On this day in music history: May 16, 1981 - “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 9 weeks (non-consecutive). Written by Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon, it is the biggest hit for the L.A. born and raised singer and songwriter. Originally recorded by Jackie DeShannon (“What The World Needs Now Is Love”, “Put A Little Love In Your Heart”) in 1975, the song goes largely unnoticed by the public. George Tobin (Carnes’ producer at the time) plays Carnes the original version, and she doesn’t care for it in its original form. After they part ways, Co-writer Donna Weiss sends a copy of the song to Carnes’ new producer Val Garay, who dramatically reworks the songs arrangement with her keyboard player Bill Cuomo. Cuomo plays the songs signature keyboard riff on a Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 synthesizer. Issued in late February 1981 as the first single from “Mistaken Identity”, it is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #80 on March 28, 1981, it climbs to the top of the chart seven weeks later. The single spends five consecutive weeks at number one before being bumped from the top by the Stars On 45 “Medley” for one week. “Eyes” regains the top spot and spend another four weeks on top. The songs popularity is further boosted by a memorable music video directed by Russell Mulcahy (Duran Duran, “Highlander”). The single also wins two Grammy Awards, taking home the prizes for Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year in 1982. “Bette Davis Eyes” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.


Kim Carnes - Bette Davis Eyes ( 1981 )

why the speak now world tour is literally the best concert tour to ever exist:

  • i don’t think you should wait, i think you should speak now
  • the extra long intro of sparks fly that just builds up the tension and excitment for when taylor appears
  • the gold sparkly dress
  • the way sparks fly slows down and you can hear the piano play
  • the red electric guitar
  • when taylor takes a pause during mine to make her infamous hand hearts
  • the way taylor shouts “GO!” before the story us starts playing
  • the agency and every single way they are involved in this tour
  • the extended “now now noooooooooowwwww” in the story of us
  • that dancer performing and cheering on the crowd before taylor jumps out
  • the way taylor and the dancers just pop out of the stage during performances
  • taylors cute side braid
  • the banjo/fiddle intro before our song
  • the porch with the front steps
  • those random fake animals
  • the pure country jams with our song and mean
  • the cute little white dress she wears when performing our song and mean
  • the violin intro before back to december
  • back to december being played on piano!!!!
  • the white piano
  • the mashup of back to december/apologise/you’re not sorry aka the best mashup to ever exist ever
  • he said it’s too late to apologise it’s too laaaaaattttee THIS IS ME SWALLOWING MY PRIDE STANDING IN FRONT OF YOU it’s too late to apologise SAYING IM SORRY FOR THAT NIIIIIIGHT it’s to laaaattteee he said you’re not sorry nooo no nooooooo
  • the beautiful blue gown that taylor wears
  • the fact that she’s wearing the better than revenge dress underneath
  • that red sparkly dress
  • how after taylor sings “let’s hear the applause” caitlin and liz sing “show me how much better you are”
  • the guitar solos playing after better than revenge
  • the fact that taylor performed speak now right after better than revenge, like what a master of story telling
  • the wedding march playing before speak now is performed
  • the fact that there was an actual wedding on stage
  • but you are not the kind of boy who should be marrying the wrong girl *CLAP CLAP*
  • taylor fricken swift literally ruining a wedding
  • that beautiful purple dress
  • taylor giving the gloves she wore to some lucky fan in the audience
  • taylor walking through the crowd while an extended version on speak now is playing
  • finally finishing speak now when she arrives at the b stage
  • the b stage being a fricken tree
  • the many amazing covers taylor performed eg nashville, drops of jupiter, bette davis eyes, sweet escape etc.
  • the cute little ukulele she plays
  • the upbeat ukulele version of fearless featuring hey soul sister and im yours
  • the acoustic version of ours
  • the koi fish guitar
  • taylor playing last kiss on the koi fish guitar with the harp being played on the main stage
  • taylor playing the beginning of you belong with me and then making her way through the crowds to get back to the main stage
  • the way she orchestrates the crowd to sing the chorus of you belong with me
  • taylor sitting on the stairs singing dear john
  • the beautiful piano/violin intro with the ballet dancers before enchanted starts
  • the fairytale style dress taylor wears while performing enchanted
  • the whole fairytale theme for enchanted
  • the extended ‘please don’t be in love with someone else etc’
  • when the extended intro to haunted starts playing and taylor acts scared and runs off the stage to change outfits
  • the haunted bells
  • the tattered black/red dress
  • the haunted into + the bells = perfection
  • taylor disappearing under the bells and then returning from underneath the bells like a minute later wearing the black and silver dress and with the sparkly guitar
  • this song is so completely 100% for you
  • the way the crowd screams when she sings “the crowds in stands went wild”
  • the way liz sings “this is absurd”
  • we have absolutely loved spending time in your town and you’ve been so amazing to us. I mean, you guys know every single word and you’ve danced this entire night and it means the world to me and every single person you see on stage. thank you.
  • taylor sitting on the couch with the agency performing fifteen
  • the pretty pink princess dress taylor wears
  • how on the screen there are photos of the agency from when they were fifteen and them at the present
  • how the last photo shown during fifteen is taylor at fifteen
  • how in some shows taylor performed safe and sound
  • that show when taylor performed eyes open before it was officially released
  • taylor of course performing love story
  • flying around the stadium/arena in the balcony
  • all the special guests she brought out during the tour
  • the arm lyrics
  • when she wore the 13 on her hand
  • the way the stage was inspired by central park
  • the fact that this tour so completely portrays the magic that taylor manages to capture in the album that she wrote and produced all by herself when she was 19 years old
Bette Davis Eyes
Taylor Swift
Bette Davis Eyes

Her hair was Harlow gold,
Her lips a sweet surprise,
Her hands are never cold,
She’s got Bette Davis Eyes.

She’ll turn her music on,
you won’t have to think twice,
She’s pure as New York snow,
She’s got Bette Davis Eyes.

And she’ll tease you,
She’ll unease you,
All the better just to please you,
She’s precocious,
And she knows just what it takes to make a pro blush,
She’s got Greta Garbo’s stand-off sighs
And she’s got Bette Davis Eyes.

Your Music Jeopardy Moment

Picture it…May 1981…Smokey Robinson’s hit single, “Being With You,” peaked at number 2, behind Kim Carnes’ #1 smash, “Bette Davis Eyes.”

Turns out Robinson had originally written “Being with You” for Kim Carnes but then decided to keep it for himself.

Ironic that it turned out to be one of her songs that kept him from landing in the number one spot with a song he originally wrote for her.

Aphrodite Devotional Playlist

I’ve had this idea bouncing around for a while, and now I’m finally getting off my lazy butt and making it

1. PoW! - FEMM

2. How to be a Heartbreaker - Marina and the Diamonds

3. Let’s Get it on - Marvin Gaye

4. Take Me to Church - Hozier

5. Primadonna - Marina and the Diamonds

6. Fool for Love - Stefy

7. Love Game - Lady Gaga

8. Teenage Dream - Katy Perry

9. I Feel Pretty - West Side Story OST

10. Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall

11. Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes

12. My First Kiss - 3OH!3 feat. Ke$ha

13. Real Life Fairytale - Plumb

Or to make it easier, you can listen to the whole thing here