Call Me/The Tide Is High (Blondie) - day 50
Today is Debbie day. Let the witches and goblins, the faeries and creeps, the drag queens and punks shriek with delight, for their queen has arrived! In yesterday’s post about the cacophonous blend of genres hitting the airwaves in 1980, I mentioned Blondie because it was their sound and their songs that dominated the charts. Blondie was an act whose sound was so pleasing that it continues to cross boundaries creating a hybrid of sexy thumping disco and sexy new wave rock and roll. To be the first act of its kind to accomplish that, fronted by a female vocalist whose voice was as electric and magnetic as her look, it’s no surprise I would repeat adding more Blondie songs to my countdowns.
Call Me is an epic ride from a steamy film starring the hottest up and coming male movie star of his day, Richard Gere. There is no veil over the lyrics; they say what they say, and Debbie does not apologize for it. In fact, she owns the sticky heat that radiates from your speakers. This is a song worthy of cranking the volume. And whichever way your tendency sways, you’re not cheating on your go-to genre by loving every drop of this song.
Same year, completely different sound: The Tide Is High. Reggae inspired but a smash on commercial airwaves, this song stayed on the charts for more than a year and has become one of the defining songs, for me, of my favorite year of music, 1981. I don’t really know any flowery words to describe the way this actual song makes me feel, except that it does make me feel. Clearly it’s a sense of nostalgia for a time when I hated life and wished I could go to sleep and not wake up, but every day that I did, music like this comforted me in my small wood-paneled bedroom, cuddling my blind poodle (not a euphemism) and wishing that longed-for starship would swoop down and take me to the far flung future. The tide was indeed high and I was, in fact, holding on, thanks to Debbie Harry and the boys of Blondie.