Bright Eyes (Art Garfunkel song)
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|Single by Art Garfunkel|
|from the album Fate for Breakfast|
|B-side||"When Someone Doesn't Want You"|
|Released||19 Jan 1979|
|Art Garfunkel singles chronology|
"Bright Eyes" is a song written by British songwriter Mike Batt and performed by Art Garfunkel. It was written for the soundtrack of the 1978 British animated adventure drama film Watership Down. Rearranged as a pop song from its original form in the film, the track appears on British and European versions of Garfunkel's 1979 Fate for Breakfast and on the US versions of his 1981 album Scissors Cut. "Bright Eyes" topped the UK Singles Chart for six weeks and became Britain's biggest-selling single of 1979, selling over a million copies. Richard Adams, author of the original novel is reported to have hated the song. A cover of the song was later used in the television series of the same name explicitly as its theme song.
The song was written, produced and arranged by Mike Batt for Watership Down, with original director John Hubley requesting a song about death. It plays when the rabbit Hazel, the lead character in the film, almost dies after being wounded by a farmer's gun and Fiver, his little brother is led to him by the Black Rabbit of Inlé.
The pop single arrangement of the song was very successful in the United Kingdom, staying at number one in the UK Singles Chart for six weeks in 1979, selling over one million copies, becoming the biggest-selling single of the year. In the United States, it failed to reach the Billboard Hot 100. It reached #27 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.
|Australian Singles Chart||2|
|Austrian Singles Chart||3|
|Dutch Singles Chart||1|
|German Singles Chart||3|
|Irish Singles Chart||1|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||2|
|Norwegian Singles Chart||3|
|South African Singles Chart||15|
|Swedish Singles Chart||3|
|Swiss Singles Chart||2|
|UK Singles Chart||1|
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||20|
- Art Garfunkel – vocals
- Mike Batt – arranger producer
- Chris Spedding – acoustic guitar
- Roland Harker – lute guitar
- Les Hurdle – bass guitar
- Roy J. Morgan – drums
- Edwin Roxburgh – oboe
- Ray Cooper – percussion
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- British singer The Shadows recorded an instrumental version in 1979 on the album String of Hits.
- British pop group The Nolans recorded the song for their 1979 album Nolan Sisters.
- In 1979, It Ain't Half Hot, Mum actor Don Estelle covered the song in his album Time After Time.
- In 1980, five-year-old child performer Matthew Butler performed a version of the song on the ITV children's series Tiswas dressed in a grey furry rabbit costume. Butler, his costume and his rendition of the song (which was released as a single by CBS Records) became a staple part of the programme for the rest of its duration.
- British pop group Brotherhood of Man recorded the song for their Sing 20 Number One Hits album in 1980
- In 1989, Justin Hayward, Mike Batt and London Philharmonic Orchestra recorded the song on the covers album Classic Blue.
- Australian children's pop group The Tin Lids member Eliza-Jane 'E.J.' Barnes sang this song in the band's album Snakes & Ladders which was released in July 1992 and nominated for the ARIA Award for Best Children's Album in 1993.
- British band Manic Street Preachers released a live version as a b-side on the cassette version of their "A Design for Life" single in 1996.
- In March 1998, Swedish singer Pandora released a version as a single, taken from her album Pandora's Hit Box.
- The song was later covered by Irish singer Stephen Gately in 2000 and used as the theme song of the Watership Down animated television series. It was released as a double A-side with his single "New Beginning". While Mike Batt, who wrote the original song, composed an entire new score. This new cover went on to earn the TV show a nomination for a Gemini Award, for best original score.
- New Zealand singer Hayley Westenra recorded a version for her 2001 self-titled studio album.
- British singer and actor Joseph McManners recorded a version for his 2005 album In Dreams, with music provided by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
- British singer Declan Galbraith recorded a version in his album Thank You in 2006.
- In 2012, Adam Young of Owl City covered the song and released it to his SoundCloud. Young himself is a big fan of Watership Down.
- Welsh singer Elan Catrin Parry covered the song for her 2018 debut album 'Angel'.
- On February 22, 2020, Mike Batt performed the song at the end of an episode of Pointless which he had just won.
- "Art Garfunkel - Bright Eyes". 45cat.com.
- "I HATE "Bright Eyes"!". lettersofnote.com. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
- Allen, Liam (2009-03-03). "Was it a kind of bad dream?". BBC News.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 366–7. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Sedghi, Ami (2012-11-04). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". Guardian.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 431. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Don Estelle - Time After Time". Discogs.com.
- Lockley, Mike. "Staffordshire man reveals the seedy truth behind living life as the Tiswas Bunny". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
- "Manic Street Preachers - A Design For Life (Cassette Single) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 2010.
- "Pandora - Bright Eyes (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 21 March 1998.
- "Bright Eyes (Adam Young cover)". SoundCloud. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
- "A Q&A with Owl City". 4music.com. Archived from the original on January 28, 2015. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
- "2011 interview with Owl City". Jesusfreakhideout.com. Archived from the original on January 28, 2015. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
Probably the book that is super inspiring is a book called Watership Down by Richard Adams. It's from the late 70s, about talking rabbits, and it's a very grounded-in-reality book. It's not a kids' book, but it has to do with these talking rabbits and their adventure, and there's a lot of metaphors and crazy stuff. And that's always been a very inspiring thing. If ever I'm feeling dry, or going through writer's block or something, I just even leaf through some pages of that book and I'm like "Whoa, I have to go make music!"