Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Sonic Sorcery: Blondie's "Heart of Glass"

I was recently reminded of this fabulous song, and thought the oddity of the chordal approach coupled with several captivating lyrical phrases made it a decent candidate for this songwriting series.

Then I looked into the background and realized it would be a perfect song for reasons that will become clear in just a few moments.

Debbie Harry and Chris Stein (vocalist & guitarist of Blondie) wrote the song in 1975, and after several iterations, settled on a version for release on their 3rd album "Parallel Lines" (1978). The Song was the third single from the album (released January of 1979) and rocketed up the charts in in 15 countries, topping the charts in seven (including the US). Rolling Stone later named it number 255 on their "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list and it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2015.

The album propelled them to super stardom - this and the following 2 albums went platinum and spawned a series of hit singles (with "Heart of Glass" being their first number one hit in the US), and they went on to sell over 40 million albums, were nominated for & won multiple music awards (Grammys, Junos, Qs, etc), and inducted into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

The song has seen multiple charting covers (from The Associates in 1988 to Miley Cyrus in 2020) and has been a major influence on many musicians since.

Let's dive in on the song's background, various iterations, chord progression, and lyrics!