Tag Archives: Autoamerican

Rocks In The Attic #641: Blondie – ‘The Hunter’ (1982)

RITA#641I really dig these late-era Blondie albums, particularly this one and its predecessor, Autoamerican. They don’t sound too much like classic-era Blondie – well, Debbie Harry’s vocals do – but in terms of instrumentation and songwriting, they’re much closer to the emerging trend of New Wave bands than their pop-punk past.

The highlight of this record – aside from the cover photo, where Debbie Harry is wearing the craziest wig this side of Tina Turner’s appearance in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome – is the inclusion of the ‘lost’ Bond theme, For Your Eyes Only, originally recorded for the 1981 film of the same name. As far as Blondie songs go, it isn’t the worst thing they’ve recorded, but like Alice Cooper’s version of The Man With The Golden Gun, it’s definitely not Bond-worthy. You can understand why they were turned down by the Bond producers. Blondie were then asked to record the Bill Conti composition that was ultimately recorded by Sheena Easton, but declined the offer. That, to me, sounds like a much more exciting prospect, but unfortunately I can only imagine what it would sound like.

This was the final Blondie record until 1999’s No Exit. You can hear the band coming to the end of their natural life-cycle on The Hunter. A Debbie Harry solo career was dawning, with her first record, KooKoo, appearing a year prior in 1981. But more than anything, the split of the group was caused by Chris Stein’s illness with the rare auto-immune disease, pemphigus – which he would ultimately overcome before their late-‘90s comeback.

Hit: Island of Lost Souls

Hidden Gem: The Hunter

Rocks In The Attic #71: Blondie – ‘Autoamerican’ (1980)

Rocks In The Attic #71: Blondie - ‘Autoamerican’ (1980)This is an odd album, effectively showing Blondie moving with the times and changing from a 70s band into an 80s band. You can imagine rock fans turning away from Blondie in droves when this was released, but I like it. It has a charm, and the band sound very confident taking such a departure from their punk beginnings.

Okay, their punk was always very pop-oriented, but here they move away from sure ground to embrace Jamaican ska (The Tide Is High), jazz (Here’s Looking At You, Faces), disco (Do The Dark), and even funk and rap (Rapture). It’s almost as though they thought they’d switch genres but couldn’t decide on which one to switch to so they chose all of them.

When listening to a greatest hits record by Blondie, the hit singles from this album – The Tide Is High and Rapture – sound out of place, but on this record, in their original context, they make much more sense.

Hit: The Tide Is High

Hidden Gem: Europa