Autoamerican

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Autoamerican
Studio album by Blondie
Released November 1980
Recorded 1980, United Western Studios, Hollywood
Genre New wave
Length 46:39
50:49 (cassette)
Label Chrysalis
Producer Mike Chapman
Blondie chronology
Eat to the Beat
(1979)
Autoamerican
(1980)
The Hunter
(1982)
Singles from Autoamerican
  1. "The Tide Is High"
    Released: October 1980
  2. "Rapture"
    Released: January 12, 1981
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B−[2]
Rolling Stone 1/5 stars[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[4]

Autoamerican is the fifth studio album by the American rock band Blondie. It was released in November 1980 and reached #3[5] in the UK charts, #8 in Australia and #7 in the US.

Overview[edit]

The album proved to be a radical departure for the band, with opening track "Europa" setting the pace. The track is a dramatic instrumental overture featuring orchestral arrangements and ending with vocalist Debbie Harry reciting a poem about the importance of the car in American society. Besides rock and pop tracks, the band explored a wide range of other musical genres: "Here's Looking At You" and "Faces" show jazz and blues influences, the reggae hit "The Tide Is High" was a cover of The Paragons' 1967 Jamaican ska hit, whereas "Rapture" combined funk, rock, jazz, and even saw them embracing the then emerging genre of rap. The closing track, "Follow Me", was a cover of a torch song from Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's 1960 Broadway musical Camelot, based on the King Arthur legend.

Producer Mike Chapman insisted the band record in Los Angeles,[citation needed] of which guitarist Chris Stein lamented: "Every day we get up, stagger into the blinding sun, [and] drive past a huge Moon-mobile from some ancient sci-fi movie."[citation needed] However, the band insisted on the cover artwork shot being from their hometown, posing on a roof at New York's Broadway and Eighth. The image was taken from a commissioned painting by artist Martin Hoffman (1935-2013).[6]

The band released two singles from this album, "The Tide Is High" and "Rapture". "The Tide Is High" hit number 1 in several countries, including the US and the UK. "Rapture" became the first rap song ever to reach number 1 on the singles chart in the US (it also reached number 5 in the UK). Earlier pressings of the album had a sticker on the cover stating Including "The Tide Is High", "Rapture" and "T-Birds", suggesting that the latter track was planned as the third single release.

Autoamerican was digitally remastered and reissued with two bonus tracks by Chrysalis Records in the UK in 1994 which included extended the 12" Special Disco Mix versions of "Rapture" and its B-side "Live It Up", from 1981. The album was again remastered and re-released by EMI-Capitol in 2001, again featuring the extended version of "Rapture" along with the extended version of their number 1 hit "Call Me" (from the film soundtrack to American Gigolo), and also "Suzy & Jeffrey" which was originally the B-side to "The Tide Is High" single.

Track listing[edit]

Side One
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Europa"   Chris Stein 3:31
2. "Live It Up"   Stein 4:09
3. "Here's Looking At You"   Debbie Harry, Stein 2:58
4. "The Tide Is High" (The Paragons cover) John Holt, Tyrone Evans, Howard Barrett 4:39
5. "Angels on the Balcony"   Laura Davis, Jimmy Destri 3:47
6. "Go Through It"   Harry, Stein 2:40
Side Two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
7. "Do the Dark"   Destri 3:51
8. "Rapture"   Harry, Stein 6:30
9. "Faces"   Harry 3:51
10. "T-Birds"   Nigel Harrison, Harry 3:56
11. "Walk Like Me"   Destri 3:44
12. "Follow Me"   Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe 3:01
Bonus tracks on cassette edition
No. Title Writer(s) Length
7. "Susie and Jeffrey" (B-side to "The Tide Is High" single) Harry, Harrison 4:10
Bonus tracks 1994 CD reissue
No. Title Writer(s) Length
13. "Rapture (Special Disco Mix)"   Harry, Stein 9:59
14. "Live It Up (Special Disco Mix)"   Stein 8:13
Bonus tracks 2001 CD reissue
No. Title Writer(s) Length
13. "Call Me (Original Long Version)" (From the original motion picture soundtrack American Gigolo) Giorgio Moroder, Harry 8:06
14. "Suzy & Jeffrey" (B-side to "The Tide Is High" single) Harry, Harrison 4:10
15. "Rapture (Special Disco Mix)"   Harry, Stein 9:59

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel

Production[edit]

  • Mike Chapmanrecord producer
  • Recorded at United Western Studio, Hollywood, California in 1980. Originally released on Chrysalis (1290).
  • Kevin Flaherty – 2001 reissue producer

Chart peaks[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[18] 3× Platinum 300,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[19] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[20] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Autoamerican - Blondie". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-09-01. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG:Blondie". RobertChristgau.com. Archived from the original on 2010-01-18. Retrieved 2012-09-01. 
  3. ^ Carson, Tom (1985-02-20). "Autoamerican". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2012-04-15. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  4. ^ "Blondie: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2014-04-09. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  5. ^ "Chartstats Blondie Autoamerican". Chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 2012-10-21. Retrieved 2012-09-01. 
  6. ^ Martin Hoffman: Martin Hoffman dies - Orlando Sentinel Archived January 16, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Blondie – Autoamerican". austriancharts.at (in German). IFPI Austria. Archived from the original on 2014-02-24. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "100 Albums". RPM (Library and Archives Canada) 14 (10). 14 February 1981. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "100 Albums". RPM (Library and Archives Canada) 34 (18). 11 April 1981. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "Blondie – Autoamerican". dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2014-03-12. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "German Charts > Blondie > Autoamerican" (in German). charts.de PhonoNet. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Blondie – Autoamerican". charts.org.nz. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "Blondie – Autoamerican". norwegiancharts.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-25. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Blondie – Autoamerican". swedishcharts.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-03. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Blondie – UK Chart Positions". officialcharts.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  16. ^ a b "Autoamerican – Blondie : Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on 2013-08-12. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "Canadian 1981 Top 100 Albums". Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  18. ^ "Gold and Platinum Search". musiccanada.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  19. ^ "BPI – Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2013-09-21.  Note: User needs to enter "Blondie" in the "Keywords" field, "Artist" in the "Search by" field and click the "Search" button. Select "More >>" next to the relevant entry to see full certification history.
  20. ^ "Searchable Database". riaa.com. Retrieved 30 January 2014.