Craig Allen says: ‘Meet Naked Eyes’
Naked Eyes is a synthesizer-centered pop band formed by two friends from Bath England, Pete Byrne on vocals, and Rob Fisher on keyboards. This, initially, short-lived band would create two of Jersey's Favorite Hits!
Naked Eyes wasn't the first band that these two friends had put together. Pete's bio on Naked Eyes' official site states: “It was around 1980 that Rob and I formed a band called Neon, that would later include Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal,” says Byrne. “We recorded a few songs, but the band fizzled, and Roland and Curt went on to form Tears For Fears, while Rob and I created Naked Eyes.”
Pretty cool right?
Upon forming, Naked Eyes was quickly signed by EMI, and began recording in the legendary Abbey Road Studios!
For those of you who are musicians, it might be interesting to not that Naked Eyes was one of the first bands to make extensive use of the "Fairlight CMI" sampling synthesizer.
Naked Eyes' debut album was "Burning Bridges." But what would the all-important first single be?
Byrne states: "I’ve always loved the songs from the great girl singers of the sixties, and one day in the studio we decided to do a cover of one of them; it could easily have been a Dusty Springfield song..." but, Naked Eyes settled on covering Burt Bacharach/Hal David's "(There's) Always Something There To Remind Me."
The song immediately shot into the Top-10 in the U.S., landing at #8 (1982).
The followup single was written by Byrne and Fisher.
"Promises, Promises" was a #11 song!
Also one of Jersey's Favorite Hits, its often forgotten that the 12" mix of the song includes vocals from Madonna!
A third single from "Burning Bridges" in the less-remembered "When The Lights Go Out."
It landed at #37 in 1983.
Naked Eyes' second album "Fuel For The Fire" featured the single:
"(What) In the Name of Love" (#39/1984).
Soon, the duo was asked to begin work on another record, but, rather than continuing what was feeling (to them) like a never-ending cycle, Byrne and Fisher decided to walk away, and leave Naked Eyes as a project to be continued at some point in the future!
Peter Byrne moved to California and got involved in session work. He performed on Stevie Wonder's "Part-Time Lover", sang backgrounds with Rita Coolidge and others, and wrote and produced for the Olsen twins(!).
Rob Fisher also explored other projects, doing sessions in London, and forming the band Climie Fisher with Simon Climie.
"Love Changes Everything" went to #23 in 1988 in the U.S.
I have long believed that this single should have been more of a hit than it was...especially since Simon Climie's vocals sound so much like Rod Stewart...
Sadly, Rob Fisher died on August 25, 1999, at age 39, following surgery.
Pete Byrne released a solo album "The Real Illusion" in 2001, which featured some of the last tracks that he wrote with Fisher for a proposed third Naked Eyes album.
In 2005, Byrne put a band together to play some Naked Eyes shows, and has been touring since.
In 2007, Naked Eyes released "Fumbling With The Covers," an acoustic album filled with cover versions of songs made famous by Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and Elvis Costello.
Byrne adds: “In my first two videos I wore pajamas, so this title should come as no surprise." As to the song list: “I wanted to record songs from some of my favorite artists, but lesser known songs, not the big hits everyone knows.”
Yes, Naked Eyes hits are also featured.
I mentioned touring: In the summer of 2008, Naked Eyes completed a U.S. concert tour with fellow 80's icons Belinda Carlisle, ABC and the Human League!
What is Naked Eyes up to now? Click HERE for their official site!
Among the highlights:
A special edition of the band's first album, "Burning Bridges" was released on November 26th, 2012.
Their "Fuel For The Fire" (NEW) album debuted in 2013.
In February (2016), Naked Eyes will set sail...as part of an "80's Cruise" along with Huey Lewis, Jersey's own "Kool & The Gang," A Flock Of Seagulls, Wang Chung, Tiffany (yes, that Tiffany), and several of the original MTV "V-Js!"
All I can say is...Get out the HAIRSPRAY!
And CRANK UP "Naked Eyes" on New Jersey 101.5, and here at nj1015.com!