Song of the Day #1,397: ‘In Your Eyes’ – Peter Gabriel

Best Albums of the 80s – #8
So – Peter Gabriel (1986)

In the late 80s, after I bought my first CD player, I immediately purchased three albums that I knew I had to own in this new digital format. Two of them are still to come on this list. The third was Peter Gabriel’s So.

That purchase was in part due to the album’s sonic qualities, which I knew would be well served on CD, but mostly because it was one of the best records I owned of any sort.

So was my first exposure to Peter Gabriel and, though I later came to know his earlier albums somewhat well, it remains his defining achievement. It is packed with beautiful, resonant music, from haunting tracks like ‘Mercy Street’ and ‘Milgram’s 37’ to more commercial fare like ‘Sledgehammer’ and ‘Red Rain.’

Gabriel’s marvelous voice is in top form, the world music-inspired instrumentation new and interesting, and the lyrics impactful. And these songs share a quality that you find on a lot of great records: every one of them feels like it belongs to this album and no other.

‘In Your Eyes’ is probably the best-known song from So (though ‘Sledgehammer’ might take that title). For many of us, it is forever associated with Lloyd Dobler’s boombox hoisted above his head in Say Anything…. Talk about a memorable movie music moment.

Either as part of that scene or on its own, I’m comfortable naming ‘In Your Eyes’ one of the greatest love songs ever written.

love I get so lost, sometimes
days pass and this emptiness fills my heart
when I want to run away
I drive off in my car
but whichever way I go
I come back to the place you are

all my instincts, they return
and the grand facade, so soon will burn
without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside

in your eyes
the light the heat
in your eyes
I am complete
in your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches
in your eyes
the resolution of all the fruitless searches
in your eyes
I see the light and the heat
in your eyes
oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light
the heat I see in your eyes

love, I don’t like to see so much pain
so much wasted and this moment keeps slipping away
I get so tired of working so hard for our survival
I look to the time with you to keep me awake and alive

and all my instincts, they return
and the grand facade, so soon will burn
without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside

in your eyes
the light the heat
in your eyes
I am complete
in your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches
in your eyes
the resolution of all the fruitless searches
in your eyes
I see the light and the heat
in your eyes
oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light,
the heat I see in your eyes
in your eyes in your eyes
in your eyes in your eyes
in your eyes in your eyes

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,397: ‘In Your Eyes’ – Peter Gabriel

  1. Dana says:

    A great album and appropriately placed high on your list. This was one of the first cd’s I bought as well. It is masterfully produced and the songs sound as wonderful and innovative today as they did 25 years ago.

  2. Amy says:

    Have you featured a week of movie music moments? Probably, but it’s time for another! 🙂

    This album is perfect, in any format. I remember listening to these songs and feeling as though the music was absolutely revolutionary. I realize now that I felt that way about a lot of the albums I was listening to in hte late 80’s as they were revolutionary to me. This music was my musical coming of age, and what better music to be able to call your own.

    This is certainly one of the very best albums of the 80’s, though I probably haven’t listened to it in its entirety in over a decade. Time to remedy that.

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