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The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

Song Review: The History Behind Billy Idol’s ‘Eyes Without a Face’

Billy+Idol+performs+in+2021.+Photo+Courtesy+of+Wikimedia+Commons
Billy Idol performs in 2021. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In June 1984, Billy Idol released “Eyes Without a Face” as his second song on the album Rebel Yell.  The song has a big contrast to the other tracks due to its softer and slower feel.

Idol, a British American songwriter, came onto the scene in the 1970s as the lead singer of the group Generation X. 

He moved to New York in 1981 to become a solo singer. His second album Rebel Yell put him in the spotlight because of his hit song “Eyes Without a Face.” 

The song features a guest singer Perri Lister, who sings a background chorus. In the distance, you can hear Lister sing “Les Yeux Sans Visage,” or eyes without a face, which is a clear reference to the French horror movie. 

The silky guitar backdrop on the song makes the song feel more sensitive and gloomier.

Billy Idol on YouTube

Idol has always taken an interest in old horror movies such as Les Yeux San Visage. The movie concerns a plastic surgeon who has pledged to fix his daughter’s face after a horrible car accident. 

The surgeon goes on a pursuit to find facial parts for his daughter. She wears a mask that covers everything except her eyes, hence the lyrics “eyes without a face”.

Idol also mentions his experience living in New York. He wrote lyrics about how his relationship went wrong and how he slowly lost his soul for writing music. 

The song is timeless and will always be a well-known classic from the ’80s.

Idol saw some likeness between his time living in New York and the movie. Despite the fact this old classic was released in 1984, it still has some common reoccurrences online. 

The song adds a good contrast to his album as a lot of his other songs are very fast-paced. The song is timeless and will always be a well-known classic from the ’80s.

Although Billy Idol is an old artist, I would seriously recommend checking out some of his songs.

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About the Contributor
Cooper Horn, Journalist
Cooper Horn is a 9th grade student in his first semester working for The Gator. He enjoys writing about music and current events. Outside of the newsroom, he is passionate about playing piano and listening to music. He also enjoys rowing and swimming.

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