Blondie’s iconic 1979 song “Heart Of Glass” will undergo a reissue for the first time, with six versions of the track collected on a single deluxe vinyl EP by Numero Group this fall.
“Heart Of Glass” went through several different versions prior to its release. Known initially as “The Disco Song” it was an integral part of Debbie Harry and then-boyfriend, guitarist and co-writer Chris Stein’s relationship.
According to Harry’s recollection, “I was just walking around the house… riffing on Da da da da da! Dah-dah dah-dah. Seeing what flowed out… I remember Chris lying on the bed strumming those chords endlessly,” she added. “Sometimes I had to fight for space on the bed – it was me or the guitar – but after a while I got my own bed and made up the lyrics. That’s how we wrote the song.”
After the introduction of producer Mike Chapman several years later, the newly recorded track evolved from “Once I Had A Love” into “Heart Of Glass.” Using top disco artist Donna Summer‘s song library as inspiration, a Roland CompuRhythm CR-78 drum machine was introduced to song, giving it an a unique feel. The process of programming the backing track was labour-intensive, taking over ten hours. To get the sound they needed, it was necessary to press two buttons-“Chacha” and “Rhumba”-simultaneously, with the tempo for the machine cranking the patterns to halfway up.
After undergoing around 30-40 rounds of editing, Chapman realized they had created an unusual record and a hit. “It was us trying to do disco, and not really pulling it off. It really and truly was an experiment. It was unlike anything that any of us had done before.”
The EP includes the six versions of “Heart of Glass” from its beginning iterations as “The Disco Song,” all of which have been remastered from the original tapes. It also contains an essay and original artwork by artist Shepard Fairey.
2. Heart of Glass (Basic Track)
3. Heart of Glass (A Shep Pettibone Mix)
4. The Disco Song (1975)
5. Once I Had A Love (1978)
6. Heart of Glass (Instrumental)
Photo credit: Marisa Rose Ficara