Friends, as I have shared in the past on the site, growing up there wasn’t a lot of music in my household. Having said that though it isn’t like it was forbidden or anything that serious – one of the places that I did hear popular music was when my Father and myself were in the car. Living in a University town I was able to hear a little of what we consider classic rock and pop tunes – assuming of course my Father didn’t immediately change the channel. One of these days I will tell you about the first time he heard The Dr. Demento radio show. Anyway, it was while riding in the car – heading to the 62 Drive-In that I first heard Kim Carnes beautiful rendition of “Bette Davis Eyes“.
You might find it interesting to know that Kim Carnes was not the first person to record that song however. “Bette Davis Eyes” was co-written and composed by Jackie DeShannon and Donna Weiss – the former being responsible for “What the World Needs Now Is Love” as well as “Put a Little Love in Your Heart“. Weiss besides being an accomplished songwriter is best known for backing vocals for the likes of Joe Cocker, Rita Coolidge, Ry Cooder, Hoyt Axton, Bob Dylan, and Kim Carnes. Actually it was Jackie DeShannon who first recorded “Bette Davis Eyes“
So imagine my delight when watching TV one evening to see the very familiar arcade marquee for Pac-Man, then the sounds of that iconic video game mixed with the stirring synthesizers of Carnes version of “Bette Davis Eyes” kick in. Although as this was a commercial for 7 Up – there have apparently been a few modifications to the gameplay of Pac-Man.
I know that particular 7 Up TV spot is pretty well known – but what I didn’t quite understand is how far the commercial reached. Like this version that according to the Nina Perez who uploaded it supposedly was seen in the United Kingdom.
Then there is this 7 Up ad which is said to be from 1985 – still using the Kim Carnes sound-alike and the rift on “Bette Davis Eyes” but offering something just a tad more magical in nature in my opinion.
I think you will agree that 7 Up most assuredly got quite a bit of mileage on paying for the rights to the Carnes version of “Bette Davis Eyes“. While I am more partial to the Pac-Man version, I am curious which ad you enjoyed more?