Music Rules: Blondie’s Autoamerican turns forty


Blondie’s fifth album Autoamerican was released on November 19, 1980. It’s still one of my favourite records, somehow managing to straddle Punk, Pop, New Wave, Rap and even Disco without sounding dated.

There’s not a weak moment on this record, so many good songs that I can’t pick favourite tracks. The songwriting was strong and spread out.  Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Jimmy Destri contributed about a quarter of the material each, with other co-writers and cover songs.  There’s the opening instrumental “Europa”, the jazzy “Here’s Looking at You”, the cover of The Paragons’ “The Tide Is High”, “Go Through It” which sounds like something from Parallel Lines, the rap of “Rapture”, the surf-inspired “T-Birds”; the list goes on and on.

  • Europa
  • Live It Up
  • Here’s Looking at You
  • The Tide Is High
  • Angels on the Balcony
  • Go Through It
  • Do the Dark
  • Rapture
  • Faces
  • T-Birds
  • Walk Like Me
  • Follow Me

There’s a theory (claim? notion? idea?) that the number one song on your fourteenth birthday defines your life.  It’s not true for everyone, but it is absolutely spot on for me: “The Tide Is High” was #1 in Canada during February 1981.

Here’s a youtube playlist of the album.  Share and enjoy:

While most other XYs in my day dreamed of dating Debbie Harry, I dreamed of being her.  Another heroine from my teenage years.

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