Lenny (Buggles song)

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Single by The Buggles
from the album Adventures in Modern Recording
B-side "Blue Nylon"
Released September 1982
Genre New wave, synthpop
Length 3:14
Label Carrere
Writer(s) Geoff Downes, Trevor Horn
Producer(s) Geoff Downes, Trevor Horn
The Buggles singles chronology
"On TV"

"Lenny" (its demo titled "Walking on Glass") is a song by British synthpop group The Buggles from their second and final album Adventures in Modern Recording. It was released as the album's third single in September 1982 and was written and produced by both Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes. The song became popular in the Netherlands, charting on both the Mega Single Top 100 and Dutch Top 40, and has been positively received by critics.

Version history, development and composition[edit]

"Lenny" is a synthpop song that is 3 minutes and 14 seconds long, and played at a tempo of 94 beats per minute.[1] The song has a progressive rock-influenced sound,[2] with power chords and fluttering synthesizers played in the song.[3] With limited involvement by Geoff Downes, Adventures in Modern Recording featured much more involvement from Horn. However, Downes contributed to four songs on the album; "Beatnik", "Vermillion Sands", "I Am a Camera" and "Lenny".[4]

An original demo recording of the song was originally titled "Walking on Glass". This demo version was included on the February 2010 Salvo/ZTT re-issue of Adventures in Modern Recording. The demo was recorded between the winter of 1980 and the spring of 1981 and for the re-issue, it was sourced from the Zang Tuum Tumb tape vault. The demo was remastered from sole-remaining sources, TCH personal cassettes dated 20 January 1981.[4]

Release and reception[edit]

The single was only released in France and the Netherlands. It was issued on 7" vinyl via Carrere, who also distributed the single.[5] The single included the B-side "Blue Nylon" which was written by John Sinclair, Simon Darlow and Horn, whilst being produced by Sinclair and Horn. The song was originally released as the B-side to the 1982 single Adventures in Modern Recording before it was B-side to "Lenny".[6] It would later appear as a bonus track on the 1997 Japanese re-issue of the Adventures in Modern Recording album,[7] and the February 2010 Salvo/ZZT re-issue of the album in the UK.[4] The co-writer Sinclair was the producer of most tracks on the album, alongside Horn, whilst Darlow contributed guitar and keyboards to five of the album tracks, and two b-sides.[7] The single featured artwork, using the same glasses seen on the album cover of Adventures in Modern Recording, however with a different background.[8][9]

Like "I Am a Camera" and "On TV", the song was re-released on iTunes as an EP in 2012 by Trevor Horn's own ZTT label, including three bonus demos: "Walking on Glass" (the demo of "Lenny"), "Dion", and a song called "Riding a Tide" which was remastered for the 2011 Horn-produced Yes album, Fly From Here,[10] all of which also appeared along with the B-side, "Blue Nylon", on the 2010 re-release of Adventures in Modern Recording. The extra tracks were all written by Downes and Horn.[4]

The single was peaked at #23 on the Dutch Top 40 chart,[11] and was a Top 20 hit on the Mega Single Top 100 chart, reaching #17 and lasting in the chart for a total of seven weeks.[12] It had originally debuted at #45 in early April 1982.[13] Horn mimed the song on the Dutch AVRO TV show TopPop, which was broadcast on 10 April 1982. The backing band for the performance were members of the new wave/new romantic group ABC, who Horn was working with at the time on the album The Lexicon of Love. Downes did not appear on the show.[14]

Critical responses to the song have been positive in reviews of Adventures in Modern Recording. Jeri Montesano of Allmusic spoke of the song, along with the B-side, stating that the song "is a shot of adrenaline that could have fit nicely on Drama."[15] The Bolton News writer Martin Hutchinson reviewed the album on 4 March 2010 upon its re-issue. He stated "The title track and 'Beatnik' are strong openers for the album, and nowhere is Horn's vocals better than on 'On TV' and 'Lenny'."[16]

Track listing[edit]

7" Single
  1. "Lenny" - 3:12
  2. "Blue Nylon" - 2:27
EP version
  1. "Lenny" - 3:12
  2. "Blue Nylon" - 2:27
  3. "Walking on Glass (Demo Version)" - 3:12
  4. "Dion (Demo Version)" - 5:03
  5. "Riding a Tide (Demo Version)" - 4:50

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1982) Peak
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[12] 17
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[17] 23


  • Trevor Horn - vocals, guitar, producer
  • Danny Schogger, Rod Thompson - additional keyboards
  • Geoff Downes - keyboards, drum Programming (electronic drum machine), producer
  • Ian Peel - executive producer
  • Gary Langan, Julian Mendelsohn - engineer
  • Stuart Bruce - assistant engineer
  • Jill Sinclair - management


  1. ^ Lenny by the Buggles. Junodownload. Accessed from 29 April 2013.
  2. ^ Buggles album reviews. adriandenning.co.uk. Accessed from 1 May 2013.
  3. ^ Lawrence, Michael. The Buggles. Donignacio.com. Accessed from 29 April 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d "Buggles* - Adventures In Modern Recording (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  5. ^ "Buggles - Lenny / Blue Nylon - Carrere - France - 49.908". 45cat. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  6. ^ "Buggles, The - Adventures In Modern Recording at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  7. ^ a b "Buggles, The - Adventures In Modern Recording (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  8. ^ "Buggles* - Lenny (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  9. ^ "Images for Buggles* - Lenny". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  10. ^ "iTunes - Music - Lenny - EP by The Buggles". Itunes.apple.com. 1982-09-01. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  11. ^ http://www.top40.nl/the-buggles/the-buggles-lenny_9605
  12. ^ a b "Dutchcharts.nl – Buggles – Lenny" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  13. ^ Steffen Hung. "Dutch charts portal". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  14. ^ YouTube (2012-12-13). "TOPPOP: Buggles - Lenny". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  15. ^ Montesano, Jeri. "Adventures in Modern Recording - Buggles : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  16. ^ "CD Review: Buggles - Adventures In Modern Recording". The Bolton News. 2010-03-04. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  17. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – The Buggles search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.

External links[edit]