Eat to the Beat

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Eat to the Beat
Eat to.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 13, 1979
RecordedMay–June 1979
StudioThe Power Station, Electric Lady Studios, New York City
GenreNew wave, punk rock
ProducerMike Chapman
Blondie chronology
Parallel Lines
Eat to the Beat
Singles from Eat to the Beat
  1. "Dreaming"
    Released: September 1979
  2. "Union City Blue"
    Released: November 1979 (UK)
  3. "The Hardest Part"
    Released: January 1980 (US)
  4. "Atomic"
    Released: February 1980 (UK),
    April 1980 (US)
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Entertainment WeeklyB[2]
Q4/5 stars[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[4]
Spin Alternative Record Guide7/10[5]
Uncut5/5 stars[6]
The Village VoiceA−[7]

Eat to the Beat is the fourth studio album by the American rock band Blondie. It was certified Platinum in the US, where it spent a year on the Billboard album chart. Although it peaked at No.17, it was one of Billboard's top 10 albums of 1980.[8] It also reached No.1 on the UK album chart in October 1979[9] and was certified Platinum by the BPI.


The album includes a diverse range of styles as pop, punk, reggae, and funk as well as a lullaby. Three singles were released in the UK from this album ("Dreaming", "Union City Blue" and "Atomic"). "The Hardest Part" was released as the second single from the album in the US instead of "Union City Blue" (though a remix of "Union" would be released in the US in 1995). According to the liner notes of the 1994 compilation The Platinum Collection, the song "Slow Motion" was originally planned to be the fourth single release from the album, and producer Mike Chapman even made a remix of the track, but following the unexpected success of "Call Me", the theme song to the movie American Gigolo, these plans were shelved and the single mix of "Slow Motion" remains unreleased. An alternate mix of the track entitled The Stripped Down Motown Mix did however turn up on one of the many remix singles issued by Chrysalis/EMI in the mid-1990s.

Blondie's first video album was produced in conjunction with this record, featuring a music video for each of the album's twelve songs. It was the first such project in rock music.[10] Most of the songs were filmed in and around New York, the exception was the "Union City Blue" music video, which was filmed at Union Dry Dock, Weehawken, New Jersey. Each video was directed by David Mallet and produced by Paul Flattery. The video was initially available as a promotional VHS in 1979 and subsequently released on videocassette and videodisc in October 1980.[11]

Unlike the rest of Blondie's original albums, Eat to the Beat was not remastered in 1994. It was later digitally remastered and reissued by EMI-Capitol in 2001, with four bonus tracks and candid sleeve notes by Mike Chapman:

They wanted to try anything. And I was right there with them. We also had a title for the album at a very early point, so we had a concept of sorts: Eat to the Beat. I tried to have Debbie explain exactly what it meant to her, but in her normal fashion she simply confused me and I was forced to give it my own interpretation. ... [Drugs] found their way to the studio and presented us with yet another obstacle. The more drugs, the more fights. It was becoming a real mess. ... The music was good but the group was showing signs of wear and tear. The meetings, the drugs, the partying and the arguments had beaten us all up, and it was hard to have a positive attitude when the project was finally finished. ... Was this the record that the public was waiting for, or was it just the waste of seven sick minds? I had never experienced this kind of emotional rollercoaster before, and I have never forgotten the sounds, smells and tastes that came with it. I guess that was what they meant: Eat to the Beat.[12]

The 2001 remaster was again reissued in 2007 (June 26 in the US; July 2 in the UK) without the four bonus tracks. Included instead was a DVD of the long-since deleted Eat to the Beat video album, marking the first time it had been made available on the DVD format.

