Blondie — Heart of Glass

"Heart of Glass" is a song by American New Wave band Blondie. Featured on the band's third studio album, Parallel Lines, it was released as a single in 1979 and topped the charts in several countries, most notably in the United Kingdom and United States.

Rolling Stone ranked the song number 255 on its list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.


"Heart of Glass" was originally recorded in 1975 under the name "Once I Had a Love," and was much slower with a blues/reggae vibe to it. The song was frequently performed on tours, then was re-recorded with the same title in 1978, when the song was made a bit more rock-oriented. When Blondie recorded the album Parallel Lines, disco was big on the music scene, and producer Mike Chapman decided to give the song the disco twist that made the song what it is today, and one of the best-known Blondie recordings. For the single release the track was remixed by Chapman with the double-tracked bass drum even more accentuated.

The song was released in January 1979, and reached number one in both the US and the UK. The UK B-side was "Rifle Range", from Blondie's self titled debut album while the US single used the Parallel Lines track "11:59". The accompanying music video for "Heart of Glass" was filmed at Studio 54 in New York City.

The versions appearing on the 7" single issued in early 1979 varied from country to country, some used the regular album version (UK, 3:54), others an edited album version (US, 3:22) and others an edited version of the 12" Disco Mix (4:10), which is the one usually found on current hits compilations like the 1994 anthology The Platinum Collection, Greatest Hits: Sight + Sound (2005) and Greatest Hits: Sound & Vision (2006). For the band's very first hits compilation, 1981's The Best of Blondie, producer Mike Chapman created a special mix including elements from both the 12" Disco Version and the 12" Instrumental (4:33). The 1981 version appears on 2002's Greatest Hits.


Almost immediately after its release, "Heart of Glass" became the subject of controversy because of its disco sound. At the time, Blondie was one of the bands at the forefront of New York's growing New Wave musical scene and were accused of "selling out" for releasing a disco song. According to Blondie frontwoman Deborah Harry, "Heart of Glass" made the band pariahs in the eyes of many of their fellow musicians in the New York music scene. The band was accused of pandering to the mainstream that many punk/new wave bands at the time were actively rebelling against.

There was also the issue of the use of the expression "pain in the ass" used in the final chorus within the lyrics which, at the time, did not sit easily with the BBC. The radio version changed it to "heart of glass." In Australia, the song was banned from radio for its "strong language."

Despite the controversy, the song was a huge hit and helped propel Blondie from cult group to mainstream icons. The band itself has acknowledged the success of the song in helping their careers and has downplayed criticism of the song, pointing out that Blondie always experimented with different styles of music and that "Heart of Glass" was their take on disco. The band itself has jokingly taken to referring to the song as "The Disco Song" in interviews.

The Blondie — Heart of Glass clip can be downloaded for free and without registration.

Size82.09 Mb
Duration4:09 min
Artist Blondie
Genres rock, funk/soul, soft rock, disco, new wave
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