Eye In The Sky
1982 | Rock
Spotify | Amazon
"I am the eye in the sky, looking at you. I can read your mind. — I am the maker of rules, dealing with fools. — I can cheat you blind."
- Song hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart, & #11 on the Mainstream Rock chart.
- There is a 2 minute intro called Sirius that was included on album rock stations but not pop stations.
- Modern critics noted the similarities between Lady Antebellum's Need You now and this song.
- The song was recorded at Abbey Road Studios.
THE HOT TAKES
Disclaimer: Yes, I realize this song is about the clarity you have after breaking up with someone. With that said, the "eye in the sky" metaphor comes with quite a bit of statist baggage. The album cover is the Eye of Horus, the egyptian god. The Eye is closesly associated with the Pharaoh, and its power was invoked by these leaders to give an omnipresent gaze. In other words, the state sees all. It's interesting to blend this mythology with the breakup story, and to note how superior we can find ourselves feeling in a post-breakup environment. We can "read the mind" of the other, but only after the relationship has reached its end.
There is a rumor that this song is inspired by Orwell’s, 1984. While I couldn’t find a definitive answer, it would certainly make sense. On the surface, the song seems to be about a relationship where someone is lying and the other is watching their every move. The comparison with The State is an easy one to make. Much like an abusive and jealous lover, The State views the citizenry as their property. They believe we need them to keep us safe and sound and under their control. They can’t understand why in the world we would want to keep any secrets from them. Don’t we see how much they care for us. Just stay where they can see us, and they will keep us protected under their caring wing. When they abuse us, it really is our fault for not following the law and respecting their authority in our lives. We should want them to spy on us everywhere, why, feel to me like the statists who want to believe in the good intentions and virtue of The State. The lyric “The sun in your eyes made some of the lies worth believing,” is like the victim of the abuser who has a false idea of the abuser that they just can’t let go of, even though it doesn’t match reality. Just like the ideas that most people have about the US. That the US is a force for good in the world, and it only does the things that seem bad out of love and a greater plan, that we just can’t know. The lies are worth believing for them because they can carry on as if all is well. The battle we fight is helpin the abused recognize the control tactics of the abuser.
As a big fan of yacht rock I have to question whether this constitutes or was it maybe too late? It sure sounds like it though. Luke points out that this song is a ballad about a relationship and I suppose I see that. I'll say that it sounds like a pretty disfunctional relationship with all the talk of reading minds and watching from above. I'll definitely pose that the government is obviously in a disfunctional relationship with all of us citizens. It knows pretty much everything about us thanks to the powers granted to groups like the NSA, I believe there is probably people out there where the NSA knows more about them than their significant other. I know mine doesn't track my GPS coordinates at all times. I can't help but think that this song worked as well as it did because it alluded to these concepts in it's lyrics. Was the song prescient or just a fever dream of a sci-fi nerd masquerading as a love song? I wonder myself.