Ever have one of those songs that you like when it’s on the radio, but you’re not sure if you’re willing to spend any money to own a copy? “Eye in the Sky” is like that for me. It came on the radio this afternoon while I was out running a couple of errands with Dad. I remember liking this song enough back in 1982 to own the 45 (which was why I chose the supremely boring clip of this song to attach; I remember that label). But I got rid of it some years ago. Or I still own it and forgot. That’s the problem with having a really large collection in a variety of formats: You forget what’s there and what isn’t. I picked up the special Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time at my local book store a couple weeks ago (more on that in future posts), and I couldn’t remember if I had some of the Dylan albums on the list; I still have to check.
“Eye in the Sky” is definitely a product of its time–all heavy synths and cool 80s production (cool as in emotional temperament, not hipness). It’s a really good song when you’re listening to it, but it slips away almost as soon as it’s over. Not forgettable, more like ephemeral. It’s a wispy, mysterious song. The more I think about it, the more I think it might be worth the $.99 to download it from itunes (unless it’s $1,29; then I’ll have to think a little harder). There’s something engaging about the cold-but-conflicted rejection of the tune. A love song for people who can’t even commit to breaking up. That’s the kind of indecision I can identify with.