The Hunter is the sixth studio album by the AmericanbandBlondie, released in May 1982. It was Blondie's last album of new material until 1999's No Exit. It was recorded in the Fall of 1981 and January and February 1982.
The Hunter is a concept album based on the theme: searching, pursuing, and hunting. Tracks on the album include Jimmy Destri's Motown pastiche "Danceway", while "Dragonfly" has a science-fiction theme to its lyrics about a race in space. "The Beast" deals with Deborah Harry's experiences of becoming a public figure: "I am the centre of attraction, by staying off the streets". "English Boys" is Harry and Chris Stein's melancholy tribute to "those English boys who had long hair", The Beatles, recorded the year after John Lennon's assassination in New York City, describing the innocence and idealism of the 60's, while "War Child" references military conflicts in Cambodia and the Middle East. The album concludes with a cover version of Smokey Robinson's "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game", originally recorded by The Marvelettes in 1967. Several tracks on the album were reggae influenced and the band's earlier urgent new wave sound was largely absent.
The song "For Your Eyes Only" was originally written for the 1981 James Bond film of the same name. The producers of the film however favored a track composed by Bill Conti and Michael Leeson and asked Blondie to record that song instead. Blondie declined, the Conti/Leeson song was passed on to Sheena Easton. Blondie opted to release their song (written by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein) on The Hunter.
In the liner notes to the 2001 reissue of The Hunter, producer Mike Chapman stated "I knew that we were in a different and far less accessible artistic space. And that worried me. I could tell that things were different now, and I knew that this would be the last Blondie album."
The album peaked at #9 in the UK, #15 in Australia and #33 in the US. Compared to Blondie's three previous albums with Mike Chapman as producer (Parallel Lines, Eat to the Beat and Autoamerican), The Hunter proved to be a disappointment, both commercially and critically. Six months after its release, the band splintered. The summer Tracks Across America Tour '82 was set to promote the album, but turned out to be unsuccessful. The band's European tour which was due to follow in autumn was cancelled.
The Hunter was digitally remastered and reissued by Chrysalis Records UK in 1994, and again by EMI-Capitol in 2001, both times with the 12" version of "War Child" as the only bonus track.
^The Music of James Bond - Page 264 Jon Burlingame - 2012 "“For Your Eyes Only” (Blondie, 1981). The New York-based rock group was briefly under consideration to perform the movie theme before Sheena Easton was chosen. The group had had three number-one hits in the previous year (including ..."