Turn on any local Á¢€Å“Hits of the Á¢€Ëœ80s, Á¢€Ëœ90s and Today!Á¢€ radio station, and within an hour, I guarantee you will hear either of Naked EyesÁ¢€â„¢ big hits, Á¢€Å“Promises, PromisesÁ¢€ or Á¢€Å“Always Something There to Remind MeÁ¢€. While Á¢€Å“AlwaysÁ¢€¦Á¢€ was a cover, there are two entire generations who are completely unfamiliar with the Dionne Warwick original version it completely eclipsed. It was that good. In fact, both singles became perfect pop classics that just about everyone knows by heart.
They were not, however, Naked EyesÁ¢€â„¢ only Top 40 hits.
Naked EyesÁ¢€â„¢ first album was successful enough to have three singles released off it, a fairly new practice back in 1983, when most albums were worked for two singles max, then off to the studio for a new one. Á¢€Å“AlwaysÁ¢€ went Top Ten and its follow-up, Á¢€Å“Promises,Á¢€ almost matched it, peaking at #11. When it was decided to keep milking the debut album, Á¢€Å“When the Lights Go OutÁ¢€ was the choice for single number three, a strange but tasteful decision.
Á¢€Å“When the Lights Go OutÁ¢€ was even darker than the first two singles, which, poppy synths aside, were pretty bleak lyrically. Poor Suzy lives alone at home, calling a former loverÁ¢€â„¢s name each night. My life story, pretty much! Á¢€Å“When the Lights Go OutÁ¢€ squeaked into the Top 40 for a few brief weeks, then was forgottenÁ¢€¦so forgotten, that when EMI put out the first Naked Eyes Greatest Hits compilation, it was left off, even though it was only one of the bands four genuine Top 40 hits! This bizarre omission was corrected on a later re-mastered and re-titled compilation, but strangely enough, that version is out of print, while the earlier, inferior greatest hits comp remains in print.
One short year later, Naked EyesÁ¢€â„¢ second album, Á¢€Å“Fuel for the FireÁ¢€ was released, and the first single was a blazing dancefloor number, Á¢€Å“(What) In the Name of Love,Á¢€ co-produced and remixed by none other than new wave /house pioneer Arthur Baker. You may remember Arthur Baker from his work with another tiny synthpop band called New Order.
I loved Á¢€Å“(What) In the Name of Love,Á¢€ including its cutesy video featuring the somewhat faceless Rob Fisher and Pete Byrne (Naked Eyes, of course), acting as bellboys at an upscale resort and stealing old guysÁ¢€â„¢ money and young dames. Actually, it may have been that very same facelessness that hurt Naked Eyes in the long run. If they had strange, angular haircuts and Á¢€Å“hipÁ¢€ clothes, they may have made more of a lasting impression.
As it stands, all they left behind were some great pop songs. Sadly, keyboardist Rob Fisher died in 1999, just as he and Byrne were prepping a Naked Eyes reunion album. EMI needs to get their shit together and put both of these albums back in print. One Way Records has a nice 12Á¢€ and b-sides rarities disc in print, but thatÁ¢€â„¢s not enough.
“When the Lights Go Out”
Download “(What) In the Name of Love”
Á¢€When the Lights Go OutÁ¢€ peaked at #37 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Á¢€Å“(What) In the Name of LoveÁ¢€ peaked at #39 on the Billboard Hot 100.