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"Eyes Without a Face" is a song by English rock musician Billy Idol, from his second album Rebel Yell (1983). It was released in 1984 as the second single from the album. The song is softer and more ballad-like than most of the album's other singles. It reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Idol's first Top 10 hit in the USA.[4] The song is notable for the female voice of Perri Lister—she appeared in the banned video for "Hot in the City")—who sings "Les yeux sans visage" (French for "Eyes without a face") as a background chorus. The title of the song refers to the English title of French director Georges Franju's 1960 film Les yeux sans visage.

"Eyes Without a Face"
Eyes Without a Face by Billy Idol single cover.jpg
Cover of 12" vinyl single
Single by Billy Idol
from the album Rebel Yell
B-side"Blue Highway"
4:08 (7")
Producer(s)Keith Forsey
Billy Idol singles chronology
"Rebel Yell"
"Eyes Without a Face"
"Flesh for Fantasy"
Audio sample
Music video
"Eyes Without a Face" on YouTube

In a retrospective review of the single, AllMusic journalist Donald A. Guarisco praised the song and 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 listingsEdit

  • 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 videoEdit

The video was directed by David Mallet. Set in a hellish netherworld, the video begins with a verse-long shot of Idol's face, which appears to be disembodied, illuminated by flames and floating out of the dark towards the viewer. The second verse focuses on Idol having a violent fit while lying on his back and partially submerged in a shroud of white smoke. 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 video's highly aggressive imagery, illustrated with sets that are accented by flame, shadow, and smoke, contrasts strongly 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 it 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:


  1. ^ Reesman, Bryan (15 November 2017). "Classic Tracks: Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell"". Mix. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  2. ^ Schneider, Steven Jay (2007). 100 European Horror Films. British Film Institute. p. 83. ISBN 978-1-84457-164-2.
  3. ^ Heller, Jason (19 August 2013). "New wave in the front, heavy metal in the back". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Billy Idol – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  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. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6758." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  10. ^ "European Top 50 Singles – compiled by Europarade – Week Ending 25.08.84". World Charts. Archived from the original on 16 August 2014.
  11. ^ " – Billy Idol – Eyes Without A Face" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  12. ^ " – Billy Idol – Eyes Without A Face". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  13. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Eyes Without A Face". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  14. ^ a b "I singoli più venduti del 1984" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Billy Idol - Eyes Without A Face" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  16. ^ " – Billy Idol – Eyes Without A Face" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  17. ^ " – Billy Idol – Eyes Without A Face". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  18. ^ " – Billy Idol – Eyes Without A Face". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  19. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  20. ^ "Billy Idol Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  21. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles – Week ending June 30, 1984". Cash Box. Archived from the original on 30 September 2012.
  22. ^ "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.
  23. ^ "Top 100 Singles of 1984". RPM. Vol. 41 no. 17. 5 January 1985. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  24. ^ "Jahrescharts – 1984" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Archived from the original on 9 May 2015.
  25. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1984". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  26. ^ "The Cash Box Year-End Charts: 1984". Cash Box. Archived from the original on 30 September 2012.

External linksEdit