Billy Idol Talks ‘Eyes Without A Face’ In Vevo Footnotes

In the latest video in the Vevo Footnotes series, Billy Idol looks back on his 1984 hit “Eyes Without A Face,” sharing a behind-the-scenes look at both the songwriting and video production process.

Click to load video

“I think I was deliberately trying to write not a love song,” he begins, “because the 80s was full of love songs — all drippy, soppy, love songs. So I thought maybe I just write an anti-love song. It’s almost a murder song…like a serial killer.”

Once he had the idea, the next hurdle for Billy and his band was getting the sound right. “One of the things we were having trouble with was the bassline… I like reggae, so I wanted it to be a really prominent bassline, and we were having a hell of a time finding someone who could play my idea until we met Sal Cuevas, who was playing in the Dreamgirls Broadway band, and he nailed it.”

After the song is complete, it’s time to make a music video. “I liked a lot of silent movies… there was an old book I had that had a lot of old stills [from] Boris Karloff movies, The Black Cat, where he’s in front of an altar with a load of crosses behind him. A lot of these things were influencing me with the ‘White Wedding’ video, with ‘Eyes Without A Face.’ So that’s what I was bringing into my videos, this kind of old influence of movies a hundred years before.”

The night before the video shoot, Billy remembers messing around with hair dye, “Perri bleached my hair. We fell asleep. When we woke up, it was like, ‘Oh, my hair’s really fried…’ That’s the kind of fun we had in the 1980s.”

Reflecting on the video, he shares, “we were really trying to do a lot with nothing, and I think that they still hold up. They look pretty good. In fact, Miley Cyrus says they’re the sexiest videos she liked to watch. So thank you, Miley.”

Order the expanded version of Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell now.

Related Posts