Wednesday, October 15, 2014

eat to the beat

Blondie turned the hardest part of success into living vérité with the eclectic passion of this atomic doo-wop disco dream.  Although the band had found a following in Australia and the UK with their first two albums ('Blondie' and 'Plastic Letters'), success had eluded them in their home country until their third album 'Parallel Lines' with the number one smash "Heart of Glass".  

The pressure was on for the followup, and they decided to stick with producer Mike Chapman for the sessions at The Power Station, Electric Lady Studio and Media Sound in New York.  'Eat to the Beat' features Deborah Harry on vocals;  Chris Stein on guitar;  Clem Burke on drums;  Jimmy Destri on keyboards; and background vocals;  Nigel Harrison on bass guitar;  and Frank Infante on guitar and background vocals;    with  Mike Chapman, Donna Destri, Ellie Greenwich, and Lorna Luft on background vocals;  Randy Singer (Hennes) on harmonica for "Eat to the Beat";  and Robert Fripp playing guitar on "Atomic".  

Harry would consider at the time:   "Success is harder to handle than no success at all...A lot of people think that everything you do is, like, preconceived.  Yeah, it's been good, because it's been very inspired - whatever happened was it. Our biggest consideration was just to survive, so, like... all art forms are frivolous. That's what 'stay hungry' is all about...Now we're sort of at an in-between stage, commercially and artistically. We're at a stage where we are what we are, and we've been clearly defined, and there is a market for us, right? So we're taking steps in our direction, you know. We're moving on, we're doing things, but we're doing things that people can identify. We're not taking a total turn from what we've been classified as. But, like, the next things that we do, we could very well do a total turnaround."

Stein said:  "The hard part about success is that all your friends, all these people that you like, turn against you. It's amazing. Everything in this whole fucking scene is like a Grade B novel. Here's the band: they starve, they have no money. You sign bad deals, sign your life away to various deals, right? You spend all your money getting out of bad deals, then all the people you respect turn around and say, 'You sold out. You suck. I don't like you anymore.'... It's horrendous. It's just like the fucking shit you see in the movies. It's like all the stuff your old grandmother told you. Shep Gordon, a friend of ours [and manager of Alice Cooper] told us, 'You shouldn't spend all your money on a real expensive straightjacket,' which I think is a great truth of this business ... Even though, America chose to pretty much ignore our first two albums, before picking up on 'Parallel Lines' and the 'Heart Of Glass' single, in a way we're already at the crossroads of our career.  'Eat To The Beat' is our fourth album, though it's the first one that the American public has been waiting for. Now, there really isn't another 'Heart Of Glass' amongst the tracks, but I honestly believe it to be our best effort and I guess it will enjoy mass appeal on the strength of us now having so many fans..."But if 'Parallel Lines' and 'Eat To The Beat' had come out in reverse, I honestly don't know how it would do... probably not as well as it's going to do!"

'Eat to the Beat' chewed up charts all over the world, going to twenty-three in Germany, nineteen in Austria, seventeen in the US, sixteen in the Netherlands, nine in Australia, six in Canada and Norway, three in New Zealand, two in Sweden, and number one in the UK.  The album has been certified platinum in the UK and the US and double platinum in Canada.  Blondie also became the first band to produce a full album video with 'Eat to the Beat', making videos for every song on the album.   


"The Hardest Part"  

"Union City Blue" 


"Accidents Never Happen"  

"Die Young Stay Pretty"

"Slow Motion" 




"Living in the Real World"  

'Eat to the Beat' 
full album:

Side One
1. "Dreaming"   Debbie Harry, Chris Stein 3:08
2. "The Hardest Part"   Harry, Stein 3:43
3. "Union City Blue"   Harry, Nigel Harrison 3:22
4. "Shayla"   Stein 3:58
5. "Eat to the Beat"   Harry, Harrison 2:40
6. "Accidents Never Happen"   Jimmy Destri 4:15
Side Two
7. "Die Young Stay Pretty"   Harry, Stein 3:34
8. "Slow Motion"   Laura Davis, Destri 3:29
9. "Atomic"   Harry, Destri 4:40
10. "Sound-A-Sleep"   Harry, Stein 4:18
11. "Victor"   Harry, Frank Infante 3:19
12. "Living in the Real World"   Destri 2:54

13. "Die Young Stay Pretty" (Live BBC 12/31/79) (Recorded live New Year's Eve '79 at The Apollo Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland) Harry, Stein 3:27
14. "Seven Rooms of Gloom" (Live BBC 12/31/79) (Recorded live New Year's Eve '79 at The Apollo Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland) Holland–Dozier–Holland 2:48
15. "Heroes"  (Live)(B-side to "Atomic" single, Recorded live 1/12/80 at The Hammersmith Odeon, UK) David Bowie, Brian Eno 6:19

16. "Ring of Fire" (Live) (From the original motion picture soundtrack Roadie) June Carter Cash, Merle Kilgore 3:30

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