Here in the twenty-teens, it’s easy to look back and view the disco craze of the 1970s as an anomaly, a musical style unto itself that lived a short but interesting life. But 1979’s “Heart of Glass,” put out by punk/New Wave outfit Blondie, serves as a reminder that even back then there was bleedover between genres—sometimes more than people thought was appropriate.
When “Heart of Glass” came out, it was actually met with quite a bit of resistance from New Wave and punk purists who accused the dominant New York New Wave band of selling out and pandering to the public by making it a disco song. However, “Heart of Glass” was apparently always intended to have a disco feel. Blondie co-founders Deborah Harry and Chris Stein had originally penned an even more “disco” version of the tune in 1975 under the title “Once I Had Love,” several years before this updated version was released. While Blondie never gave up their New Wave persona, this song ironically remains one of their best-remembered singles.
Blondie broke up in 1982, and Deborah Harry went on to release numerous solo records and try her hand at acting before the band re-formed in 1997. They continue recording and performing to this day.