Wednesday, December 28, 2016

"Eyes Without a Face" by Billy Idol

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1893
Date:  05/05/1984
Debut:  63
Peak:  4
Weeks:  22
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  The title track to Idol's second full-length album, Rebel Yell, did fine at Rock where it got to #9, but it stalled at #62 on the Pop chart. Although it was an MTV favorite, Pop radio just didn't warm up to Idol's brand of rock. At least until this second single was released. The uncharacteristic ballad got him some crossover action and it finally gave Idol his first Pop Top 10. Rock responded well and placed the song at #5. The hit would help propel the album to #6 and over time it would be Idol's best-selling LP going double-platinum.

ReduxReview: Although I wasn't really into Idol, this song was something totally different from his punk-ass, sneering brand of rock and personality. I thought it was terrific and it was the first Billy Idol record I purchased. It was just so surprising coming from him. I remember checking the songwriting credits because I was sure that he couldn't have written it. Alas, he did and it gave me a newfound respect for his music. I still wasn't a big fan, but I did come to like his hits and it was all basically due to this excellent ballad.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Idol wrote this song with his guitarist Steve Stevens. Idol mentioned in a VH1 Storytellers episode that this song was inspired by the 1960 French horror film Les yeux sans visage, which had the English title of Eyes Without a Face. The basic plot is about a scientist who is trying to replace his daughter's disfigured face with grafts (well, full faces) from other women that are kidnapped and brought to his house. The problem is that the new faces don't take, so he has to keep trying. (Weirdly, I just watched this film a few months ago without knowing the Idol song connection. It's a pretty good early horror flick.) If you notice the woman's voice in the background of the chorus (the vocals are by Perri Lister), she is repeating the French title of the film.


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