|Single by Blondie|
|from the album Autoamerican|
|B-side||Walk Like Me|
|Released||January 12, 1981|
|Format||7" single, 12" single|
|Genre||Funk, disco, hip hop|
|Certification||Gold (US), Silver (UK)|
|Blondie singles chronology|
In January 1981, "Rapture" was released as the second and final single from the band's top 10 album Autoamerican, the first being "The Tide Is High". The song reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it stayed for two weeks. The song peaked at #4 in Australia and #5 in the United Kingdom.
"Rapture" is a combination of new wave, disco, R&B, pop, and hip-hop with the rap section forming an extended coda. The song title "Rapture" served to indicate this element. While it was not the first single featuring rapping to be commercially successful, it was the first to top the charts. Its lyrics were especially notable for namechecking hip-hop pioneers Fab Five Freddy and Grandmaster Flash.
The music video made its television debut on Solid Gold on January 31, 1981, and became the first rap video ever broadcast on MTV. Set in the East Village section of Manhattan, the "Man from Mars" or "voodoo god" (dancer William Barnes in the white suit and top hat) is the introductory and central figure. Barnes also choreographed the piece. The final shot is a one-take scene of Debbie Harry dancing along the street, passing by graffiti artists, Uncle Sam, a Native American and a goat. Fab Five Freddy and graffiti artists Lee Quinones and Jean-Michel Basquiat make cameo appearances. Basquiat was hired when Grandmaster Flash did not show for the filming.
- Deborah Harry – vocals
- Clem Burke – drums
- Jimmy Destri - electric keyboards
- Nigel Harrison – bass
- Frank Infante – guitar
- Chris Stein - guitar, tympani
- Tom Scott - saxophone
The versions appearing on the U.S. and UK 7" and 12" singles were quite different. The US 7" single, also issued with a different cover picture, used the regular Autoamerican album version and the US 12" single used a version with an additional verse, making it just 40 seconds longer. For the UK and other market single releases, producer Mike Chapman remixed the track completely. The Special Disco Mix has a different intro, a longer instrumental break with new percussion overdubbed and includes the extra verse, making it ten minutes long. The UK 7" version (4:59) was an edit of this Special Disco Mix without the extra verse and a slightly different edit with the extra verse (5:33) appeared on the band's first 'greatest hits' compilation The Best of Blondie in 1981. The track "Live It Up" was also extended and remixed for the B-side of the non-U.S. 12" single. This 8 minute version was included on the deleted 1994 UK CD edition of Autoamerican but was re-issued as part of EMI's lavish 15 disc Singles Box in 2004.
The picture of Debbie Harry used for the UK editions of the original 7" and 12" "Rapture" singles was later used for the cover of 1995 compilation Beautiful: The Remix Album.
A later official remix of "Rapture" can be found on the 1988 compilation Once More into the Bleach. The track was remixed again and reissued as a single in both the UK and the US in 1994 and included on compilations The Platinum Collection, Beautiful: The Remix Album and Remixed Remade Remodeled: The Remix Project.
In 2005, "Rapture" was "mashed" with The Doors' "Riders on the Storm" into "Rapture Riders" by Go Home Productions. This unofficial mashup remix was later approved to be included on Blondie's Greatest Hits: Sight + Sound. The song was a Top 40 hit in Australia and Netherlands and made the top ten on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart.
Grandmaster Flash scratch mixed "Rapture" on his single "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel" and also included the track on his 2002 DJ mix album Essential Mix: Classic Edition. In 1996, Foxy Brown (featuring Jay-Z) used the song as the base for her hit, "I'll Be". It was also sampled by Won-G for his single "Caught Up in the Rapture", and was interpolated by rapper KRS-One on his 1997 single "Step into a World (Rapture's Delight)". In 2000, it was sampled once more by Glamma Kid on his single "Bills 2 Pay". In that same year, Destiny's Child sampled it on their single "Independent Women". The song was also sampled by the Jungle Brothers in the song "In Days 2 Come" from the album "Done by the Forces of Nature". Elements of "Rapture" were recreated for the Joe Pesci song "Wise Guy", in which he raps in-character as Vincent LaGuardia Gambini from the film My Cousin Vinny.
English synthpop duo Erasure covered "Rapture" on the US version of their 1997 album Cowboy, with Vince Clarke providing the rap. It was also included in the setlist for their 2005 tour, "The Erasure Show".
At the 2003 Brit Awards, Justin Timberlake performed part of the song with Kylie Minogue singing the rap, as the finale of a medley including his hit songs "Cry Me a River" and "Like I Love You". During their raunchy routine, Timberlake infamously touched Minogue’s behind. The performance reportedly caused a dispute between Minogue and her then-boyfriend, model James Gooding. The much-publicised bottom grope was later revealed to be a part of the sequence’s planned choreography.
Eurobeat/italo disco artist Sophie (Elena Ferretti) released an italo disco cover of the song in 1989 initially on her My World album. The song later appeared on Super Eurobeat Volume 1 in 1994.
