By 1979 Blondie was on the cusp of greatness, thriving on an exciting stage that the luckiest groups of stature pass through when there is a glow that follows almost every outing.
The band had just released their fourth album in as many years, Eat to the beat, and the steam train looked like it was going at the speed of light forever. When they weren’t on the road playing shows, Blondie was in the studio planning their next move, and their tireless approach is what made them a top notch powerhouse.
Most Blondie fans would say 1978’s Parallel lines were the band at the absolute pinnacle of their powers, a project which subsequently led to their mainstream breakthrough and handed them their UK number one debut album. Suddenly Debbie Harry and Co. had a sea of eyes on them, an increase that added a lot of pressure as their new fans craved another record. ‘Dreaming’ has been voted to be their comeback single for their new album, Eat to the beat, and Blondie were embracing their pop intuitions.
While the pop side of their sound has always been predominant, Blondie voiced it to an unprecedented degree on ‘Dreaming’ and Eat to the beat. While pop music may be taken as a dirty word today, Blondie has shown that there is a different way of doing it. New Yorkers have proven that traditional elements of the genre don’t need to be devoid of dark soulful and lyrical content.
Commenting on the track with GE, Chris Stein had no qualms about admitting that they were lucky to avoid being sued for the number of a certain Swedish outfit. “” Dreaming “is pretty much a cop of [ABBA’s] “Dancing Queen,” he said. “I don’t know if this is where we started, or if it ended up looking like this.”
Meanwhile, Harry added, “Sometimes Chris will come up with a lead or a feeling and pass it on to me, and he’ll say, ‘I thought’ Dreaming / Dreaming is free ‘and then I’ll fill it in with a story or a few more sentences. Often it’s the rhythm track that suggests what the lyrics are going to be. I like to work like this.
The creation of the track sums up the fluid relationship that has served Harry and Stein so wonderfully. While she was undoubtedly the face of Blondie, which many mistakenly assumed to be a solo project, behind the scenes the group worked democratically and left their egos at the door.
Plus, these footage from their concert at Conventional Hall in Astbury Park shows just how electric they were as a live band at the time, and looking back over 40 years later, their Zeitgeist status in 1979 is irrefutable.