Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Eyes Have it - 10 songs about the eyes

He gazes into her eyes and she into his and they burst into rapturous song about each other. Or something like that anyway...

Here's 10 songs extolling the eyes, or otherwise.

1) "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes"
I first heard this original version on the soundtrack for Dennis Potter's TV drama "Pennies From Heaven" and although Big Band music isn't really my thing, I bought the soundtrack. There's something really fragile about this version.

2) "A Pair Of Brown Eyes" - The Pogues
When the Pogues first happened along, everyone thought they were just Plastic Paddies from the local pub, but in time Shane MacGowan showed what a fabulous songwriter he was. This song may have signalled the public recognition of that fact.

3) "Dry Your Eyes" - The Streets
Cheeky Brummie chappy Mick Skinner pulls off the not inconsiderable feat of writing a song about heartbreak and even tries singing it rather than his usual rap patter. Well the chorus at least.

4) "Gypsy Eyes" - Jimi Hendrix

How good is this? Nothing more to say really.

5) "Gary Gilmore's Eyes" - The Adverts
Probably the most disconcerting song in this list, a mental patient projects himself into looking through the eyes of death row inmate Gary Gilmore as he is strapped in for his execution. Wonderful stuff.

6) "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" - Crystal Gayle
As with Big Band music, I really don't go for Country & western, but this is saved by not having that Southern twang that to me always seems to undermine any sincerity or intensity. This was a song from my childhood that always seemed to be on the radio, but I never owned it.

7) "She's Got Dickie Davies' Eyes" - Half Man Half Biscuit
Oh those comedy punsters with their then pop cultural references. if you didn't know, Dickie Davis was a TV sports presenter, with a bouffant, two-toned hair style that seemed to put him a world apart from the oafs and lumps he was fronting live coverage of. This is spoofing the Kim Carnes song "She's Got Bette Davis' Eyes". Ah simpler times...

8) "H Eyes" - The Ruts
Malcolm Owen the lead singer died of a heroin overdose. His songs veered from an extolling of the drug, to a total antipathy as here. Sadly missed, though this isn't one of his best creations (for that I suggest you check out "Love In Vain")

9) "Junior's Eyes" - Black Sabbath
Yep, suitably over the top as per usual with the Sab, but just about manages to preserve its dignity without sniggering.

10) "In Your Eyes" - Peter Gabriel
I am so relieved that Gabriel still has a career and Phil Collins doesn't. What the latter did to Genesis was a travesty!

And what do eyes do, or sad eyes anyway? Why, they cry tears of course. Here's a mini chart of songs about crying.

11) "Boys Don't Cry" - The Cure
Proof that The Cure were a pop band before they became a pseudo Goth pop band if you see what I mean. And that they didn't take themselves too seriously as shown by the substitution of lookalike kids for the band members in this vid. Love it.

12) "Cry Me A River" - Julie London
Now this, rather than a C&W singer is more my idea of a chanteuse. Sorry Crystal

13) "So Many Tears" - Tupac Shakur
Not just a thug living a Thug's Life, but there is genuine sentiment in this song. Sounds like az man who knew it was only a question of time before he joined the list of fatalities.

14) "None A Jah's Children No Cry" - Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus
What a voice! Man I wish I'd been at that concert.

15) "96 Tears" - Question Marks & The Mysterians
Hey I'm a sucker for hammy hammond organ chops

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