Appearances in popular culture
- The song is played during the Manhattan gallery scene in the hip-hop film Wild Style (1983)
- Blondie's recording is featured in the film 200 Cigarettes (1999)
- The song appears in the film The Heartbreak Kid (2007)
- Blondie's version is used on Nip/Tuck last chapter of its first season, "Escobar Gallardo".
- The Blondie track is also featured in the Steve McQueen film Shame (2011).
- The hook's melody is used in dubstep producer Doctor P's song "Galaxies & Stars".
- The song is also used in the commercial for Bailey's Irish Cream with Spirit Advert (2012).
US 7" (CHS 2485, January 1981)
US 12" (12 CHS 2485, January 1981)
- "Rapture" (US 12" Mix) (Harry, Stein) - 7:13
- "Walk Like Me" (Destri) - 3:45
UK 7" (CHS 2485, January 1981)
- "Rapture" (UK 7" Mix) (Harry, Stein) - 4:59
- "Walk Like Me" (Destri) - 3:45
UK 12" (CHS 12 2485, January 1981)
- "Rapture" (Special Disco Mix) (Harry, Stein) - 10:01
- "Live It Up" (Stein) (Special Disco Mix) - 8:14
US 1994 Remix CD (7243 8 85277 2 3)
- "Rapture" (K-klassic Radio Mix) - 4:20
- "Rapture" (Original Single Version) - 4:57
- "Rapture" (Guru's Fly Party Mix) - 4:11
- "Rapture" (K-klassic Mix) - 7:07
- "Rapture" (Original Disco Mix) - 10:00 *
- "Rapture" (Pharmacy Dub) - 6:00
- "Rapture" (Phactory Beats) - 4:22
- "Call Me" (American Gigolo Version) - 8:04
- * Identical to the original Special Disco Mix.
- Stewart Mason. "Rapture review on Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 8, 2013. "The first half (the part nobody remembers) features (...) a killer melody riding above the disco-funk guitar and bass riffs."
- Jess Grant (November 16, 2012). "Best Songs Ever: Blondie "Rapture"". Bitcandy. BitCrush.FM, Inc. Retrieved July 8, 2013. "Harry's brief dalliance with hip hop was surprisingly critical in helping to bring the genre to prominence in the early 80s."
- Grundy, Gareth, "Blondie record Parallel Lines", The Guardian (UK), Friday June 10, 2011. "June 1978: Number 22 in our series of the 50 key events in the history of pop music"
- Pareles, Jon, "Pop Review; No Debutante: Blondie Returns to Its Roots", The New York Times, February 25, 1999
- Debbie Harry introducing the premiere of Rapture on Solid Gold
- "Rock Meets Rap" on Pop-Up Video
- IMDB, "Blondie: Video Hits"
- nicolemusica. "Rapture on SoundCloud". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Sex and the City 2: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [Soundtrack]". Amazon.com, Inc. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Eurobeat-Prime 3.0". Eurobeat-prime.com. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Eurobeat-Prime 3.0". Eurobeat-prime.com. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- DJ Ron Slomowicz (September 6, 2012). "Song of the Day: Doctor P ft Ce’cile – "Galaxies and Stars". Notabledance. Airportparkingshop.com. Retrieved July 4, 2013.
- "Ultratop.be – Blondie – Rapture" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
- "Rapture in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Rapture in French Chart" (in French). Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc. July 8, 2013. Retrieved July 8 2013. You have to use the index at the top of the page and search "Blondie"
- "Blondie - Rapture". Charts.de. Media Control.
- "Rapture in Irish Chart". IRMA. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 2nd result when searching "Rapture"
- "Indice per Interprete: B". HitParadeItalia (it). Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Blondie search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Blondie – Rapture" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
- "Charts.org.nz – Blondie – Rapture". Top 40 Singles.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Blondie – Rapture". VG-lista.
- John Samson. "Rapture in South African Chart". Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Blondie – Rapture". Singles Top 60.
- "1981 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive - 31st January 1981". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Blondie awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "Australian-charts.com – Blondie vs. The Doors – Rapture Riders". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
- "Ultratop.be – Blondie vs. The Doors – Rapture Riders" (in French).
- "Ultratop.be – Blondie vs. The Doors – Rapture Riders" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
- "Blondie vs. The Doors: Rapture Riders" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Blondie vs. The Doors – Rapture Riders" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
- Rapture on YouTube - MTV-style video
- Rapture Songfacts entry
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
"Keep on Loving You" by REO Speedwagon
|Billboard Hot 100 number one single
March 28, 1981 – April 10, 1981
"Kiss on My List" by Daryl Hall and John Oates
"You're Too Late" by Fantasy
|Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single (with "The Tide Is High")
February 28, 1981 – March 21, 1981
"Breaking and Entering" / "Easy Money" by Dee Dee Sharp-Gamble