discovered that his contact lenses had fused to his eyeballs, attributing this to the harsh video shoot and dry plane air. He was taken to a hospital where the lenses were removed, his eyes bandaged for three days, and his scraped corneas grew back.
"Eyes Without a Face" was written by Billy Idol and Steve Stevens and produced by Keith Forsey. Credits on the song include:
- Billy Idol – vocals
- Steve Stevens – guitars
- Sal Cuevas – bass
- Thommy Price – drums
- Judi Dozier – keyboards
- Perri Lister – background vocals
- Dave Wittman – sound engineer
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
- Trent Reznor has covered this song with the band The Urge.
- Paul Anka covered the song on his 2005 album Rock Swings.
- Scooter covered this song on their album No Time to Chill.
- Ohio-based rapper Dylan Ross covered the song for his 2013 album The Castle of Depression.
- Greek synthpop duo Marsheaux covered the song for their 2012 album E-Bay Queen Is Dead.
- Little Wings
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