Hanging on the Telephone

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"Hanging on the Telephone"
Single by Blondie
from the album Parallel Lines
B-side 'Will Anything Happen'
'Fade Away and Radiate'
Released October 30, 1978
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1978
Length 2:17
Label Chrysalis
Writer(s) Jack Lee
Producer(s) Mike Chapman
Certification Silver (BPI)[3]
Blondie singles chronology
"I'm Gonna Love You Too"
"Hanging on the Telephone"
"Heart of Glass"
Music sample
Alternative cover
US edition of the "Hanging On Telephone" single with alternative cover art.

"Hanging on the Telephone" is a song written by Jack Lee. It was first performed by his short-lived US West Coast power pop trio The Nerves.


The tune was the lead-off track on the group's 1976 EP, The Nerves' only release. New wave band Blondie later popularised the "Hanging on the Telephone" when it released a cover of the song as the second single off Parallel Lines in both the US and UK. The tune eventually reached number 5 in the UK in November 1978, as well as inspired other cover versions.

Like Blondie's follow up single, "Sunday Girl", the drumming pattern of "Hanging on the Telephone" employs a double backbeat rhythm. This percussion style also appeared on other power pop singles from the period, like The Romantics' 1978 release "Tell It to Carrie".[4]

Release history[edit]

UK 7" (CHS 2266)
  1. "Hanging on the Telephone" (Jack Lee) — 2:17
  2. "Will Anything Happen" (Lee) — 2:55
US 7" (CHS 2271)
  1. "Hanging on the Telephone" (Lee) — 2:17
  2. "Fade Away and Radiate" (Chris Stein) — 3:57

Chart peak positions[edit]

Chart (1978) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[5] 39
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 19
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[7] 16
Ireland (IRMA)[8] 16
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[9] 21
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[10] 20
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[11] 43
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[12] 5

Cover versions and appearances in other media[edit]

  • In 2001, Polish rock band Hey released a cover of the song on their studio album.
  • In 2006, both UK girl band Girls Aloud and Def Leppard released covers of the song, on a limited edition bonus disc to The Sound of Girls Aloud: The Greatest Hits and on Yeah!, respectively.
  • The song has been covered by Alexi Laiho's Finnish extreme power metal band Sinergy on the album To Hell and Back.
  • A studio band named Jack covered the song for inclusion in the 2005 edition of the PC game You Don't Know Jack.
  • A cover of this song appeared on punk rock band Rehasher's 2009 album, High Speed Access to My Brain.
  • The song appeared on the soundtrack of the 2006 video game True Crime: New York City.
  • Swedish duo Roxette covered the song during their Crash! Boom! Bang! world tour 94-95.
  • The Sharp covered the song on their 1993 EP Yeah I Want You.
  • In 2009 Jimmy Somerville covered the song on his acoustic album Suddenly Last Summer.[13]
  • In 2011, it was covered by The Gamits on a split with Red City Radio.
  • A version by Flowers Forever is played in the 2012 movie Electrick Children, in which a young girl believes she has become pregnant through listening to the song on her cassette recorder.
  • Blondie re-recorded the song for their 2014 compilation album Greatest Hits Deluxe Redux. The compilation was part of a 2-disc set called Blondie 4(0) Ever which included their 10th studio album Ghosts of Download and marked the 40th anniversary of the forming of the band.


  1. ^ Cateforis 2011, p. 139.
  2. ^ "The goddess still rocks". The Advocate (780) (Here Publishing). March 2, 1999. p. 57. ISSN 0001-8996. 
  3. ^ "Certified Awards". BPI. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  4. ^ Cateforis 2011, pp. 140–141.
  5. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Ultratop.be – Blondie – Hanging On The Telephone" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  7. ^ (Dutch) "Hangin' On The Telephone – BLONDIE". Top 30. Retrieved July 28, 2013. "Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 16" 
  8. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. When searching "Hangin' on the telephone". Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Blondie - Hanging On The Telephone search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  10. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Blondie – Hanging On The Telephone" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  11. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Blondie – Hanging On The Telephone". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  12. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  13. ^ O'Brien, Jon. "Jimmy Somerville Suddenly – Last Summer". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 

External links[edit]