The Throwback, 1980

Call Me Blondie

CNN’s establishment in 1980 is as important to the progress of news TV, as Pac-Man to video games and AC/DC’s Back In Black to rock music, all of which share the same birth year. As does Blondie’s Autoamerican album which reached number eight on the Aussie charts and number seven on the US charts. Blondie biggest hit also released in 1980, but it wasn’t from Autoamerican.

‘Call Me’ was released for the soundtrack of the film American Gigolo and in its original long form on a reissue of Autoamerican in 2001. A classic in a long line of classics from Blondie, it spent six weeks at number one and was the band’s biggest single, a mean feat with a catalogue that includes ‘Heart of Glass’, ‘The Tide is High’ and ‘Atomic’. The band, still active to this day, are Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees; Debbie Harry is a pop culture icon. ‘Call Me’ also marked the point where two worlds collided.

(In)Famous New York music club CBGB hosted acts like Blondie, Talking Heads, Ramones and Patti Smith in the 70s, a famed time that has been immortalized in documentaries and on film. Blondie went from gritty New York punk bars to Italian disco legends just a few years later. Blondie collaborated on ‘Call Me’ with music producer, writer and composer, Giorgio Moroder, who wrote and produced the track. But such a superb collab almost didn’t happen. The original choice for the track was Stevie Nicks, but contract issues led to Debbie Harry and Blondie gracing the song and they knocked it out of the park. Not so much the Chipmunks cover though …

1978 to 1980 was a fantastic couple of years for Blondie. Three platinum albums in a row, Parallel Lines, Eat To The Beat and Autoamerican with a soundtrack song becoming the biggest single overall. ‘Call Me’ was another famous writing credit for Moroder and Blondie’s biggest impact on the charts, and let’s be honest it’s an absolute jam. There’s so much derision for 80s music sometimes, especially pop music depending on who you talk to. But if you seriously don’t like ‘Call Me’ or Blondie, you probably don’t like puppies or Ryan Gosling either.

Josh Brooks

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