Blondie – Call Me
One of the very first hits released in the 1980s was definitely Blondie’s “Call me”. Even if it can really be considered a song that is always modern and timeless, this song was released in early February 1980, and was included in the soundtrack of a famous film, “American Gigolo”, which helped launch the fantastic career of the great Richard Gere.
In the film, Richard played Julian, a gigolo, who ends up in a murky story where he has to defend from murder charges. And the song is about Julian’s work, although the final version was the result of a series of unexpected events, as was often the case in the 80s.
The song is conceived in the head of the great Giorgio Moroder, who was working on the movie soundtrack. Giorgio Moroder had his ideal performer in mind for this song, and proposed it to the warm voice of Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks. Unfortunately, Stevie Nicks had recently signed a contract with a new record label, and the terms of her contract prevented her from collaborating with Moroder.
The great composer, however, did not lose heart and proposed the song to Debbie Harry. Moroder actually gave her little more than a musical base and some indications, but left to Debbie and her group the task to write the final lyrics and melody.
Debbie, woman of extreme sensuality but also of great musical and artistic ability, dedicated herself with her group Blondie to working on the song, and legend has it that within a few hours, let’s say one afternoon, this beautiful song was born.
The lyrics of the song are naturally inspired by the character of the film, but it is curious to hear how Debbie imagines the thoughts of the man dedicated to prostitution. There is no real story, but the lyrics are certainly engaging, sung by the sensual voice of Debbie Harry who also included a couple of verses in Italian and French.
It was a success: the song quickly became the biggest hit of Blondie’s long career, and reached the top of the charts in both the UK and the US, as well as many other countries. In fact, a real video was never made, or rather, two were made both a little reductive, in my opinion.
The first video is the official one, but in essence it is a collection of concert clips and images of Blondie and Debbie Harry. Another video was also released, in which the group never appeared, and essentially only a taxi could be seen driving through the streets of New York. Moreover, this same taxi appeared in other Blondie videos, it was kind of a mascot, let’s say.
It seems impossible that “Call me” came out over forty years ago: it is a really timeless song, which was covered, thirty years later, by two real icons of sex appeal of the 80s, who made a very beautiful and absolutely ironic cover in their style. And do you like more the original version of Debbie Harry and Blondie, or the 2010 cover of Samantha Fox and Sabrina Salerno?