[EMI - America 50-17052]
It isn't hard to hear a song like Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes" and know that it's going to be a monster hit. The song has everything that radio station program directors get the big money to listen for - hooks, beat, vocal; you name it, this song has got it.
From first listening, whether on a car radio or a mega-stereo, it mesmerizes. A synthesizer - guitar line that is every bit as provocative and precocious as its heroine leads into the recounting of this superwomen without flaw, this mysterious and remarkable lady with "Bette Davis Eyes." You're trapped, both the song and the temptress have snared, you.
This Kim Carnes, who is she? She's as mysterious as her femme fatale with those eyes. That combination of Dylan-like phrasing and Rod Stewart-ish rasp - why haven't we heard it before?
But you have heard her before, singing backups on sessions. Doing duets with the likes of Kenny Rogers and ex-Eagle Randy Meisner. Admittedly, it was always somebody else's show. Back-up singers never get enough ink.
That situation will change this summer. You'll be hearing "Bette Davis Eyes" every fifteen minutes. The album it appears on, Mistaken Identity, will be a fixture on the album charts. Several other songs frori1 it will at least get airplay, if not hit status, as Carnes' follow up. People will do a profile on her struggling years. One of the newsmagazines will feature her. By july, you'll be sick of Kim Carnes.
So enjoy it while it's still good. Get prepared to hear "Hit and Run", "Break the Rules Tonite (Out Of School)" and "Draw of the Cards" from Mistaken Identity on every station. But most of all, enjoy "Bette Davis Eyes" for what it is, a perfect single, one of those rare performances that so rarely makes the airwaves.
I have one favor to ask Kim Carnes, though. If it wouldn't be too much trouble, I'd appreciate the phone number of the lady with the Bette D. orbs.
- Allen Rabinowitz