Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Today in Rock History...

1981 - The group Blondie, featuring Debbie Harry, received a gold record for the tune, "Rapture". At the time, the pop-rock hit was perched at the top of the pop music charts. Blondie had eight charted hits. Four of them were million sellers, beginning with their first release, "Heart of Glass" in 1979. Four of the eight hits were number one on the charts, as well.

Some Interesting Facts About The Song~

This was the first #1 hit song with a rap. Artists like Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, and Kurtis Blow had been rapping since the mid-'70s, and The Sugarhill Gang had the first Top-40 hit earlier in 1980 with "Rapper's Delight," but until this, rap had never been incorporated into a hit Pop song. Debbie Harry did the rap, and it was really ridiculous, with lyrics about the "Man from Mars eating cars," but the novelty helped the song become a hit. Harry says that a lot of rappers told her it was the first rap song they ever heard, since rap wasn't on the radio then.
Until this came out, rappers always used existing songs as the basis for the music they would rap over. They usually took Disco or Soul records and looped the beats to extend the breaks. Debbie Harry's rap in this was nothing special, but it was the first rap in a song that had its own original music.
In certain Christian theology, The Rapture is an event where believers are transported to heaven while others must endure the beginning of the end times on Earth. The lyrics of this song are a bit apocalyptic, as the "Man from Mars" starts destroying the planet with his insatiable appetite. The word "Rapture" is also a play on the rap aspect of the song.
As the age of Disco ended, so did Blondie's success. This was their last US hit until 1999, when they had a comeback song called "Maria." They did have another UK hit in 1982 called "Island Of Lost Souls."
If you listen carefully to the lyrics, you might hear something naughty. Shortly before the rap, there is a line that sounds a lot like "Finger F--king." Most lyric sheets list this line as "Finger Popping."
Hip-Hop promoter and former host of Yo! MTV Raps Fab 5 Freddie is in the video and is mentioned in the song. He was part of the early rap scene and is credited with helping bring it into the mainstream. Blondie originally met Fab Five Freddy and his crew at a club. They all became friends, and one day Freddy jokingly suggested that Debbie Harry should write a song about them. She did and the result was the rap that is the second half of the song. She sent it to Freddy, he and his crew loved it and she ended up recording it.
The video for this features a cameo appearance by New York artist/Andy Warhol disciple Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose life was portrayed in the 1996 film Basquiat.
The lyrics, "Flash is fast, flash is cool" are a reference to pioneering Hip-Hop DJ Grandmaster Flash.


Toe to toe
Dancing very slow
Barely breathing
Almost comatose
Wall to wall
People hypnotized
And they're stepping lightly
Hang each night in Rapture

Back to back
Spinless movement
And a wild attack

Face to face
Sadly solitude
And it's finger popping
Twenty-four hour shopping in Rapture

Fab Five Freddie told me everybody's high
DJ's spinnin' are savin' my mind
Flash is fast, Flash is cool
Francois sez fas, Flashe' no do
And you don't stop, sure shot
Go out to the parking lot
And you get in your car and you drive real far
And you drive all night and then you see a light
And it comes right down and lands on the ground
And out comes a man from Mars
And you try to run but he's got a gun
And he shoots you dead and he eats your head
And then you're in the man from Mars
You go out at night, eatin' cars
You eat Cadillacs, Lincolns too
Mercurys and Subarus
And you don't stop, you keep on eatin' cars
Then, when there's no more cars
You go out at night and eat up bars where the people meet
Face to face, dance cheek to cheek
One to one, man to man
Dance toe to toe
Don't move to slow, 'cause the man from Mars
Is through with cars, he's eatin' bars
Yeah, wall to wall, door to door, hall to hall
He's gonna eat 'em all
Rapture, be pure
Take a tour, through the sewer
Don't strain your brain, paint a train
You'll be singin' in the rain
I said don't stop, do punk rock

Man to man, body muscular
Sismic decibel by the jugular
Wall to wall, tea time technology and a digital ladder
No sign of bad luck in rapture

Well now you see what you wanna be
Just have your party on TV
'Cause the man from Mars won't eat up bars when the TV's on
And now he's gone back up to space
Where he won't have a hassle with the human race
And you hip-hop, and you don't stop
Just blast off, sure shot
'Cause the man from Mars stopped eatin' cars and eatin' bars
And now he only eats guitars, get up!

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