Kim Carnes – Bette Davis Eyes

First Hit #1: May 16, 1981

The woman at the center of Bette Davis Eyes – not Kim Carnes, but the woman she’s singing about – is kind of the opposite of Sheena Easton yesterday. She’s portrayed as a beguiling but threatening woman, someone with appeal but a dark streak. And that actually comes through because of Kim Carnes herself. She’s got a voice that hops between gravelly and pristine, depending on the line. She’s also putting in a distinct and very on trend synth line to underline the song, which gives it a dark undertone that can’t help but keep the song from underlining just how mysterious this woman is. Even the video works in this effort, taking a lot of influence from German Expressionism. Every aspect is designed to be just like the woman of the song, dark but fascinating, something you can’t help but keep close even if it’s slightly threatening.

This entry was posted in 1981, A good song and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Kim Carnes – Bette Davis Eyes

  1. RBerman says:

    A study in contrasts: (1) This Debbie Harry runway ice queen looks nothing like the cigarette-ravaged face from which that amazing rasp should be emerging. (2) An ultramodern New Wave song built around references to an Old Hollywood icon. (3) The actual guitar line is slinky and very sparse, mainly just a few arpeggios on the chorus and single repeated notes during instrumental sections, while on the chorus, the keyboard chords are swept so as to imitate a strummed guitar.

    Plus, another effective appearance of handclaps, albeit synthesized ones, and timed in the video to visuals of men getting slapped around by women!

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