Wednesday, November 18, 2020

"Hungry Eyes" by Eric Carmen

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3322
Date:  11/07/1987
Debut:  88
Peak:  4
Weeks:  25
Genre:  Pop, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  The last time Carmen had a sizable hit was back in 1984 when "I Wanna Hear It from Your Lips" made it to #35 Pop and #10 AC. However, the associated self-titled album didn't do well peaking at a minor #128. With that result, it seemed that Carmen wasn't really motivated or anxious to get back in the studio to record a follow up. His extended break might have lasted significantly longer had it not been for Jimmy Ienner, a producer who had worked with Carmen's old band The Raspberries. Ienner was working as the musical supervisor on an upcoming film titled Dirty Dancing. He had a song that was a fit for the movie, but it needed a singer. Ienner thought Carmen would be the right guy for the job and reached out to him. After some convincing, Carmen agreed to sing the song and produce it as well. "Hungry Eyes" would make it on the soundtrack and then be issued out as the LP's second single.  It would do well at AC getting to #2 while becoming Carmen's second solo song to reach the Pop Top 10; twelve years after he got to #2 with "All By Myself." While the single took a little extra time climbing the chart reaching its peak in its fifteenth week, it stayed popular enough to remain on the chart for another 10 weeks. The week after this single debuted on the Pop chart, the soundtrack album would hit #1.

ReduxReview:  This was a well-written pop tune with a solid 80s production job by Carmen. It was hooky and it appealed to a wide age range of people. It checked all the boxes for something that I'd dig, but I didn't really like the track. The mid-tempo groove seemed sluggish to me and I wasn't a fan of the title. I found it a little goofy. Then the track got overplayed on the radio and that didn't help. I ignored the song back then, but these days I don't mind it so much. It's a good piece of 80s pop that finally got Carmen a second Top 10.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  This song was written by Franke Previte and John DeNicola. It was originally recorded by Previte's former band Franke & the Knockouts in 1984 during sessions for the band's third LP Makin' the Point. However, the song failed to make the final track listing for the LP and ended up on the shelf. A few years later, Previte was asked to write a song for the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. He and DeNicola (along with Donald Markowitz) came up with "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," which would go on to become a #1 Oscar-winning song. More songs were needed for the film, so Previte offered up the unused "Hungry Eyes" track. It seemed to fit the bill and Eric Carmen was tapped to do the recording. The original Franke & the Knockouts version of the song would be released as a bonus track on the 1998 UK reissue of the Makin' the Point album and then on the band's 1999 US compilation The Sweetheart Collection.



  1. 7/10 for me, I thought I was the only one who didn't think this song was all that great, I prefer his other Top 10 hit from 1988 "Make Me Lose Control" (which gets a 9/10) much better than this song.

    1. It was a better song and it might not have happened had it not been for this hit.

  2. The grammatical error "I feel the magic between you and I" is just SO egregious that you have to wonder whether Previte had any feedback whatsoever on the lyrics. The bad linguistic mistake in such a prominent position as the last line of the chorus just GRATES on me...and all for the sake of an approximate rhyme. Ruins the whole song for me. "Make Me Lose Control" is much better.

    1. Songwriting liberties. While not grammatically correct, I assume he chose to write it that way for the rhyming scheme ("eyes" to "disguise" to "I"). My pet peeve is when writers try to rhyme "again" with something like "plane." Technically, it is right because according to Merriam-Webster you can pronounce "again" with a long "a," but who actually does that? No one! Ah well, song lyrics are full of oddities.