128: In Your Eyes
Hello and welcome to the next episode of how good it is the show that takes a closer look at songs from the Rock and roll era, and we check out some of the stories behind the songs and the artists who made them famous. My Name is Colin. I'm in the southern studio this week. But the northern studios in. Maryland. So it's pretty much all south isn't you remember to check out the website how good it is dot com and the twitter and instagram of course, the facebook page, which you can find over at facebook dot com slash. Could. Be. As five. And if you three or four, please consider supporting the show as patron for just five bucks a month, you get the weekly newsletter with the weeks music news a little bit of my opinions and the history calendar. In this week's issue, I give you a few hundred words of questionable brilliance about the new rolling stone list of the five hundred greatest albums of all. Click the link on the website or point your browser to patriotdepot dot com slash. How could it is? We. Did this brand of Trivia short back with Alton John So let's see how it suits ye for the rolling stones. So according to the sound of vinyl dot com, which rolling stone song has been covered more than any other, and once again, I will tell you that I guessed wrong on this although my guest does appear on the list signed vinyl list the ten most covered rolling stone songs which song has seen the most cover so far I will have that answer and the rest of the top ten at the end of the show. I know I know said that I was done with songs that had non-english lyrics in them, and I am it's just a coincidence that today song also just happens to have some non English in it. I should also note that this episode is based on a listener request, amy and Dana, from run eat drink podcasts they are two of the nicest people I've ever met they put it in this request a couple of weeks ago. How could I say? No So. And when I say so I'm really telling you the name of the abbots that Peter Gabriel was working on when he recorded in your eyes. So was Gabriel's fifth solo album and the one that pretty much turned him into a mainstream artists from his prior. Cult, Star status and it's also the first album that Gabriel release that wasn't titled Peter Gabriel Calling It. So was Gabriel's response to the label pressuring him to more properly market his music. He figured that by giving you a very short almost anti title. He could say he complied with the labels request without really giving them what they wanted. Let me talk about the album a little bit. Gabriel recorded most of it in a two room studio on his property. One Room was used for vocals and the other for assembling the music. The studio consisted of two analog, twenty, four track tape recorders, plus a modified studer, a eighty recorder that have been customized by technologically inclined friend of his. He also had a fairlight synthesizer which is not remarkably automatic and needs a lot of human input putting the music together turned out to be pretty easy task for Gabriel musicians he had brought in however. Putting the lyrics together was a little bit of a big problem oftentimes, engineer and mixer. Kevin killen would isolate certain vocal performances as the master track knowing that he would have to keep other tracks available so that he could edit new lyrics in it got so bad at one point producer Daniel Annoy destroyed Gabriel's phone and he knelt the studio shut to lock him inside until he could finish his writing but ultimately, he came up with nine tracks that combine artsy pop with a world beat music sensibility. The last thing that Gabriel struggled with was the sequence of songs on the album. He made cassettes of the songs in different orders to see which combinations work the best, and this is the interesting part. Peter Gabriel. Wanted in your eyes to be the closing track on the album, but there was a technical issue that made it difficult. You see on a vinyl l. pay the sound is transmitted through the needle. To the speakers by the grooves in the record creating a vibration well, in your eyes has pretty prominent baseline, which means the group needs some room to vibrate correctly, and that's not something you get when the needle is closer to the center of the album. So on the original vinyl release of the album's the song open side to. I I track. But if you purchase the CD when that became available short time later, well, you didn't have to worry about the mechanical aspects of the recording. So song returned to the closing track position. The L.. P.. Also only has eight tracks but the CD and the cassette have a bonus nine track cold. This is the picture which nowadays appears as track eight, and unfortunately if you think you have something valuable. None of this means the original album is worth much more than yard sale prices. Now something that makes the song in your eyes. Special is the backing vocal near the end of the song which is provided by USA our and is a singer and songwriter from fenny. And while he's still active in that regard also taken on political causes in that country even running for president in two