Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blondie's "Heart of Glass" Broke New Ground in Studio Craftsmanship

Blondie combined both pop AND art.

I was one of those teenagers that actually had heard of Blondie before the Parallel Lines LP. I had heard X-Offender on the radio, and had read about Debbie Harry, New York's platinum-headed punk bombshell who wore clingy t-shirts and knee-pads. Knowing she had been a Playboy bunny certainly got the attention of this 17-year-old.

Then they hit it big with "Heart of Glass" in '78. A lot of people said, "Blondie has gone disco," "Blondie has sold-out!" Well that may have been true and I may have even said that myself (to nobody there). However, I didn't know anybody who actually didn't like the song. I mean, I loved the song and went out and bought the album. The whole LP was great, with it's other, much more rock/punk/power-pop offerings. I realized that, no matter what genre they dabbled in -- and they dipped their pens in all colors of musical ink -- Blondie was at its core a great rock-band with excellent musicians. Those cats could play the phonebook and it would sound good. Add to that Blondie's hip image and one of the most beautiful singers ever to ever pout with a microphone, and you have a sure-fire formula for success in 1978.

With that said, I found this neat video on YouTube, a short little rockumentary on the making of "Heart of Glass". It's really interesting. I especially like how the narrator mentions how this session was during the peak of analog recording, and I couldn't agree more. As a recording engineer I love learning how they built this million-selling crossover hit. As a music-lover with a rose-tinted rear view mirror, It stirs up a nostalgic affection for the song, the band, and the time.

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It's All About The Tone, Baby!