Blondie – Rapture

First Hit #1: March 28, 1981

As has become apparent with their various hits, Blondie is a band that knows what it likes, and has no hesitation plugging their favorite genres and new discoveries into new songs. They still sound like Blondie, Debbie Harry’s vocals are distinct and they’ve got a unique guitar style that not many people can replicate. It even leads them to success, with their disco and reggae sojourns becoming big hits in their own right. This time around, Blondie discovers rap.

It’s not the most embarrassing rap ever performed by a famous blonde lady, I’ll give it that – Madonna rapping about fancy coffee on American Life takes that dubious honor. And, to be fair, the band does seem to have a genuine appreciation for the art form and wants to include it because they love it. That said, Harry might be a great singer, but she’s a terrible rapper. Her rambling narrative about driving and eating cars and other adventures is unique, but she’s got the flow of a third grade teacher desperate to appear hip, and considering her breathy vocals earlier in the song you just wonder why she isn’t doing what she’s good at. Rapture is a good song for the first half, and I can appreciate what they’re trying to do. The heart of the matter is that the band simply isn’t very good at what they’re trying to do. Being a good rapper is a skill, and not everyone possesses it.

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2 Responses to Blondie – Rapture

  1. Robert Berman says:

    It’s not a rap performance that I’d listen to just to listen to rap. (Admittedly, not much rap falls into that category for me.) But (1) She gets major prescience points for being in on the phenomenon relatively early, and (2) The doggerel lyrics are not far removed from the stream-of-consciousness vaucuosity of the “rip-rip-rippity-rap” philosophizing common to 70s rap, as parodied on SNL decades later:

  2. mscebooks says:

    Perhaps you would be interested in the eBook “Blondie: Parallel Lines” by Dick Porter & Kris Needs

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