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Blondie Week – Day 4: The Origins of “Heart of Glass”

TO CELEBRATE TODAY’S RELEASE OF OUR 33 1/3 ON  PARALLEL LINES, WE’RE PLEASED TO BRING YOU THE THIRD INSTALLMENT OF BLONDIE WEEK BY AUTHOR KEMBREW MCLEOD!

“Heart of Glass” was one of the first songs Chris Stein wrote for Blondie in 1974, and it was included on their 1975 demo as “The Disco Song.” Valentine recalled, “It was a joke, sort of. It was ironic—that’s the way I always took it—because it was just called just ‘The Disco Song.'” Blondie had largely abandoned this trifle until Parallel Lines producer Mike Chapman asked the band to play all their unrecorded songs during the album’s preproduction phase, in early 1978. When Chapman heard it, his Top 40 radar pinged.

“The early version of ‘Heart of Glass,’ that arrangement had a more standard disco beat, with doubles on the high-hats and so on,” Chris Stein said. “But Jimmy [Destri] had just bought a Roland drum machine and we were all really into Kraftwerk by the time we recorded it for Parallel Lines. The final version, to us, wasn’t really disco. We were thinking more along the lines of European electronic pop.”

“Back when it was called ‘The Disco Song,'” Harry recalled, “pretty much all I said was, ‘Once I had a love, it was a gas. Soon turned out, it was a pain in the ass.’ It didn’t quite work well, so that’s when we came up with the line, ‘Soon turned out, had a heart of glass.'”

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