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Peter Gabriel - In Your Eyes (1986)

  • Video Views 10,896,459
  • 80's Score 80's score: 1.26
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

“In Your Eyes” is a song by English rock musician Peter Gabriel from his fifth solo album So (1986). It features ...

“In Your Eyes” is a song by English rock musician Peter Gabriel from his fifth solo album So (1986). It features Youssou N’Dour singing a part at the end of the song translated into his native Wolof. Gabriel’s lyrics were inspired by an African tradition of ambiguity in song between romantic love and love of God.

“In Your Eyes” was not released as a single in the UK but was pulled as the third single from So in the US, achieving strong radio airplay and regular MTV rotation. It reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks on 13 September 1986, and peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November. Gabriel released two extended versions of the song as a 12″ vinyl single in the US. The first (the Single Mix) ran 6:15. The second (the Special Mix) ran 7:14. In Australia, “In Your Eyes” peaked at No. 97 in November 1986.

The track was featured in the teen drama film Say Anything… (1989) starring John Cusack and Ione Skye. The song was the finale of the Secret World Tour and the final track on the 1994 Secret World Live album, where it is over 11 minutes long and includes the extra lyrics from the Special Mix, in addition to solos by the other singers and players. It was included on the US version of his 2003 compilation Hit, but not the European or Japanese versions.

In 2005, the song brought Gabriel his first Gold single, certified in the US by the RIAA.

Background

Inspired by a trip to a cathedral in Barcelona, Spain, Gabriel wrote lyrics for another So era song, “Sagrada”. This song was scrapped early on, although some elements, including the vocal melody and chord changes, were transferred over to “In Your Eyes”.

The song begins with a sustained keyboard chord from Gabriel. After the chord, Manu Katché enters with some worldbeat percussion rhythms played on instruments such as the African talking drum.

When determining the album’s track order, Gabriel wanted to have “In Your Eyes” as the final track, but its prominent bassline meant it had to be placed earlier on the vinyl edition for the phonograph stylus to vibrate. This restriction was no longer an issue for later CD releases, and the track was placed at the end of the album.

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