“Eyes Without a Face” was released in 1984 as the second single from Billy Idol’s second album, Rebel Yell. The song was popular worldwide, peaking at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The title was inspired by the 1960 French horror film Les Yeux Sans Visage, according to Songfacts. The movie was about a doctor trying to restore the beautiful face of his daughter who had been disfigured in a car accident. To do so, he murdered other women and grafted their facial features onto his daughter. In the end, all that remained of her original face were her eyes, thus making her “eyes without a face.” In his autobiography, Dancing with Myself, Idol said he found parallels between the film and the moral decay he saw and experienced during the 1980s.
Ironically, Billy Idol was almost a face without eyes after making the video for “Eyes Without a Face.” As the story goes, Idol’s contact lenses dried out during the shoot. When he fell asleep on a flight to his next gig in Arizona, they fused to his eyes. He was taken to a hospital where the lenses were removed and his eyes bandaged for three days. Eventually, his scraped corneas grew back. He truly suffered for his art.