I Only Have Eyes For You - the Flamingos


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvzNeh4Mq1o

It has always struck me that slow doo-wop has a kind of Christmassy, hot chestnuts by the fire while it snows outside kind of feel, and this is no exception. Of the many versions of "I Only Have Eyes For You" this recording by the Flamingos is far and away the best. It features an exquisite vocal by Tommy Hunt that seems to exist all all on it's own, with the world stopping all around it like one of those movies where everything freezes, except for the lead characters. I've never quite worked out the staccato punctuation of the backing singers, - I think it's "dee bup she bup" - but it seems to slow down time, dripping almost, like the gradual thawing of an icicle.

The song originally comes from a 1934 Busby Berkley musical "Dames" and was most famously covered by Art Garfunkel in 1975 to become his first UK hit as a solo artist having split with Paul Simon in 1970. But Garfunkel's version is insipid compared to the soulful modulation of Hunt on the Flamingos' recording 16 years earlier.

The whole thing sounds like the soundtrack to a beautiful dream: the trance that he falls into whenever he sees her and his singing reflects his dream like state:

"...Are the stars out tonight? - I don't know if it's cloudy or bright I only have eyes for you dear

The moon may be high But I can't see a thing in the sky I only have eyes for you.....

....I don't know if we're in a garden Or on a crowded avenue....

.....Maybe millions of people go by But they all disappear from view And I only have eyes for you....."

It would be creepy if it wasn't so beautiful.