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According to Gabriel, the lyrics could refer to either the love between a man and woman or the relationship between a person and God.
African musician Youssou N'Dour sang backup. In 1991 Gabriel performed this in N'Dour's native country of Senegal before a crowd of 70,000.
This was featured in the movie Say Anything in a scene where John Cusack plays this from a Boom Box he holds over his head to win the heart of Ione Skye. Cameron Crowe, who directed the film, was going to use Billy Idol's "Got To Be A Lover," but it didn't work with the scene. Crowe got the idea to use this when he played a tape from his wedding which had the song on it. Because it was a deeply personal song, Gabriel did not want to let him use it, but when Crowe called and sent him a tape of the movie, Gabriel loved it and let him use it.
The producers of Say Anything were charged about $200,000 to use this, but it became one of the most famous scenes in movie history. It also made the song much more popular.
A special 7:14 mix of this song was released to radio stations by Geffen Records. It features extended singing by Youssou N'Dour. This promotional copy also included a 6:15 version of the song, and an 8:36 of Gabriel's "Biko." (thanks, Rob - Hutchinson, KS)
This is one of the few slow songs that gets consistent airplay on rock radio. It was not real popular when it came out, but continues to get constant airplay on a variety of formats, as listeners never seem to tire of it.
The band SR-71 also does a cover of this song. They performed it live at the 2004 Gravity Games. (thanks, Brad - Hickory, NC)
See a photo and learn more about this song and Say Anything
in Song Images
In 1994, Gabriel did a version of "In Your Eyes" live, which appears on disc 2 of the double CD set of Secret World Live, and lasts 11:34. On this version, he improvises a lot in the song with the backup singers. (thanks, Glenda - Austin, TX)
The singer/guitarist Jeffrey Gaines recorded a popular version of this song that got a lot of airplay on Adult Contemporary radio and appears on his 2001 album Always Be. Gaines writes most of his own material, but his cover of "In Your Eyes" has become his best-known work. When we asked him about performing a song written by someone else, he replied: "The conviction I have within that material is my joy of singing."
This Kentucky singer/songwriter's hits include "She Couldn't Change Me" (recorded by Montgomery Gentry) and "It Ain't Easy Being Me."
Steven Tyler of Aerosmith
Tyler talks about his true love: songwriting. How he identifies the beauty in a melody and turns sorrow into art.
JJ Burnel of The Stranglers
JJ talks about The Stranglers' signature sound - keyboard and bass - which isn't your typical strain of punk rock.
Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Greg talks about writing songs of "universal truth" for King Crimson and ELP, and tells us about his most memorable stage moment (it involves fireworks).