thousand twelve, he didn't win but he was appointed Minister of Culture and tourism by the eventual winner. At any rate after the last chorus, we hear Dour chanting in a language called. Wolof. Which is the native language of Senegal and according to a couple of Internet sleuths. It's a rough translation of in your eyes the light the heat I am complete. What linear is is a very personal song for Gabriel. He's still willing to experiment with a little bit, his concert performances and the big question becomes who is the song about? Now, Gabriel's is explained numerous times that he was inspired by a visit. He had made to Barcelona when he visited a kit fedral there at that time, he wrote up some lyrics for another song called Sagrada which is Spanish for sacred but eventually, he scrapped that song and he used some elements of it in in your is. Given. The Gabriel was pretty immersed in the world beat sound on the African rhythms at that time. It makes sense that his songs follow the African tradition of maintaining an ambiguous relationship in songs where they can easily be about both a relationship with another person or a relationship with God however that doesn't really answer the question. The most common theory is that the Song is about Rosanna arquette with whom he was involved for a while and both Roseanna and her brother David had said this book Gabriel himself has never said. So but there is a website that has a discussion post from someone identifying himself only as Daniel. For Montreal who wrote and I quote. I'm so sick of this. I Will Finally Speak Out Regarding Rosanna arquette being the inspiration for is it was another young woman also an actress who was the inspiration for the song. I don't know if it's arquette's camp who is generating the rumor or the public. Her identity is not revealed because at the time Gabriel was still a. Married our cat and Gabriel didn't even meet until after the album came out I should know I co produced the album unquote kiss be Daniel, the noise saying this. I guess it's possible. I mean anything is possible. Right but before I drop it entirely, there's one more detail related to the song that I'm GonNa bring up in a couple of minutes. The single was the third one released from the so and it came out on September second nine, thousand, nine, hundred, eighty, six, it topped out at number twenty, six on the billboard hot one hundred by the end of October. But got all the way to number one on the billboard hot mainstream rock tracks chart, and it remains a staple of classic rock playlists across the USA despite the relatively slow tempo. The single didn't see a lot of chart action elsewhere in the world peaking at number fifty in New Zealand, and barely cracking the top one hundred in Australia. Something that's interesting about this song is that there are several versions out there the album version clocks in at about five and a half minutes, and that version is available on a seven inch records. Then there is a promo special mix which runs four minutes and fifty eight seconds. then. There's the twelve inch single mix which runs six minutes and fifteen seconds and yet another twelve inch special mixed, which goes for seven minutes and fourteen seconds. These longer versions are largely extensions of the ending with and dowers chanting in between Gabriel singing euros repeatedly, and that's also what tends to happen when Gabriel plays the song in concert. As I mentioned earlier, he experiments a little bit usually by improvising a longer ending with the backup singers, which when he was touring to support the album would include you. So our and there's also a version which has some of the words cut out of it. Specifically, the part about the churches, the leaving the line about the resolution of all the fruitless searches. Just kind of hanging out there without a rhyme. Now. I hadn't heard this version until I moved to Baltimore but it appears that clear channel radio which owned about eight hundred stations and is now part of Iheartmedia made the cut and nobody really seems to know why. Oh let me talk about the video for the song a little bit at this point Gabriel was also getting very well known because of the video for sledgehammer which a combination of strata cut animation and a filming technique called Pick Salaciously, which looks a little bit like bad stop motion animation big time the third single from the album had A. Similar. Style visually. But this video which fell in between was a little bit more straightforward in its style which shots of Gabriel. Singing the song sometimes in extreme close up and interspersed with some abstract images. But it also had some intercut with scenes from what appeared to be an old movie and if that's what you thought it was you'd be almost correct. The footage comes from sixteen millimeter industrial short film essentially a ten minute commercial. For General, motors, the film is called design for dreaming and it features a young woman played by dancer and Choreographer Tad Tad lock who dreams about a masked man taking her to the nineteen fifty-six General. Motors event called Motor, Rama. She is