Thursday, January 28, 2016

"Promise, Promises" by Naked Eyes

Song#:  1534
Date:  07/16/1983
Debut:  71
Peak:  11
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Synthpop

Pop Bits:  Naked Eyes' debut single, "Always Something There to Remind Me" (#8), was a hit remake of a Burt Bacharach/Hal David tune that in the US became associated with Dionne Warwick (her version reached #65 in 1968). So when this follow-up single came out, folks thought it must be another cover of a Warwick song (she had hit #19 Pop/#7 AC/#47 R&B in 1968 with "Promises, Promises," also written by Bacharach/David). However, that was not the case. This same-titled song was an original written by the duo who formed Naked Eyes, Pete Byrne and Rob Fisher. After the confusion ended, people latched on to the new song and it barely missed the Top 10, peaking at the dreaded #11 spot. It would also hit #19 at AC and #32 at Dance.

ReduxReview:  "Always Something" was a terrific remake and an 80s synthpop classic. However, this original sits right next to that song on the shelf. Everything about the song is near-perfect pop. I actually like this better than "Always." While the quirkiness of "Always" kind of relied on and needed the new Fairlight technology, this song is enhanced by it. The tune itself is great to begin with, but then the duo wrapped it up in a nice Fairlight groove that took it to a new level without sounding like they were relying on synth gimmicks. I think that is also why I have heard this song played many more times over the years than "Always." That #11 peak just kills me - this should have easily gone Top 10.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) At the time of the single's release, some remixes of this song were done. One was by Jellybean Benitez. His version includes vocals by an artist he was just beginning to introduce to the world (and who was also his girlfriend) - Madonna.  2) Although this song would cut its own path into the 80s music landscape, initially it was confused with Warwick's "Promises, Promises." That song was the title track to the 1968 Broadway musical of the same name. The show's premise was based on the 1960 film "The Apartment" with music supplied by Bacharach and David. The show would get several Tony nods including for Best Musical and would go on to win two for Lead Actor Jerry Orbach (of Dirty Dancing and Law & Order fame), and Featured Actress Marian Mercer. Although this song was popular at the time, it was only a minor hit for Warwick. She had better luck with another song from the show "I'll Never Fall In Love Again," which she took to #6 in 1969.



  1. I'd never heard of the Fairlight. I enjoy learning about early synthesizers.

    1. The Fairlight was da bomb. It was really state-of-the-art at the time. They were so expensive too. I had used several recording studios during this time period, but none had a Fairlight. I wanted to use one so bad! However, I did end up with a very nifty Roland keyboard that had a ton of sampled sounds. I had a lot of fun with it.