Sunday, 20 July 2008

Kim Carnes - Bette Davis Eyes single review

Really funky electronic pop tune released by Kim Carnes in 1981. It was a cover of a 1974 song by Jackie DeShannon. Listen on

Now I'd had this tune for the past 7 years without properly listening to it. It was only after I'd bought and been listening to the 2004 Mylo album, Destroy Rock & Roll which contains a sample of the song in the tune In My Arms that i finally pricked my ears up when the original was randomly selected on my iPod.

The reworking Mylo gave this tune is actually reminiscent of the reworking he gave Miami Sound Machine's Dr. Beat in the single Doctor Pressure. If you listen to both the original and Mylo version side by side the original just sounds less polished or crisp (less produced even), and also it's slower - that's NOT a bad thing by the way.

To repeat an old cliche the originals often have more character - a bit like the fable that songs always have more character when played on vinyl (I'm not too convinced about that after growing up with CDs).

Anyway back to the Carnes song this floats beautifully into a chilled DJ set and although it's distinctly 80s sounding it certainly isn't cheesy.

The lyrics talk about a beautiful, feisty woman. Particularly eyebrow raising lyrics include, "She'll let you take her home, It whets her appetite, She'll lay you on her throne". ;)
The famous cigarette scene from Now, Voyager with Paul Henreid and Bette Davis
"Deshannon once said that she had been moved to write this evocative portrait of a teasing woman after seeing smitten actor Paul Henreid lighting cigarettes for Bette Davis near the end of the classic film Now, Voyager" (from Audio Insider).

Don't let the fact that this scene is probably one of the cheesiest and well known of 1940s romantic cinema take anything away from the lyrics which are certainly not as contrived as this scene is!

Another interesting fact i discovered about this song is that Kim Carnes actually developed a friendship with Bette Davis after releasing this song. I wonder if the same is true for Bananarama and Robert De Niro or is he still waiting? (sorry)
Robert Smith and Bette Davis
Hilariously, while researching for this post i also discovered the following post about the great Robert Smith also having Bette Davis Eyes.

Single released May 1981
UK chart position: 10
Original album: Mistaken Identity
More info: Wikipedia \ Discogs \ Lyrics

Where i have it:
Track 6, Disc 1, Greatest Hits of the 80s - Album review \ Buy on Amazon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I do belіeve this iѕ an excellent web ѕitе.

I stumbledupon it ;) I am going to return once agaіn sіnce i hаve book marκed it.
Moneу аnd fгeedom іѕ thе greatest ωay to chаnge,
mаy you be rіch and continue to
guide other people.

mу wеbpage ... lose weight