Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Smash Heart Of Glass

1979 saw the disco movement at its peak, and conversely also about to be pushed over that peak and crushed beneath the weight of the opposing ‘new wave’ and ‘post punk’, movements.  New York outfit Blondie were one of the flag bearers for the ‘new wave’ movement, and so it seemed a little counter intuitive for the six piece outfit to offer up what was, for all intents and purposes, a disco song.  But therein lay the genius of Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, Jimmy Destri, Nigel Harrison, Frank Infante, and Clem Burke.

Written by Harry and Stein, and lifted from the band’s multi-platinum 1978 album ‘Parallel Lines’ (US#1, OZ#2, UK#1) the single ‘Heart Of Glass’ (OZ#1/US#1/UK#1) would not only challenge the (arguably) vacuous disco scene, but single handed hijack the genre.  The album was produced by prolific control room operator Mike Chapman (see previous posts The Knack, Racey), and the glossy production shone throughout on other hits such as the no nonsense rocker ‘Hanging On The Telephone’ (OZ#39,UK#5) and the more sultry ‘Picture This’ (OZ#88/UK#12).  But it would be ‘Heart Of Glass’ which would indelibly stamp its signature beat and rhythm line on the minds of every commercial music listener of the era, indeed beyond.  The success of ‘Heart Of Glass’ also in part owes something toward the music video, shot in the famous Studio 54, and featuring the iconic image of Debbie Harry centre stage.

More on the evolution of Blondie, and solo career of Debbie Harry, but for now enjoy the irresistible lure of ‘Heart Of Glass’ (the 'Studio 54' version and Top of the Pops, featuring Chris Stein as a 'disco Beatle')

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