Most people remember Naked Eyes's 1983 cover of "Always Something There To Remind Me", but assume that was the only song worth hearing by the group. Mention "Promises, Promises", and you're bound to get a response like, "They did THAT one, too?" The fact is Naked Eyes is probably the most underappreciated group of the 1980s. They came closer than any other band to perfecting the hooks, melodies, and production values of early 1980s synth-pop. Those people who like their music unplugged might as well stop here -- Naked Eyes is all about incredibly intricate and highly listenable keyboard pop.
The synthesizers are the most distinctive aspect of their music. They shimmer in multiple layers, with subtle backgrounds backing often surprisingly catchy and memorable keyboard riffs, giving an incredibly effective atmosphere of mystique and energy at the same time. The drum machines are purely 1980s vintage, but while some may claim that this dates the material, I would venture that it only enhances the modern, technological feel of the music. Drum machines of the early '80s had not yet become the loud, obnoxious instruments that overwhelmed the rest of the music like their late '80s counterparts. Added to all of this were Pete Byrne's British-accented vocals, which were melodic and passionate without being sappy.
Aside from "Always Something There To Remind Me" and "Promises, Promises, other standout cuts on this greatest-hits collection include "When The Lights Go Out," "Emotion In Motion," "Flying Solo," "No Flowers Please"... heck, the whole album is great to listen to. The 20 tracks include all but one track from the 1983 album Naked Eyes ("Could Be" is on the 1991 compilation), with the remainder being from the 1984 follow-up Fuel For The Fire. After that album, Naked Eyes broke up, with keyboardist Rob Fisher moving on to success with Climie Fisher and its hit "Love Changes (Everything)" in the late 1980s. In the late 1990s, Byrne and Fisher got back together to record as Naked Eyes again, but Fisher died in 1999 before a new album could be completed. Byrne says the album will be finished eventually, and later this year a Naked Eyes rarities album is supposedly on the way.