Track listing[edit]

Side One
1."Dreaming"Debbie Harry, Chris Stein3:08
2."The Hardest Part"Harry, Stein3:43
3."Union City Blue"Harry, Nigel Harrison3:22
5."Eat to the Beat"Harry, Harrison2:40
6."Accidents Never Happen"Jimmy Destri4:15
Side Two
7."Die Young Stay Pretty"Harry, Stein3:34
8."Slow Motion"Laura Davis, Destri3:29
9."Atomic"Harry, Destri4:40
10."Sound-A-Sleep"Harry, Stein4:18
11."Victor"Harry, Frank Infante3:19
12."Living in the Real World"Destri2:54
Bonus tracks on 2001 CD re-issue
13."Die Young Stay Pretty" (Live BBC 12/31/79, recorded live New Year's Eve '79 at The Apollo Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland)Harry, Stein3:27
14."Seven Rooms of Gloom" (Live BBC 12/31/79, recorded live New Year's Eve '79 at The Apollo Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland)Holland–Dozier–Holland2:48
15."Heroes" (B-side to "Atomic" single, recorded live 1/12/80 at The Hammersmith Odeon, UK)David Bowie, Brian Eno6:19
16."Ring of Fire" (Live, from the original motion picture soundtrack Roadie)June Carter Cash, Merle Kilgore3:30

Video album[edit]

  1. "Eat to the Beat"
  2. "The Hardest Part"
  3. "Union City Blue"
  4. "Slow Motion"
  5. "Shayla"
  6. "Die Young, Stay Pretty"
  7. "Accidents Never Happen"
  8. "Atomic"
  9. "Living in the Real World"
  10. "Sound-A-Sleep"
  11. "Victor"
  12. "Dreaming"

Bonus videos – on side two of Videodisc release

  1. "Heart of Glass"
  2. "Picture This"
  3. "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence Dear"
  4. "Hanging on the Telephone"



Additional personnel[edit]

  • Mike Chapman – background vocals on "Die Young, Stay Pretty" and "Victor"
  • Donna Destri – background vocals on "Living in the Real World"
  • Robert Fripp – guitar on "Heroes" bonus live track
  • Ellie Greenwich – background vocals on "Dreaming" and "Atomic"
  • Lorna Luft – background vocals on "Accidents Never Happen" and "Slow Motion"
  • Randy Singer (Hennes) – harmonica on "Eat to the Beat"


Chart positions[edit]


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[24] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[25] Gold 50,000^
France 173,300[26]
New Zealand (RMNZ)[27] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[28] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[29] Platinum 1,000,000^

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


  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Eat to the Beat – Blondie". AllMusic. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  2. ^ "Blondie: Eat to the Beat". Entertainment Weekly. New York: 85. September 21, 2001.
  3. ^ "Blondie: Eat to the Beat". Q. London (182): 143. October 2001.
  4. ^ Coleman, Mark; Berger, Arion (2004). "Blondie". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 85–86. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  5. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). "Blondie". Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  6. ^ "Blondie: Eat to the Beat". Uncut. London: 90. [A] consistent thrill-ride of imaginative, hyperactive pop.
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert (October 29, 1979). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  8. ^ "Talent in Action Year End Charts" Billboard December 20, 1980: TIA-12
  9. ^ UK Official Charts Company
  10. ^ "Once More (Into The Bleach): Blondie Returns For Its Fifteenth Round". Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
  11. ^ McCullaugh, Jim. "SelectaVision Catalog Adds 'Eat To Beat'" Billboard October 11, 1980: 10
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Blondie – Eat to the Beat". (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  14. ^ "100 Albums". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. 32 (13). December 22, 1979. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  15. ^ "Blondie – Eat to the Beat". (in Dutch). Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  16. ^ "German Charts > Blondie > Eat to the Beat" (in German). PhonoNet. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
  17. ^ "Blondie – Eat to the Beat". Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  18. ^ "Blondie – Eat to the Beat". Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  19. ^ "Blondie – Eat to the Beat". Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  20. ^ "Blondie – UK Chart Positions". Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  21. ^ "Eat to the Beat – Blondie : Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  22. ^ "Canadian 1979 Top 100 Albums". Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  23. ^ "Canadian 1980 Top 100 Albums". Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  24. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Blondie – Eat to the beat". Music Canada. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  25. ^ "Blondie "Eat To The Beat" 1980 Danish Gold Record Award". Honor Music Awards. November 1, 1980. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  26. ^ "Les Meilleures Ventes de CD / Albums "Tout Temps"". Info Disc. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  27. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Blondie – Eat to the beat". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  28. ^ "British album certifications – Blondie – Eat to the beat". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved June 1, 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Eat to the beat in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  29. ^ "American album certifications – Blondie – Eat to the beat". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 1, 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]