The Numero Group label is well-known for its deep dives into the musical underground. So it came as a bit of a shock today that the label's next release is celebrating a famous Number One single. On October 26, the label will release a 12-inch vinyl and digital EP featuring six versions of Blondie's 1979 chart-topper "Heart of Glass," the song which propelled Debbie Harry and co. into superstardom. But that's not all.
This title will be followed in fall 2019 by the release of Blondie: The Complete Studio Recordings 1975-1982 featuring the group's first six LPs remastered from the original analog tapes plus two additional albums containing B-sides, rarities, and unreleased tracks. This set will be released on CD, vinyl and digital formats.
Written by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, "Heart of Glass" dated back to 1974-1975 and the song "Once I Had a Love," reportedly inspired by The Hues Corporations' smash "Rock the Boat." Harry and Stein kept working on the song, demoing it again in 1978 and then reworking it with the aid of producer Michael Chapman for Parallel Lines, Blondie's third studio album. The single was released in January 1979 as the third single off Parallel Lines. Bolstered by a music video as well as an appearance on the hit sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati, the disco-flecked track hit the Number One spot on charts in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and Switzerland. It even courted controversy when some fans felt that the new wave band had "sold out" by "going disco;" in fact, it only reached No. 58 on the Billboard Disco chart. In fact, "Heart of Glass" fused disco, rock, new wave, and Kraftwerk-inspired electronics to create a sound of its own.
With the inclusion of demos from 1975 and 1978, long and instrumental disco versions, a scratch track, and the Shep Pettibone remix, the Heart of Glass EP (limited to 10,000 units) is promised by the label to trace the song's evolution: "Blondie transformed their campy 'Once I Had A Love' into a Roland-driven juggernaut and never looked back. Explored and exploded via six distinct versions remastered from the original analog tapes, the history of 'Heart of Glass' is documented here in a copious essay and its art reimagined by noted American illustrator Shepard Fairey."
Heart of Glass arrives from Numero on vinyl and via all digital platforms on October 26. It's currently available for pre-order directly through Numero and from Blondie's webstore, though we will update with Amazon links once they are available. Stay tuned for more big Blondie news from Numero on the way to the release of The Complete Studio Recordings next year!
Blondie, Heart of Glass EP (Numero Group, 2018)
- Heart of Glass (Disco Long)
- Heart of Glass (Scratch Track)
- Heart of Glass (Shep Pettibone Mix)
- Once I Had a Love (1975)
- Once I Had a Love (1978)
- Heart of Glass (Disco Instrumental)