Depending on who you ask, there are basically two songs in Blondie’s catalog which could be considered their “signature hit.” The first is “Heart of Glass,” which we featured in a previous rewind. The other is “Call Me,” which hit the airwaves in 1980. Interestingly enough, both hits were something of an anomaly for the band.
While “Heart of Glass” came under fire as too much of a disco hit for a band defining itself as punk/new wave, “Call Me” is more within Blondie’s wheelhouse, with sparse instrumentation and driving guitars and drums. However, ironically, “Call Me” didn’t show up on any of Blondie’s albums until nearly two decades after its release, having appeared originally on the soundtrack the 1980 film American Gigolo starring Richard Gere. When Stevie Nicks was unable to contribute a track to the film due to contract restrictions, disco producer Giorgio Moroder presented the music to Deborah Harry, who wrote the lyrics for it in a few hours’ time. The song topped the Billboard charts for six weeks, earned a Grammy nomination, and went on to be one of the band’s all-time best sellers, all without actually appearing on a Blondie album until the late 1990s (a remixed version for Once More Into the Bleach), and then again as a bonus cut on a reissue of Autoamerican in 2001. The Spanish version of the song also appeared on the Blonde and Beyond compilation record in 1993.
The original soundtrack cut of “Call Me” clocks at just over 8 minutes, while the radio and music video versions have a much shorter runtime. Enjoy!