Label: Chrysalis Records
The album was a radical departure for the band, with opening track “Europa” setting the pace. The track is a dramatic instrumental overture featuring orchestral arrangements and ending with vocalist Debbie Harry declaiming a passage about automobile culture over an electronic soundtrack. Besides rock and pop tracks, the band explored a wide range of other musical genres: “Here’s Looking at You” and “Faces” show jazz and blues influences, the reggae hit “The Tide Is High” was a cover of The Paragons‘ 1967 Jamaican ska hit, whereas “Rapture” combined funk, rock, jazz, and even saw them embracing the then emerging genre of rap. The closing track, “Follow Me”, was a cover of a torch song from Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe‘s 1960 Broadway musical Camelot.
Producer Mike Chapman insisted the band record in Los Angeles. Guitarist Chris Stein lamented: “Every day we get up, stagger into the blinding sun, [and] drive past a huge Moon-mobile from some ancient sci-fi movie.” Drummer Clem Burke welcomed the change: “Autoamerican was fun. We got to spend two months in California. I’m always up for a free ride.” However, the band insisted on the cover artwork shot being from their hometown, posing on a roof at New York’s Broadway and Eighth. The image was taken from a commissioned painting by artist Martin Hoffman (1935-2013).
The band released two singles from this album, “The Tide Is High” and “Rapture”. “The Tide Is High” hit number 1 in several countries, including the US and the UK. “Rapture” became the first rap song ever to reach number 1 on the singles chart in the US (it also reached number 5 in the UK).
1. Europa (3:31)
2. Live It Up (4:09)
3. Here’s Looking at You (2:58)
4. The Tide Is High (4:39)
5. Angels on the Balcony (3:47)
6. Go Through It (2:40)
1. Do the Dark (3:51)
2. Rapture (6:30)
3. Faces (3:51)
4. T-Birds (3:56)
5. Walk Like Me (3:44)
6. Follow Me (3:01)
Blondie is an American rock band founded by singer Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein. The band was a pioneer in the early American new wave and punk scenes of the mid-late 1970s.
Title: The Hunter
Label: Chrysalis Records
The Hunter is the sixth studio album by the American band Blondie, released in May 1982. Blondie broke up after the release of this album. Debbie Harry continued to pursue a solo career with varied results after taking a few years off to care for partner Chris Stein, who was diagnosed with pemphigus, a rare autoimmune disease of the skin.
The Hunter is loosely a concept album based on the theme: searching, pursuing, and hunting. Tracks on the album include Jimmy Destri‘s Motown pastiche “Danceway”, while “Dragonfly” has a science-fiction theme to its lyrics about a race in space. “The Beast” deals with Deborah Harry’s experiences of becoming a public figure: “I am the centre of attraction, by staying off the streets”. “English Boys” is Harry and Chris Stein‘s melancholy tribute to “those English boys who had long hair”, The Beatles, recorded the year after John Lennon‘s assassination in New York City, describing the innocence and idealism of the 60’s, while “War Child” references military conflicts in Cambodia and the Middle East. The album concludes with a cover version of Smokey Robinson‘s “The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game“, originally recorded by The Marvelettes in 1967.
The song “For Your Eyes Only” was originally written for the 1981 James Bond film of the same name. The producers of the film, however, favored a track composed by Bill Conti and Michael Leeson and asked Blondie to record that song instead. Blondie declined, the Conti/Leeson song was passed on to Sheena Easton. Blondie opted to release their song (written by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein) on The Hunter.
Two singles were released from the album, “Island of Lost Souls” and “War Child” (the latter of which was also released as a 12″ extended version). “Danceway” was planned for release as a single in Canada (backed with “For Your Eyes Only”) but the single was withdrawn.
In the liner notes to the 2001 reissue of The Hunter, producer Mike Chapman stated “I knew that we were in a different and far less accessible artistic space. And that worried me. I could tell that things were different now, and I knew that this would be the last Blondie album.”
1. Orchid Club (5:44)
2. Island Of Lost Souls (4:44)
3. Dragonfly (5:58)
4. For Your Eyes Only (3:05)
5. The Beast (4:50)
1. War Child (4:00)
2. Little Caesar (2:57)
3. Danceway (3:16)
4. (Can I) Find The Right Words (To Say) (3:04)
5. English Boys (3:46)
6. The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game (3:32)