Tuesday, May 24, 2011


"Bette Davis Eyes", by Kim Carnes
"Bette Davis Eyes" is a song made popular by American singer-songwriter Kim Carnes and included in her 1981 album "Mistaken Identity".

The song was written in 1974 by Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon. DeShannon recorded the song that same year on her album New Arrangement. But it was not until 1981, when Kim Carnes recorded her version of the song, that it became a commercial success.

The Kim Carnes recording of the song spent nine non-consecutive weeks on top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 (interrupted for one week by the "Stars on 45 Medley") and was Billboard's number one single of 1981.  The song won the Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year. The song was also a number one hit in 31 countries, including Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Italy, Norway, Japan, and Brazil, but it achieved more moderate success in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at number ten. The music video was directed by Russell Mulcahy.

According to producer Val Garay, the original demo of the tune that was brought to him sounded like "a Leon Russell track, with this beer-barrel polka piano part." Keyboardist Bill Cuomo came up with the signature synth riff, using the then-new Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 synthesizer,which now defines Carnes' version. The song was recorded completely live in the studio on the first take.

Bette Davis admitted to being a fan of the song and approached Carnes and the songwriters to thank them for making her "a part of modern times." The song was ranked at number 12 on Billboard's list of the top 100 songs in the first 50 years of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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