Monday, September 22, 2014

Chrysalis Records: Eyes Without A Face

Day Two of our look at Chrysalis Records takes us back to 1984 with Billy Idol’s first Top 10 hit in the US. Co-written by Idol and guitarist Steve Stevens, “Eyes without a Face” pays homage to the 1960 French horror film “Les Yeux Sans Visage,” which was released in the US under the title of “The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus.” “Les Yeux Sans Visage” can be translated as “Eyes without a Face”

The film’s inspiration on the writing of “Eyes without a Face” is additionally noticeable with the backup vocals sung by Perri Lister. Throughout the song, Lister sings “Les yeux sans visage.” While sometimes considered a soft rock track, “Eyes without a Face” dispels this proposition with the searing guitar work from Steve Stevens.  While the guitar break is excellent, it is Judi Dozier’s keyboards and Idol’s voice that make this cut spectacular.

As the second of four singles issued from the “Rebel Yell” album, “Eyes without a Face” was the highest charting cut from the LP. It peaked on the Hot 100 at #4 and placed almost as high on the Rock chart where it placed at #5. As expected, “Eyes without a Face” failed to chart very high on the Dance chart and only made it to #63. It’s inclusion on this chart was probably due to Idol’s previous success on this specialty chart with “Dancing by Myself,” “Mony Mony,” and “White Wedding.”

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