Rapture (Blondie song)

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"Rapture"
Single by Blondie
from the album Autoamerican
B-side Walk Like Me
Released January 12, 1981
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded 1980
Genre Disco-funk,[1] hip hop[2]
Length 4:57 (Single Version)
6:33 (Album Version)
Label Chrysalis Records
Writer(s) Deborah Harry
Chris Stein
Producer(s) Mike Chapman
Certification Gold (US), Silver (UK)
Blondie singles chronology
"The Tide Is High"
(1980)
"Rapture"
(1981)
"Island of Lost Souls"
(1982)
Alternate cover
UK cover art

"Rapture" is a song by the American band, Blondie, from their 5th studio album titled Autoamerican.

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.

History[edit]

"Rapture" is a combination of disco, funk, and hip hop with the rap section forming an extended coda.[3][4] 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.

Music video[edit]

The music video made its television debut on Solid Gold on January 31, 1981,[5] and became the first rap video ever broadcast on MTV.[6] 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.[7] 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.[6]

Personnel[edit]

  • Deborah Harry – vocals
  • Clem Burke – drums
  • Jimmy Destri - electric keyboards
  • Nigel Harrison – bass
  • Frank Infante – guitar
  • Chris Stein - guitar, tympani
  • Tom Scott - saxophone

Versions[edit]

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.

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.

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.

Remixes[edit]

The first 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 this time peaking at #8 in the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play.[8] This remix was included on compilations The Platinum Collection, Beautiful: The Remix Album and Remixed Remade Remodeled: The Remix Project.

Rapture Riders[edit]

In 2005, "Rapture" was "mashed" with The Doors' 1971 single "Riders on the Storm" into "Rapture Riders" by Go Home Productions. This unofficial mashup remix was later approved by both bands and released as a single credited to Blondie vs. The Doors. It was also included on Blondie's 2005 Greatest Hits: Sight + Sound compilation.[9] "Rapture Riders" made the top ten on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart and was a Top 40 hit in Australia and Europe.

Covers[edit]

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".

In 2004 at VH1's annual Diva's Live concert, Debbie Harry performed "Rapture" with rapper Eve, who performed her own original rap.

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.

Chilean musician Nicole also did a cover of this song in 2006, included on her album Apt.[10] Dub Pistols covered the song for their 2007 album Speakers and Tweeters, featuring Terry Hall on vocals.

In 2009, the song was remixed side by side with the Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic" in a "Versus" mix track for the Rhythm video game "DJ Hero"

Alicia Keys performed a cover of this song on the Sex and the City 2 soundtrack, released on May 25, 2010.[11]

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.[12][13]

Appearances in popular culture[edit]

  • 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".[14]
  • The song is also used in the commercial for Bailey's Irish Cream with Spirit Advert (2012).

Track listing[edit]

US 7" (CHS 2485, January 1981)

  1. "Rapture" (Album version) (Deborah Harry, Chris Stein) - 6:33
  2. "Walk Like Me" (Jimmy Destri) - 3:45

US 12" (12 CHS 2485, January 1981)

  1. "Rapture" (US 12" Mix) (Harry, Stein) - 7:13
  2. "Walk Like Me" (Destri) - 3:45

UK 7" (CHS 2485, January 1981)

  1. "Rapture" (UK 7" Mix) (Harry, Stein) - 4:59
  2. "Walk Like Me" (Destri) - 3:45

UK 12" (CHS 12 2485, January 1981)

  1. "Rapture" (Special Disco Mix) (Harry, Stein) - 10:01
  2. "Live It Up" (Stein) (Special Disco Mix) - 8:14

US 1994 Remix CD (7243 8 85277 2 3)

  1. "Rapture" (K-klassic Radio Mix) - 4:20
  2. "Rapture" (Original Single Version) - 4:57
  3. "Rapture" (Guru's Fly Party Mix) - 4:11
  4. "Rapture" (K-klassic Mix) - 7:07
  5. "Rapture" (Original Disco Mix) - 10:00 *
  6. "Rapture" (Pharmacy Dub) - 6:00
  7. "Rapture" (Phactory Beats) - 4:22
  8. "Call Me" (American Gigolo Version) - 8:04
  • * Identical to the original Special Disco Mix.

Rapture Riders[edit]

CD (0946 3475502 3)

  1. "Rapture Riders" (Single Edit) - 3:50
  2. "Rapture Riders" (Full Version) - 5:41
  3. "Rapture" (7" Version) - 4:57
  4. "Rapture" (Special Disco Mix) (2001 Remaster) - 9:59

12" (347 550 1)

  1. "Rapture Riders" (Full Version) - 5:41
  2. "Rapture" (Special Disco Mix) (2001 Remaster) - 9:59

Chart positions[edit]

Rapture Riders chart positions[edit]

Chart (2006) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[32] 23
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[33] 2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[34] 21
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[35] 12
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[36] 39
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[8] 10

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 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."
  2. ^ 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."
  3. ^ 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"
  4. ^ Pareles, Jon, "Pop Review; No Debutante: Blondie Returns to Its Roots", The New York Times, February 25, 1999
  5. ^ Debbie Harry introducing the premiere of Rapture on Solid Gold on YouTube
  6. ^ a b "Rock Meets Rap" on Pop-Up Video
  7. ^ IMDB, "Blondie: Video Hits"
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "Blondie awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  9. ^ "'Rapture Riders' by Blondie v the Doors". theguardian.com. November 20, 2005. Retrieved 2013-12-19. 
  10. ^ nicolemusica. "Rapture on SoundCloud". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Sex and the City 2: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [Soundtrack]". Amazon.com, Inc. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Eurobeat-Prime 3.0". Eurobeat-prime.com. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Eurobeat-Prime 3.0". Eurobeat-prime.com. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – Blondie – Rapture" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  16. ^ "Rapture in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  17. ^ "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"
  18. ^ "Blondie – Rapture". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment.
  19. ^ "Rapture in Irish Chart". IRMA. Retrieved July 8, 2013.  2nd result when searching "Rapture"
  20. ^ "Indice per Interprete: B". HitParadeItalia (it). Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Blondie search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  22. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Blondie – Rapture" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  23. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Blondie – Rapture". Top 40 Singles.
  24. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Blondie – Rapture". VG-lista.
  25. ^ John Samson. "Rapture in South African Chart". Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Blondie – Rapture". Singles Top 60.
  27. ^ "1981 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive - 31st January 1981". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Canadian 1981 Top 100 Singles". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  29. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1981". Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  30. ^ "British single certifications – Blondie – Call Me". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 29 March 2012.  Enter Call Me in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  31. ^ "American single certifications – Blondie – Call Me". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 29 March 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  32. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Blondie vs. The Doors – Rapture Riders". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  33. ^ "Ultratop.be – Blondie vs. The Doors – Rapture Riders" (in French). Ultratip.
  34. ^ "Ultratop.be – Blondie vs. The Doors – Rapture Riders" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  35. ^ "Blondie vs. The Doors: Rapture Riders" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  36. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Blondie vs. The Doors – Rapture Riders" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Keep on Loving You" by REO Speedwagon
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
March 28, 1981 – April 10, 1981
Succeeded by
"Kiss on My List" by Daryl Hall and John Oates
Preceded by
"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
Succeeded by
"Breaking and Entering" / "Easy Money" by Dee Dee Sharp-Gamble