Peter Gabriel made some of the most interesting pop albums of the 1980s, but his song “In Your Eyes” is best known for blasting out of a boombox held aloft by John Cusack, who is trying to get into Ione Skye’s pants. But it’s not just the iconic use of the song in Say Anything that makes it great: It’s the chorus by Youssou N’Dour, singing in his native tongue, and giving the song a “world beat” flavor (a direction Gabriel would continue to move towards in later albums). And it’s how the song feels so complex, musically, the way it progresses and explodes, and yet feels, at heart, like a simple pop love song. Also, it was written for Rosanna Arquette. I get writing a love song for her eyes. Wow.
The single hit #1, and the album, “So,” is one of the best records of all time.
Further listening: “So.” Other than that tremendous record, Gabriel has a string of great songs: Shock the Monkey, Solsbury Hill, I Have the Touch, and, of course, Biko.