Hanging on the Telephone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Hanging on the Telephone"
Blondie - Hanging On The Telephone (UK).jpg
UK vinyl single
Single by Blondie
from the album Parallel Lines
  • "Will Anything Happen" (UK)
  • "Fade Away and Radiate" (US)
Format7" vinyl
Songwriter(s)Jack Lee
Producer(s)Mike Chapman
Blondie singles chronology
"I'm Gonna Love You Too"
"Hanging on the Telephone"
"Heart of Glass"
Audio sample
"Hanging on the Telephone"
Alternative cover
US picture sleeve
US picture sleeve
Music video
"Hanging on the Telephone" on YouTube

"Hanging on the Telephone" is a song written by Jack Lee. It was first performed by his short-lived US West Coast power pop band The Nerves; later in 1978, it was recorded and released as a single by the American rock band Blondie after they realised the song's potential via a cassette tape compilation which Jeffrey Lee Pierce had given the band.[3]


The song was the lead-off track on the Nerves's 1976 EP, the group's only release. It was later popularized by new wave band Blondie when they released a cover of the song as the second single from their 1978 album Parallel Lines in both the US and UK. It eventually reached number 5 in the UK in November 1978.

Like one of Blondie's subsequent singles, "Sunday Girl", "Hanging on the Telephone" employs a double backbeat rhythm in its drumming pattern, meaning the "off" beats alternate between a quarter note and two eighth notes. This percussion style also appeared on other power pop singles from the period, like the Romantics' 1978 release "Tell It to Carrie".[4]

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

Cover versions and appearances in other media[edit]

In 2000, Finnish metal band Sinergy recorded a cover for their To Hell and Back album.[12] In 2009, Jimmy Somerville covered the song on his acoustic album Suddenly Last Summer.[13] In 2012, Flowers Forever covered the song for the movie Electrick Children.[14] In 2017, Melissa Rauch covered the song as Harley Quinn in the animated film Batman and Harley Quinn.[15]


  • Cateforis, Theo (2011). Are We Not New Wave? : Modern Pop at the Turn of the 1980s. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-03470-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  1. ^ Cateforis 2011, p. 139.
  2. ^ "The goddess still rocks". The Advocate. No. 780. March 2, 1999. p. 57. ISSN 0001-8996.
  3. ^ Donlon, Helen (May 2, 2014). "Fire of Love: A Jeffrey Lee Pierce Retrospective". The Quietus. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  4. ^ Cateforis 2011, pp. 140–41.
  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. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Hangin' on the Telephone". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  8. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Blondie - Hanging On The Telephone" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  9. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Blondie – Hanging On The Telephone" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  10. ^ "Charts.nz – Blondie – Hanging On The Telephone". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  11. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  12. ^ "Sinergy – To Hell and Back". AllMusic. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  13. ^ O'Brien, Jon. "Jimmy Somerville Suddenly – Last Summer". AllMusic. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  14. ^ "Electrick Children – Original Soundtrack". AllMusic. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  15. ^ Patterson, Michael (August 15, 2017). "Every Single Bat-Tastic Easter Egg In 'Batman And Harley Quinn'". Moviepilot. Retrieved October 7, 2017.

External links[edit]