Naked Eyes

Posted September 24, 2008 in

No Gen Xer’s life is without some teenage or early college memory of new wave synthpoppers, Naked Eyes—another groundbreaking ’80s import from the UK that ignited for one, brief, shining moment. Taking synthesizers to even greater heights than their hotly-wired predecessors, Pete Byrne and Rob Fisher crafted tapestries of electronic sound that swam through the heads of swath-haired, makeup-caked teens, and in a monumental feat, turned them on to Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “Always Something There to Remind Me.” Yes, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, the legendary duo who wrote “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” (as well as “I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself,” brilliantly covered by the White Stripes in 2003). 


Following up 1983’s “Remind Me,” with one more hit, the self-penned “Promises, Promises,” Naked Eyes quickly disappeared from the sophisti-pop scene and disbanded. By the late ’90s, Fisher and Byrne were preparing to resurrect the band when Fisher tragically died from complications after a stomach operation. Eight years later, Byrne decided to record another Naked Eyes album, this time harkening back to his days with Fisher as school chums in England. Covering a variety of legendary tunes with nary a hint of synthesizer, Bryne’s 2007 release Fumbling for Covers takes on an interesting array of hits from Cat Stevens’ “Sad Lisa” to Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing”—and includes acoustic versions of the band’s heyday hits. It’s not what you’d expect from a “retro” band, and Byrne deserves big props for doing exactly as he damn well pleases—and doing it quite well. (Stacy Davies)


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