then taken to the kitchen of the future where she bakes a cake. Then she returns to the Motorola and she dances a dance of tomorrow and then finally she and the masked man who has now unmasked himself get into a firebird to to fall in love and travel along the road of tomorrow all of the dialogue song and it's the Voice of Marjorie Gordon. We hear rather than TAD padlock how about that And that would have been pretty much it for the song except, of course, for a brief resurgence in popularity that it enjoyed just a couple of years later when it was used in the nineteen eighty nine film say anything as the song that's coming out of John Cusak boombox as he tries to woo I owned skied near the end of the film. Now in an interview with entertainment weekly magazine, the film's Director Cameron Crowe said that scene was originally written with billy idol's to be a lover. You might not remember that song so allow me to illustrate. Doc. Imagine that coming out of Cusak boom box but crow knew that that song wasn't going to get the job done. So he and producer James Brooks began looking around for something that would work the even tried having original songs written for the scene and that was a no go. But finally one day crow was playing tape in a his car of songs that were played on his wedding day and outcomes, your eyes. And that's when he knew. He had the right track he and James Brooks called up David. Geffen and the asked to use the Song Geffen said he would try but he couldn't guarantee anything because a peer Gabriel wasn't in habit of giving up anything for movies and be Geffen wasn't sure about Gabriel's relationship to the song. That is how personal it was. In the meantime they held a screening of a rough cut of the film and someone from Geffen records was in the audience and didn't like the movie. So crow thought they were completely sunk however as the story goes, it was ready Rosanna arquette who put in a good word for them. So Gabriel called the studio to ask for a copy of the movie so he could see it and make a decision, and here's where the story is get kind of confused when you read about them on the Internet. So I'm going to relay this way. Cameron. Crowe told entertainment weekly. A few days later, he was told to call Gabriel in Europe. Now, he had to get extra early to do it because you've got European time and California time, and there's something like seven or eight hours apart maybe more. And Gabriel told him appreciate you asking for the song? It's a very personal song to me and I just hope he don't mind that I have to turn you down. Pros disappointed and said he understood. But at the very last second, he decided to ask why why not? Gabriel told him. When he takes the overdose, it just doesn't feel like the right kind of use of the song. and. That's when crow realized. That Gabriel had seen the film wired the John Belushi Biopic, not the high school movie with the guy in the trench coat. So Call Aska please watch the high school movie with the Guy and the trenchcoat, and that's how he secured permission. Most. Internet, versions of the story have Gabriel giving permission but not really understanding why it had anything to do with the overdosing but according to Crow Gabriel withheld permission until he had actually seen the correct movie. In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine in Two Thousand Twelve Gabriel noted the cultural impact of the scene noting that it definitely gave the song a second life, and maybe even turn the scene into a Modern Day Romeo and Juliet Balcony seats, and finally in October of that same year two, thousand twelve Gabriel was doing a concert at the Hollywood bowl as he played the first few bars of the Song John Cusak came out on stage and had Gabriel a boombox. Then he took about and left, and as it happened Cameron Crowe was in the audience and tweeted that he wouldn't forget that ever. There are something like fifty cover versions of the song. But arguably, the most successful version is by Jeffrey Gaines from Nineteen Ninety, eight and other than having an acoustic sound. It's a very faithful cover and therefore not really worth playing here but go look for you might like it. And now it's time to answer today's Trivia question back on page two, I asked you what the most covered rolling stone song is according to the sound of Vinyl Dot Com. Well, here's their top ten. Number ten under my thumb has been covered twenty two times wild horses. That was my guess was covered twenty eight times. Honky tonk women also covered twenty eight times in the number seven position Ruby Tuesday was covered thirty times. Angie was covered thirty one times jumping Jack. FLASH IS IN THE NUMBER FIVE position. It's been covered thirty three times sympathy for the devil has been covered thirty four times. kimmy shelter has been covered thirty eight times, and at this point, we take a big jump. Satisfaction was covered ninety three times. Number one paint it black has cracked the century mark having been covered one hundred times. And, that's a full live on another edition of how good it is. 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