Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Last week I watched the horror-comedy “The Final Girls” (a wonderful homage to ’80s slasher films with tremendous heart) and it featured the song “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes. So today I’m tuning it back to 1981 with this fantastic song. Sit back and enjoy…
ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: March 10, 1981
TRIVIA: The song was written in 1974 by Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon. DeShannon recorded the song that same year on her album New Arrangement. In this original incarnation, the track is performed in an “R&B lite” arrangement, featuring a prominent uptempo piano part, as well as flourishes of pedal steel guitar and horns. However, it was not until 1981, when Kim Carnes recorded her version of the song in a radically different synthesizer-based arrangement, that “Bette Davis Eyes” became a commercial success.
The Carnes version spent nine non-consecutive weeks on top of the US Billboard Hot 100 (interrupted for one week by the “Stars on 45 Medley”) and was Billboard‘s biggest hit of the year for 1981.
Bette Davis wrote letters to Carnes and the songwriters to thank them for making her “a part of modern times”, and said her grandson now looked up to her. After their Grammy wins, Davis sent them roses as well.
See you next Tuesday!!