Song of the Day, July 25: Heart of Glass by Blondie

BlondieHeartofGlassToday’s song took its time taking shape, then paid off big. Blondie founders Debbie Harry and Chris Stein began working on a song called Once I Had A Love in 1974. The band tried a variety of styles, including a reggae feel and a slow ballad, before settling on a more dance-oriented approach. They recorded a couple of demo versions, a slow, funky take in 1975 and a more upbeat approach in 1978. It became known in sessions as “The Disco Song” because of the dance beat that had become a consistent element.

When Blondie entered the studio with new producer Mike Chapman in 1979, he wanted to hear everything they had written. They played him all their new material and he wanted something more. After hearing the Disco Song, he decided it had smash potential. Exactly who decided to amp up the disco energy is a matter of debate, but the result is undeniable. Re-titled Heart of Glass, the surging kiss-off song became a highlight of the band’s finest album, Parallel Lines. It also became Blondie’s first big hit in the U.S., spending a week at #1 in a five-month chart run. The romance that Harry smartly scorns may have been a radio-challenging “pain in the ass” but the single was pure gold.

Enjoy this delightful radio classic today.

About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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