|SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Les Yeux L'Avoir
||[Mar. 12th, 2017|10:00 am]
Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
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On the latest Second Sunday Slowly feature, we focus on a down tempo track with a bit of an uptempo under-rhythm, inspired by a French film, covered by a Greek duo whose name only sounds French:
Marsheaux - Eyes Without A Face (Billy Idol)
Punk-rocker turned pop-rock icon, Billy Idol released his second solo album, Rebel Yell, in November of 1983. Eyes Without A Face was released as its second single in May 1984. The track is said to be inspired by the 1960 French horror film adaptation of Jean Redon's 1959 novel, Les Yeux Sans Visage. The song title is a direct translation of the film's, which is also a lyric in the song sung by a female vocalist during the chorus. Some analyses claim a deep metaphoric connection between the song and film but on general examination the title would seem to be where the likeness ends; the film is a dry chiller about a scientist who harvests parts from female victims to repair the face of his disfigured daughter, and the lyrics of the song would appear to have more to do with coming to terms with lost love. The song's video might also make some brief reference to the film by way of the appearance of a woman with an obscured porcelain-like face painted in colorful patchwork patterns suggesting a face made-up of multiple parts. Despite the familiarity and catchy nature of his previous singles like White Wedding, Rebel Yell, and his cover of Mony Mony (originally by Tommy James and the Shondells,) Eyes was the first of Idol's hits to break into the top ten of Billboard's Hot 100 chart in the U.S. It has since been covered by Trent Reznor, (with The Urge in his time prior to Nine Inch Nails,) Scooter, the soft rock jazz crooner Paul Anka, and several others.
A synthpop duo formed in Athens, Marsheaux launched their career with a cover of Gershon Kingsley's Popcorn. Since then they have done several covers of note by a number of their synthpop and new wave inspirations: The Promise by When In Rome, Regret by New Order, Empire State Human by Human League, & the entirety of Depeche Mode's 1982 album, A Broken Frame, to name a few.
They included their cover of Eyes Without A Face on their 2012 compilation album E-Bay Queen Is Dead, a collection of unreleased material and b-sides spanning back to their debut, E-Bay Queen. Research indicates the possibility that the cover was previously released in 2011 on a rare edition E.P. of Can You Stop Me?, limited to 500 copies that may have only been available for purchase at their concerts during that year's tour.
Idol's original version of the song renders a velvety ballad with an abrasively energetic rock bridge while Marsheaux's cover has a slow central tempo, buoyed by an animated melody and the undercurrent of another less-pronounced but faster electronic rhythm. Their bridge also elevates the energy, but in place of Idol's aggressive vocal style, they recite those lyrics in a mildly dissonant, monotonic spoken-word manner. It's distinctive as a dance track with its dark imagery counterpointed on a vivid yet flowing beat and is nothing at which to sneer.
Third Sunday Throwback to the 20th century, but where this week electric ladies covered the male rocker, next time the lady rockers get covered by techno-industrial fellas.
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Explore the darkness,
Mar 05 - God Module - Round & Round (Ratt)
Feb 26 - Crystal Castles - Not In Love (Platinum Blonde)
Feb 19 - Revolting Cocks- Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? (Rod Stewart)
Feb 12 - Roniit - The Beautiful People (Marilyn Manson)
Feb 05 - Leæther Strip - Love Song (Simple Minds)
Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies