Crystal Gayle

Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue

Song Review by

Crystal Gayle made Richard Leigh's "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" a huge hit in 1977. She took the melodic country-pop tune to the top of the country charts and all the way to two on the pop charts -- a clear indication that the song was more pop than country. That suspicion is confirmed by the proliferation of covers of the song by easy listening musicians like Lawrence Welk, Floyd Cramer, and James Galway. All of those lite, easy artists were attracted to the sweet, lilting melody, which is certainly the strongest element of the song, apart from the clever pun of the title. Some may argue that the song is a little bit too sweetly melodic, that it could almost be seen as saccharine, but they're spoilsports. "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" is nothing if it didn't have that luxurious melody, and Gayle not only knew that, she knew how to sell it. She never stressed it too heavily, nor were her vocals cloying -- they were pretty and straightforward, making the song quite alluring. Similarly, the production is soft and lush, a perfect compliment to her appealing, light vocals. If the song hasn't seemed to hold up well as song over the years -- it hasn't been covered all that often in the '80s and '90s -- that may because Gayle's version realized the song almost too well. It was the ideal song for a late-'70s country-pop singer like Crystal Gayle, and it was given exactly the right treatment -- which means that it plays more like state of the art country-pop from 1977 than a timeless pop tune.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
We Must Believe in Magic 1977 Capitol 2:37
No Image 1978
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
Classic Crystal 1979 EMI Music Distribution 2:39
Country Music Classics, Vol. 5 (1975-80) 1988
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:37
All-Time Greatest Hits 1990 Curb 4:39
Contemporary Country: The Late '70s 1991
Various Artists
Time / Life Music
Great Ladies of Country 1992
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:36
50 Original Tracks 1993 EMI 2:35
No Image 1994
Various Artists
Capitol
The 101 Greatest Country Hits [Box] 1995
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:27
Rock-N-Roll's Greatest Hits of All Time: Late 70's, Vol. 1-2 1995
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:37
The First Ladies of Country [Ranwood] 1996
Various Artists
Ranwood Records 2:37
Rock On 1977 1996
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:37
No Image 1996
Various Artists
Priority Records
20 Great Love Songs 1996 Disky 2:34
The 101 Greatest Country Hits, Vol. 7: Country Nights 1997
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:37
1977: 20 Original Chart Hits 1997
Various Artists
A Time To Remember 2:35
Rock On: 1975-1979 1997
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:37
Country Legends [EMI #1] 1997
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Love Power: 20 Smash Hits Songs of 70's 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:30
Selection of Country Love Songs [1998] 1998
Various Artists
Golden Sounds 2:54
Country Women [Crimson] 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:29
The Best Country Ballads in the World Ever 1998
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:30
Rock On: From 1970 to 1979 1998
Various Artists
Madacy 2:37
Great Rock & Roll, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:37
Radio Days: '70s Easy Listening 1999
Various Artists
EMI-Capitol Special Markets / CEMA Special Markets
Males & Females 1999
Various Artists
Discom Disk / Discom 2:35
Eyes Have It 1999
Various Artists
GNP / Crescendo 2:36
Classic Country: 1975-1979 [2 CD 1999 #1] 1999
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:33
Eternal Love [Empire] 2000
Various Artists
Empire DisK / Disky 2:32
Best of Crystal Gayle: Talking in Your Sleep 2000 Castle Music Ltd. 2:44
The Official American Bandstand Library of Rock & Roll 2000
Various Artists
Atlantic 2:36
100 Country Greats 2000
Various Artists
Import 2:43
Love Ballads [Love Box] 2000
Various Artists
Love Box 2:34
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:23
Blue: All Her Greatest Hits 2001 Hallmark Recordings 2:43
Classic Country: 1975-1979 2001
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:33
One Hit Wonders: Hard Two Get Hits [Box Set] 2001
Various Artists
One Hit 2:33
Certified Hits 2001 Capitol / EMI Records 2:36
Selection of Country Love Songs [2001] 2001
Various Artists
Proper Sales & Dist. 2:45
A Year in Your Life: 1970's Country, Vol. 3 2001
Various Artists
Definitive 2:34
The Collection: 20 Songs from the Heart 2002 Music Club International Records 2:43
The Best of Crystal Gayle [Rhino] 2002 Rhino 2:38
The Sweetest Thing: The Lovely Ladies of Country Music 2002
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 / Varese 2:34
Country Classics 2002 EMI 2:37
Classic Country: Queens of Country 2003
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:32
Lady Love [Disky] 2004
Various Artists
Great Hits 2:32
Country Number Ones [EMI] 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution / Mixed Repertoire / Parlophone / Warner Music 2:35
Country Tearjerkers: 60 Original Heartbreakers 2004
Various Artists
Disky 2:32
Straight from the Heart [Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 2:36
Oldies But Goodies: 13 of the Best 70's Country 2004
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:36
#1 Country Hits [Fuel 2000] 2004
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 2:34
Music of Your Life: It Must Be Love 2004
Various Artists
Distribution Solutions / Time / Life Music 2:32
Lifetime of Romance [Time Life] 2005
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:32
The Ultimate Country Collection [Universal International] 2005
Various Artists
Universal International 2:31
Heartbreakers [Crimson] 2005
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:44
Classic Country Gold 2005
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:37
The Best of Crystal Gayle [EMI Gold] 2005 EMI 2:35
Daltry Calhoun [Original Soundtrack] 2005
Original Soundtrack
Lakeshore Records 2:36
Complete Seventies 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:34
Superstars of Country: Good Ol' Songs 2005
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:32
Billboard #1s: Classic Country 2006
Various Artists
Rhino 2:37
Legends of Country: Classic Hits from the '50s, '60s & '70s 2006
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 2:38
Number 1's: Country 2007
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:38
Beginner's Guide to Country 2007
Various Artists
Nascente 2:32
Superstars of Country [Time Life] 2007
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:32
Get Ready, Here Come the '70s 2007
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 2:37
Greatest Hits [Capitol] 2007 EMI Music Distribution / Capitol 2:37
Pure: Love 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:34
Crystal Gayle: The Hits 2007 Capitol / Capitol Nashville 2:36
Ultimate Grammy Collection: Classic Country 2008
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 2:37
Playlist: Love 2008
Various Artists
EMD Int'l 2:33
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Sony BMG 2:31
This Is 1977 2008
Various Artists
EMD Int'l 0:00
Original Hits: 70s 2009
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution 2:33
Top 10 Country Hits 2009 Micro Werks 2:37
Original Hits: Easy 2009
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:33
The Only Classic Country Collection You'll Ever Need 2010
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 2:50
Jackie: Love Songs [2010] 2010
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution / UMTV 2:30
Country's Got Heart [Box Set] 2011
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:33
Music of Your Life 2012
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:32
Greatest Ever! Country Rock [2013] 2013
Various Artists
Greatest Ever / Union Square Music 2:42
Massive Hits!: Country 2013
Various Artists
EMI Gold 2:31
20 #1's: Classic Country 2015
Various Artists
Umes / Universal 2:36
'70s Country [Time Life]
Various Aritsts
Time / Life Music 2:32
No Image
Various Artists
Capitol 2:32
No Image
Various Artists
EMI 2:32
Country Legends
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire
Country Legends [Sony 2013]
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:38
No Image
Various Artists
EMI 2:31
Forever Country [Somerset]
Various Artists
Somerset Entertainment 2:39
Icon 2: Country Icons
Various Artists
Capitol / Universal Music 2:38
Love Songs EMI 2:32
Original Hits: The Girls
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:30
The Greatest Love Songs of the '70s
Various Artists
Time Life 2:32