Thursday, August 1, 2019

"In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel

Song#:  2847
Date:  08/30/1986
Debut:  86
Peak:  26
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Gabriel's fifth solo album, So, produced his first Top 10 hit with "Sledgehammer." It went to #1 at both Pop and Rock thanks in part to the song's innovative video, which won nine MTV Music Video Awards. To follow it up this next track was selected for release. The tune replicate the success of "Sledgehammer" at Rock and went to #1. On the Pop chart, it didn't do as well and the single stopped after getting inside the Top 30. It wasn't a great result, but in a couple of years the song would get a second lease on life. It would be featured in a now-iconic scene in the 1989 rom-com Say Anything... starring John Cusack. The song would actually be reissued and would chart again that year. The scene from the film has been imitated, parodied, and referenced many times over the years and it turned this mild charting single into one of Gabriel's most popular tracks. It remained so popular over the years that in 2005 the digital version of the song was awarded a gold record. It would be Gabriel's first and only single to reach that certification.

ReduxReview:  I thought that this was a good follow-up to "Sledgehammer" and was a terrific song. I think most folks liked the tune, but for Pop radio it wasn't a hooky jam like the previous hit and therefore just didn't catch on as well. The song finally got its due after being in a movie, yet it should have originally been a bigger hit. It's a beautiful song with wonderful world music touches like the voice of Youssou N'Dour (see below). People finally gravitated to the song over the years, but at the time they were just looking for another "Sledgehammer"-style hit, which they would get with Gabriel's next single.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  This song featured vocals by Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour. Born in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa, N'Dour began performing in his early teens and often sang with one of Senegal's most popular acts, Star Band. In the late 70s, he helped form a band that by the early 80s evolved into Le Super Etoile. N'Dour and Le Super Etoile began recording albums in 1982 and quickly became the most popular band in the country. They were also gaining admirers around the world and by '84 they were touring Europe and and the US. Gabriel, who was always expanding his musical horizons, became familiar with N'Dour's work and invited him to be a guest on this song. N'Dour obliged and he is featured singing in his native language, Wolof, in the last section of the song. This led to N'Dour working with other artists like Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Tracy Chapman, Sting, and many others. N'Dour would reach the US Pop singles chart with one of his songs only once. His 1994 duet with Neneh Cherry titled "7 Seconds" would scrape the chart at #98. His associated album, The Guide (Wommat), would reach #2 on the World Music chart. While "7 Seconds" wasn't a significant hit in the US, it was N'Dour's biggest charting single worldwide. The song would go Top 10 in many countries including the UK (#3), France (#1), and Italy (#1). N'Dour would be nominated for six Grammys and would win one. His 2004 LP Egypt would win for Best Contemporary World Music Album.


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