Blondie: Autoameican – [Record 125]
Autoamerican is the fifth studio album by the American rock band Blondie. It was released in November 1980 and reached #3 in the UK charts, #8 in Australia and #7 in the US.
2. Live It Up.
3. Here’s Looking At You.
4. The Tide Is High.
5. Angels on the Balcony.
6. Go Through It.
7. Do the Dark.
11. Walk Like Me.
12. Follow Me.
Overview: The album proved to be 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 reciting a poem about the importance of the car in American society. 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, based on the King Arthur legend.
Producer Mike Chapman insisted the band record in Los Angeles, of which 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.” 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). Earlier pressings of the album had a sticker on the cover stating Including “The Tide Is High”, “Rapture” and “T-Birds”, suggesting that the latter track was planned as the third single release.
Autoamerican was digitally remastered and reissued with two bonus tracks by Chrysalis Records in the UK in 1994 which included extended the 12″ Special Disco Mix versions of “Rapture” and its B-side “Live It Up”, from 1981. The album was again remastered and re-released by EMI-Capitol in 2001, again featuring the extended version of “Rapture” along with the extended version of their number 1 hit “Call Me” (from the film soundtrack to American Gigolo), and also “Suzy & Jeffrey” which was originally the B-side to “The Tide Is High” single.