Eyes on Me (Faye Wong song)

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"Eyes on Me"
FayeWong-EyesOnMe.jpg
"Eyes on Me" CD single cover
Song by Faye Wong
ReleasedFebruary 24, 1999
Recorded1998[citation needed]
GenrePop
LabelToshiba-EMI
Composer(s)Nobuo Uematsu
Lyricist(s)Kako Someya

"Eyes on Me" is a pop ballad performed by Hong Kong singer Faye Wong as a love theme for the video game Final Fantasy VIII. The music was composed by Nobuo Uematsu with English lyrics by Kako Someya.[1]

Single[edit]

The song was released as a CD single in Japan on February 24, 1999. The B-side was a ballad, "Red Beans" (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: hóng dòu), composed by Jim Lau with Mandarin lyrics by Lin Xi. The Japanese title for it was "Akashia no Mi" (アカシアの実, "Acacia Seeds"). It had been included in Faye Wong's 1998 album Sing and Play, along with a Cantonese version "Repayment" (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; Jyutping: seung4 waan4), and was popular in its own right.

Upon the song's release in Japan, it placed number one on the Western music charts for 19 consecutive weeks, and generated lifetime sales of over 500,000 copies.[2][3] placing it as the best-selling video game music disc ever released in Japan until the release of "Hikari" by Utada Hikaru for Kingdom Hearts.[4] In 2000, it was the first song in video game history to win an award at the 14th Annual Japan Gold Disc Awards, where it won "Song of the Year (Western Music)".[5][6][7]

The song was popular among the video game community in the Western world, and brought Faye Wong to the attention of many who were not previously familiar with her music.[8] In 2017, Brian Ashcraft from Kotaku described "Eyes on Me" as one of the most iconic songs of the Final Fantasy franchise, as well as one of the most commercially successful singles associated with the video game industry.[2]

"Eyes on Me" was re-released a 18cm vinyl record on November 3, 2017.[2]

Track listing
No.TitleLength
1."Eyes on Me"5:36
2."Red Beans"4:15
3."Eyes on Me (Instrumental)"5:42

Theme song in the game[edit]

Near the end of the production of Final Fantasy VII, the developers suggested to use a singer, but abandoned the idea due to a lack of reasoning based on the game's theme and storyline.[9] However, Nobuo Uematsu thought a ballad would closely relate to the theme and characters of Final Fantasy VIII. This resulted in the game's developers sharing "countless" artists, eventually deciding on Faye Wong, a Chinese vocalist. Uematsu claims "her voice and mood seem to match my image of the song exactly", and that her ethnicity "fits the international image of Final Fantasy". After negotiations were made, "Eyes on Me" was recorded in Hong Kong with an orchestra.[10] IGN claimed that she was reportedly paid $1 million US dollars for her work.[11]

The lyrics, written in imperfect English,[12] unveil the hopes of a night club singer for romance with a member of her audience:

I kind of liked it your way
How you shyly placed your eyes on me;
Oh, did you ever know
That I had mine on you?

Within Final Fantasy VIII, the song is written by Julia Heartilly, a pianist who is a love interest of Laguna Loire.[13] It is heard repeatedly throughout the game in various incarnations as an instrumental piece, including a version entitled Julia. Its full version is heard during a pivotal moment between Squall Leonhart and Rinoa Heartilly—the main protagonists—on board the Ragnarok. It is played once more during the game's ending.

Other versions[edit]

A happy hardcore remix was recorded for the 2000 Dancemania compilation Speed 4.,[14] and on the first greatest hits compilation of the Dancemania Speed series.[15] There is another dance remix of the song made by Almighty, later included on the Japanese release of Wong's 2000 album Fable, Dancemania X5,[16] and Dancemania Diamond Complete Edition (Millennium Hits Collection)[17]

In 2004, a Japanese version sung by Manami Kiyota titled "Summer Album" (夏のアルバム, "Natsu no Arubamu") with lyrics by Kazushige Nojima was included on Final Fantasy Song Book: Mahoroba.[18]

The original song was also covered by Angela Aki for release on her 2006 single "Kokoro no Senshi", with minor grammatical changes.[19] In an Excite Japan interview, Aki reports composer Nobuo Uematsu as saying her version 'shed light on "Eyes on Me"'.[20]

Covers by Kanon[21] and Susan Calloway[22] were also made; these singers also collaborated with Nobuo Uematsu on The Last Story and Final Fantasy XIV respectively.

The singer MayBee covered a Korean language version of the song.[23]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1999) Peak
position
Oricon Singles Chart[24] 9

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Japan (RIAJ)[25] 3× Platinum 300,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Final Fantasy VIII - Eyes on Me". Square Enix. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  2. ^ a b c Ashcraft, Brian (August 25, 2017). "For The First Time, Final Fantasy 8's 'Eyes On Me' Will Be Sold On Vinyl". Kotaku Australia.
  3. ^ Greening, Chris. "Square Enix Album Sales". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  4. ^ Square Enix USA site staff. "Nobuo Uematsu's Profile". Square Enix USA. Archived from the original on 12 March 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2006.
  5. ^ "Walt Disney Concert Hall - Nobuo Uematsu". Walt Disney Concert Hall. Archived from the original on 2008-03-22. Retrieved 2007-03-15.
  6. ^ Japan Gold Disc Award 2000
  7. ^ ゴールドディスク大賞受賞者一覧 [List of Gold Disc Awards] (PDF) (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. p. 7. Retrieved 2012-02-15.
  8. ^ The changing musical tastes of China, BBC News, 23 August 2005. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
  9. ^ Mielke, James (2008-02-15). "A Day in the Life of Final Fantasy's Nobuo Uematsu". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 2013-02-07. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
  10. ^ Maeda, Yoshitake (1999). Final Fantasy VIII Original Soundtrack (Limited Edition). DigiCube.
  11. ^ IGN (January 7, 1999). "Pop Star Fantasy". Retrieved May 16, 2022.
  12. ^ "Final Fantasy VIII: Eyes on Me - Faye Wong". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2009-10-11. a prime example of Engrish
  13. ^ Raine: "Then the first song she released was 'Eyes On Me'?" / Laguna: "H-How does the song go?" / Raine: "You don't know?" / Laguna: "Well, you never let me hear it!" / Raine: "I didn't think you listened to music. The song's about being in love... I really like it." (Final Fantasy VIII)
  14. ^ Discogs, Dancemania Speed 4
  15. ^ Discogs, Dancemania Speed Best 2001 Hyper Nonstop Megamix
  16. ^ Discogs, Dancemania X5
  17. ^ Discogs, Dancemania Diamond Complete Edition (Millennium Hits Collection)
  18. ^ Mahoroba track list Archived 2009-08-26 at the Wayback Machine, Universal Music
  19. ^ "Angela Aki/Kokoro no Senshi". Neowing. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
  20. ^ "Interview" (in Japanese). Excite.co.jp. 2005-03-06. Archived from the original on 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
  21. ^ Eyes on Me by Kanon on YouTube
  22. ^ Eyes on Me by Susan Calloway on YouTube
  23. ^ Eyes on Me by MayBee on YouTube
  24. ^ "Eyes on Me | フェイ・ウォン".
  25. ^ "Japanese single certifications – Faye Wong – Eyes On Me" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 27 March 2021. Select 2000年1月 on the drop-down menu

External links[edit]