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Heart Of Glass by Blondie

Album: Parallel LinesReleased: 1978Charted:
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  • Blondie members Debbie Harry and Chris Stein (who were later married) wrote the first version of this song in early 1974, shortly after they first met. They didn't have a proper title for the song, and would refer to it as "The Disco Song." Harry explained on the show Words and Music: "Lyrically, it was about a stalker who was pursuing me, and Chris saved me from him."

    It wasn't until they recorded this song in 1978 that Stein came up with the title "Heart Of Glass." He didn't know that it was also the title of a 1976 German movie directed by Werner Herzog.
  • According to Rolling Stone magazine's Top 500 Songs, Harry and Stein wrote the song in their dingy New York apartment and keyboardist Jimmy Destri provided the synthesizer hook. The result brought Punk and Disco together on the dance floor. Said Destri, "Chris always wanted to do Disco. We used to do 'Heart Of Glass' to upset people."
  • Debbie Harry (from 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh: "When we did Heart Of Glass it wasn't too cool in our social set to play Disco. But we did it because we wanted to be uncool. It was based around a Roland Rhythm Machine and the backing took over 10 hours to get down."

    Chris Stein added, "We didn't expect the original to be that big. We only did it as a novelty item to put more diversity into the album."
  • Blondie re-recorded this in 1978 in a Reggae style, but their producer Mike Chapman suggested Reggae didn't sell in America. As Harry and Stein had a fascination with the Disco sound that was then sweeping the country, so they adopted a sound that was an amalgamation of their New Wave background and Eurodisco.
  • Finding words to rhyme to "glass" that fit in a song can be... a pain in the ass.

    In the last chorus, following "Once I had a love and it was a gas," Debbie Harry takes a different tack, singing "Soon turned out to be a pain in the ass." This is a key line in the song, since the singer has now realized that this relationship is more trouble than it's worth, and that her heart of glass might be more durable than she thought.

    Unfortunately, American radio was generally ass-free at this time, so to ensure airplay stations were sent an edited version with the offending line replaced with "soon turned out I had a heart of glass."
  • The video for this song showed the band performing it in an empty discotheque, and was very popular, thanks to the many close-ups of Debbie Harry. Blondie was one of the few American bands that made videos in the years before MTV. They did so because they were very popular in Australia and Europe, and by producing videos, they could be featured on shows in those continents when they couldn't travel there.
  • The sound of the CR-78 drum machine was merged with that of drummer Clem Burke's real drums, which was no easy task in the analog age. Burke took his inspiration from the groove of one of his favorite songs: The Bee Gees' "Stayin Alive."
  • The song's lyric turns the traditional heartbreak theme on its head. Debbie Harry explained in Q magazine: "I was tired of hearing girl singers write or sing about being beaten by love. So I said, Well listen, there are also a lot of girls who just walk away."
  • John Lennon once wrote Ringo Starr a postcard advising him to write more songs like "Heart of Glass." Debbie Harry told The Guardian: "It was totally wonderful knowing that."
  • An early version of this song called "Once I Had a Love (aka The Disco Song)" was included in the 2001 reissue of the Parallel Lines album.
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Comments: 20

According to Wikipedia, the use of this song on the TV show WKRP in Cincinnati helped to introduce the band to the wider American mainstream. The band's record label Chrysalis Records gave the show's producers a gold record as a way of saying thank-you. The gold record was later seen on the show's set during the third and fourth seasons.Steve - Torrance, Ca
The instrumental break changes time signatures from 4/4 to 3/4 a few times. Hilarious! They are screwing around making their "disco" song un-dancable!Jack - Mesa, Az
The 'pain in the ass' version did make it to MTV, though. I grin whenever I hear DH sing that line.Esskayess - Dallas, Tx
A fun song to dance to. Blondie was one of a kind.Nancy - Baltimore, Md
Great disco track, Debbie Harry was so pretty in the '70s - but not now!Theresa - Murfreesboro, Tn
blondie's best song ! she was remarkable,
effortlessly cool & gorgeous.she was a good songwriter too.the most striking frontwoman ever to lead a band!!!
Anuk - Colombo, Sri Lanka (ceylon)
Perfect Break up song one of my all time favorites!!!!!!Tony - Chicago, Il
Every time I hear this I think back to the first time I heard it. Late one night in a club with friends of mine. Asked a buddy who it was, he said "some group called Blondie". I see the darkness, the smoke, the dance floor, the neon, the slick clothes and heels. Takes me backDrew - Linn Creek, Mo, Co
I love this song! The music video is a TINY bit "look at me!", but not as much as a lot of other vids out there.Mjn Seifer - Not Listed For Personal Reason, England
i love this song its so retroishBilly - Albany, Ny
ya this songs sweet, i was watching the video on late night retro video play so then decided to download itBrandon - Saskatoon, Canada
In the 60s, Debbie was singing in a band called The Wind in The Willows.Dave - Scottsdale, Az
There is a remix of Celine Dion's song I'm Alive which uses the Heart Of Glass baselineAlan - Singapore, Singapore
skye sweetnam has this song on her album. :DTabitha - Smiths Station, Al
i listened to the song recently on this chanel called melody they put blondie kite a lot anyways good songElie - London, England
I wish I had a producer like that!!Fyodor - Denver, Co
In Blondie's "Heart Of Glass", the phrase "pain in the @$$" heard in the album track was deleted in the 45 RPM single version.Rick - San Juan, United States
Harry was in that film "videodrome". Hot.Rob - Vancouver, Canada
i love her too, never forget that film clip to In the Flesh......she looked absoultely unbeleivable

as Frank Costanza from Seinfeld would've said

" Hootchie Mama "
Pete - Nowra, Australia
I LOVE Debbie Harry. She is brilliant. I'm surprised why didn't anyone post anything? And I adore "Denis" their big hit. This song is pretty cool tooKat - Tbilisi, Other