Glass has always been a symbol for fragility, purity and elegance. Ever since humans learnt to craft it, it has inspired tales, poetry and music. This year marks the 40th year since a music miracle happened in New York. And yes, it was glass inspired.
In the late seventies there was a roaring battle in New York City between opposite poles, rock and roll and disco music. Blondie was a punk rock band mostly known by the crowds attending concerts at CBGB’s. Nobody imagined that in 1979 they would release a video of a disco song, or fake disco, as they called it, performing right in the heart of the opposite scene: the famous Studio 54. Since then many bands have followed, such as former Sex Pistol’s Public Image Limited and it helped the growth of new tendencies in music such as Post-punk and New Wave, for it’s unique way to fuse two antagonist styles of music.
The song we’re talking about is, of course, ‘Heart of Glass’ and it’s celebrating its 40th year. It was released as a single on the 28th January 1979, however the song had been a work in progress for at least 5 years before that. Its original version was recorded under the name ‘Once I had a love’. It wasn’t changed until late 1978 when producer Mike Chapman had a chance on what Blondie called “a song that no one has been able to shape up”.
The creation of the song was a hard process that defied the technology available at the time. It was recorded well before the birth of musical protocols such as MIDI to sync synthesizers and drum machines to a tempo, so it had to be done by hand. The song builds up from a click track done by the tom-tom’s of a now classic Roland CR-78 drum machine, that’s then followed by kick drums, snares, cymbals, bass line, guitars in order for Debbie Harry’s voice to punch in, tying the song together. Giving birth to a glass hit that came to be a Number 1 in over 16 countries. In Australia Heart of Glass dethroned Chic’s “Le Freak” in Kent Music Report’s List.
Here at Glass Now we love music and many of us have danced to this is a song many times in our lifetime. No matter how young or old we are, a true hit song never gets old. And like great wine, it just ages to perfection. Inspiration is always a good source of wellbeing and happiness. And here at Glass Now we celebrate the 40th anniversary of “Heart of Glass”. We trust that most of the punk music purists that hated it back in the day have learned to love it and enjoy it as much as we do. The achievement of recording this song materialised the longevity for the band and many tours. It also posed a difficult task to achieve in the sense that it demanded the band to break out of the box and reach for something they couldn’t envision in the moment of the song’s creation. So, happy birthday “Heart of Glass”. What’s your favourite glass themed song of all time?