"Eyes Without a Face" is a song by Billy Idol, co-written with guitarist Steve Stevens from Idol's 1983 album Rebel Yell. The song is softer and more ballad-like than most of the album's other singles.
Released on May 29, 1984, this was the second single from the Rebel Yell album. It was very successful and reached a high of #4 on the Billboard Charts, becoming Idol's first Top 10 hit in the U.S.
In the liner notes for the Expanded Edition of Rebel Yell, Billy Idol notes that this song was one of the first three written for the album (the other two being the title track and "(Do Not) Stand In The Shadows.") The original track was recorded in Studio A at Electric Lady Studios in New York, with a Linn drum machine and the bass parts played by Steve Webster.
The song is notable for the female voice of Perri Lister that sings 'Les yeux sans visage' (French for 'eyes without a face') as a background chorus.
The title of the song refers to French director Georges Franju's movie Les yeux sans visage (1960).
In a retrospective review of the single, Allmusic journalist Donald A. Guarisco praised the song. He wrote: "The music plays against the dark tone of the lyrics with a ballad-styled melody comprised of yearning verses that slowly build emotion and a quietly wrenching chorus that relieves the emotional tension in a cathartic manner."
The video was directed by David Mallet and begins with a close-up of Idol's sneering face, interspersed with three female singers. During the song's bridge, the scene changes to Steve Stevens soloing on guitar while Idol poses while dancing in a flaming hexagon surrounded by hooded acolytes. The highly aggressive imagery of the video contrasts with the relative slowness and restraint of the song.
Reportedly filmed in a marathon 30-hour session, the video was released in June 1984 and subsequently nominated for MTV Video Music Awards for "Best Editing" and "Best Cinematography". The video's extensive filming near fog machines, lighting, and fire sources nearly fused Idol's contact lenses. At the conclusion of filming, Idol attempted to leave, and promptly passed out on the studio lawn from exhaustion. Initially mistaken for a vagrant, a police officer who roused Idol was alarmed at his reddened eyes. The officer immediately brought Idol to a local hospital, where doctors were able to coax out the lenses, saving his vision.File Hashes
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