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A 70 minute version of this concert is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray as "Live In Super Overdrive", released in 2009.

Billy Idol - vocals
Steve Stevens - guitar
Brian Tichy - drums
Derek Sherinian - keys
Stephen McGrath - bass

Originally recorded in Chicago in 2006 for the Voom HD channel and later broadcast as part of the PBS Soundstage series.

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Eyes Without a Face on Wikipedia
"Eyes Without a Face"
Eyes Without a Face by Billy Idol single cover.jpg4 track EP cover
Single by Billy Idol
from the album Rebel Yell
B-side"Blue Highway"
FormatVinyl (7" and 12")
RecordedStudio A, Electric Lady Studios, New York, 1983
GenreNew wave,[1] synthpop[2]
4:08 (7")
LabelChrysalis Records
Writer(s)Billy Idol, Steve Stevens
Producer(s)Keith Forsey
Billy Idol singles chronology

"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.


  • 1 Song information
  • 2 Formats and track listings
  • 3 Music video
  • 4 Charts
    • 4.1 Weekly charts
    • 4.2 Year-end charts
  • 5 Production
  • 6 Cover versions
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

Song information

Released in 1984, this was the second single from the Rebel Yell album. It reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Idol's first Top 10 hit in the USA.[3]

In the liner notes for the Expanded Edition of Rebel Yell, 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.[4]

The song is notable for the female voice of Perri Lister (who appeared in the banned video for "Hot in the City") 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."[5]

Formats and track listings

  • UK 7" vinyl single
  1. "Eyes Without a Face"
  2. "The Dead Next Door"
  • UK 12" vinyl single
  1. "Eyes Without a Face"
  2. "The Dead Next Door"
  3. "Dancing With Myself"
  4. "Rebel Yell"

Music video

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 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.

The video was released in June 1984 and subsequently nominated for MTV Video Music Awards for "Best Editing" and "Best Cinematography". It was shot over an exhausting three-day period on a set with fog machines, lighting, and fire sources. Immediately after the shoot, Idol flew to perform in Arizona, where he discovered that his contact lenses had fused to his eyeballs, attributing this to the harsh video shoot and dry plane air. He was taken to a hospital where the lenses were removed, his eyes bandaged for three days, and his scraped corneas grew back.[6]


"Eyes Without a Face" was written by Billy Idol and Steve Stevens and produced by Keith Forsey. Credits on the song include:

  • Billy Idol – vocals
  • Steve Stevens – guitars
  • Sal Cuevas – bass
  • Thommy Price – drums
  • Judi Dozier – keyboards
  • Perri Lister – background vocals
  • Dave Wittman – sound engineer

Cover versions

  • Trent Reznor has covered this song with the band The Urge.[28]
  • Paul Anka covered the song on his 2005 album Rock Swings.[29]
  • Scooter covered this song on their 1998 album No Time to Chill.
  • Greek synthpop duo Marsheaux covered the song for their 2012 album E-Bay Queen Is Dead.
  • Little Wings released a version in 2015 as part of music blog Aquarium Drunkard's Lagniappe Sessions.


  1. ^ Schneider, Steven Jay (2007). 100 European Horror Films. British Film Institute. p. 83. ISBN 978-1-84457-164-2. 
  2. ^ Heller, Jason (19 August 2013). "New wave in the front, heavy metal in the back". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "Billy Idol – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  4. ^ Reesman, Bryan (1 June 2006). "Classic Tracks: Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell"". Mix. Retrieved 28 September 2006. 
  5. ^ Guarisco, Donald A. "Eyes Without a Face – Song Review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  6. ^ Tannenbaum, Rob; Marks, Craig (2011). I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution. Penguin Books. p. 16. ISBN 978-1-1015-2641-5. 
  7. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Chart Positions Pre 1989". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  8. ^ " – Billy Idol – Eyes Without A Face" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  9. ^ Chart Number 1438 – Saturday, July 21, 1984 at the Wayback Machine (archived 7 November 2006). CHUM.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6758." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  11. ^ European Top 50 Singles – compiled by Europarade – Week Ending 25.08.84 at the Wayback Machine (archived 16 August 2014). World Charts.
  12. ^ " – Billy Idol – Eyes Without A Face" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  13. ^ " – Billy Idol – Eyes Without A Face". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  14. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Eyes Without A Face". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  15. ^ a b "I singoli più venduti del 1984" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Billy Idol - Eyes Without A Face search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  17. ^ " – Billy Idol – Eyes Without A Face" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  18. ^ " – Billy Idol – Eyes Without A Face". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  19. ^ " – Billy Idol – Eyes Without A Face". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  20. ^ "Archive Chart: 1984-07-29" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  21. ^ "Billy Idol – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Billy Idol.
  22. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles – Week ending June 30, 1984 at the Wayback Machine (archived 30 September 2012). Cash Box magazine.
  23. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  24. ^ "Top 100 Singles of 1984". RPM. Vol. 41 no. 17. 5 January 1985. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  25. ^ (German) Jahrescharts – 1984 at the Wayback Machine (archived 9 May 2015). GfK Entertainment.
  26. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1984". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  27. ^ The Cash Box Year-End Charts: 1984 at the Wayback Machine (archived 30 September 2012). Cash Box magazine.
  28. ^ Dukes, Billy (16 August 2011). "Watch Trent Reznor Sing Billy Idol's 'Eyes Without a Face'". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  29. ^ Bush, John. "Paul Anka – Rock Swings". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 

External links

  • Eyes Without a Face at AllMusic
  • Songfacts
  • Video facts
  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics

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