BLONDIE – HEART OF GLASS

BLONDIE – “Heart Of Glass” on both sides (Chrysalis 100.337) January 1979


Blondie “Heart of Glass” – is a song by the American new wave band Blondie, written by singer Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein. It was featured on the band’s third studio album, Parallel Lines (1978), and was released as the album’s third single in January 1979 and reached number one on the charts in several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

Exactly who decided to give the song a more pronounced disco vibe is subject to differing recollections. On some occasions, the producer Mike Chapman has stated that he convinced Harry and Stein to give the song a disco twist. On other occasions, Chapman has credited Harry with the idea.

As a band, Blondie had experimented with disco before, both in the predecessors to “Heart of Glass” and in live cover songs that the band played at shows. Bassist Gary Valentine noted that the set list for early Blondie shows often included disco hits such as “Honey Bee” or “My Imagination”.

In an interview published in the February 4, 1978, edition of NME, Debbie Harry expressed her affinity for the Euro disco music of Giorgio Moroder, stating that “It’s commercial, but it’s good, it says something… that’s the kind of stuff that I want to do”.

Johnny Blitz benefit

A notable example of this type of musical experimentation occurred when Blondie covered Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” at the Blitz Benefit on May 7, 1978. In his history of CBGB, music writer Roman Kozak described this event: “When Blondie played for the Johnny Blitz benefit in May, 1978, they surprised everyone with a rendition of Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’.

It was arguably the first time in New York, in the middle of the great rock versus disco split, that a rock band had played a disco song. Blondie went on to record ‘Heart of Glass,’ other groups recorded other danceable songs, and dance rock was born.”

The song was ultimately given the disco orientation that made the song one of the best-known Blondie recordings. For the single release the track was remixed by Chapman, with the double-tracked bass drum even more accentuated.

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