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"Call Me" is a song by the American new wave band Blondie. Released in 1980, "Call Me" topped the singles charts in both the US, where it became the band's biggest selling single and second #1,[1] and the UK, where it became their fourth #1 hit. It was Billboard's #1 hit of the year for 1980.


Song and single information[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The song was the main theme song of the film American Gigolo. European disco producer Giorgio Moroder originally asked Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac to help compose and perform a song for the soundtrack, but she declined (as a recently signed contract with Modern Records prevented her from working with Moroder). It was at this time that Moroder turned to Debbie Harry and Blondie. Moroder presented Harry with a rough instrumental track called "Man Machine." Harry was asked to write the lyrics and melody, a process that Harry states took only a few hours.[5] Harry stated that the song is about driving, and that "When I was writing it, I pictured the opening scene, driving on the coast of California."[6] The completed song was then recorded by the band, with Moroder producing. The bridge of the original English-language version also includes Harry singing "Call me, my darling" in Italian ("Amore, chiamami") and in French ("Appelle-moi, mon chéri").

In the US, the song was released by 3 different record companies: the longest version (at 8:06) on the soundtrack album by Polydor, the 7" and 12" on Blondie's labelChrysalis, and a Spanish language 12" version, with lyrics by Buddy and Mary McCluskey, on disco label Salsoul Records. The Spanish version, titled "Llámame", was meant for release in Mexico and some South American countries. This version was also released in the US and the UK and had its CD debut on Chrysalis/EMI's rarities compilation Blonde and Beyond (1993). In 1988, a remixed version by Ben Liebrand taken from the Blondie remix album Once More into the Bleach was issued as a single in the UK. In 2001 the "original long version" appeared as a bonus track on the Autoamerican album re-issue.

Popularity and acclaim[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The single was released in the United States in February 1980. It peaked at #1 for 6 consecutive weeks, and was certified Gold (for one million copies sold) by theRIAA. It also spent 4 weeks at #2 on the US dance chart. The single was also #1 on Billboard magazine's 1980 year-end chart. It was released in the UK two months later, where it became Blondie's fourth UK #1 single in little over a year. The song was also played on a British Telecom advert from the 1980s. 25 years after its original release, "Call Me" was ranked at #283 on the list of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

In 1981, the song was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The song lists at #44 on Billboard's All Time Top 100.[7]

Music video[edit source | editbeta]Edit

There were two videos made:

  • One was compiled clips and video footage in New York of Deborah Harry. The video can be found on the 1991 UK video compilation The Complete Picture: The Very Best of Deborah Harry and Blondie.
  • The other, which came out in 1981, was non-representational, not featuring any of the band. It depicted a New York taxi driver (who had in fact appeared in numerous other Blondie music videos) driving his Checker through Manhattan traffic. This version was part of the 1981 "Best Of Blondie" compilation video.

Release history[edit source | editbeta]Edit

1981 Release[edit source | editbeta]Edit

US, UK 7" (CHS 2414)
  1. "Call Me (Theme from American Gigolo)" (7" edit) – 3:32
  2. "Call Me" (7" instrumental) – 3:27
UK 12" (CHS 12 2414)
  1. "Call Me" (7" edit) – 3:32
  2. "Call Me" (Spanish version - 7" edit) – 3:32
  3. "Call Me" (7" instrumental) - 3:27
US 12" (Polydor PRO 124)
  1. "Call Me" (Theme from American Gigolo) – 8:04
  2. "Call Me" (12" instrumental) – 6:10
US 12" (Salsoul SG 341) [promo only]
  1. "Call Me" (Spanish version, extended) – 6:23
  2. "Night Drive" (Reprise) - by Giorgio Morodor – 6:10

1989 Release[edit source | editbeta]Edit

UK 7" (CHS 3342-1)
  1. "Call Me" (Ben Liebrand Remix) – 7:09
  2. "Call Me" (Original Version) – 3:31
UK 12" (CHS 12 3342)
  1. "Call Me" (Ben Liebrand Remix) – 7:09
  2. "Backfired" (Bruce Forrest And Frank Heller Remix) – 6:03
  3. "Call Me" (Original Version) - 3:31
UK CD (CHSCD 3342)
  1. "Call Me" (Ben Liebrand Remix) – 7:09
  2. "Backfired" (Bruce Forrest And Frank Heller Remix) – 6:03
    • Performed by Debbie Harry
  3. "Call Me" (Original Version) - 3:31
  4. "Hanging on the Telephone" - 2:23

Chart performance[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Chart (1980) Peak

position

Australia (Kent Music Report)[8] 4
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[9] 5
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[10] 9
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[11] 9
Canada (RPM 100 Singles)[12] 1
France (SNEP)[13] 4
Germany (Media Control AG)[14] 14
Ireland (IRMA)[15] 2
Italy (FIMI)[16] 11
Japan (Oricon)[17] 12
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[18] 9
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[19] 12
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[20] 6
Norway (VG-lista)[21] 2
South African Chart[22] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[23] 3
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[24] 3
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[25] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[26] 1
US BillboardHot Dance Club Play[26] 2
US Record World Singles[27] 1

Year-end charts[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Chart (1980) Peak

position

US Billboard Hot 100[4] 1

End-of-decade charts[edit source | editbeta]Edit

End of decade (1980–1989) Position
US Billboard Hot 100 8

Track listing[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  1. "Call me (Blondie cover)" - 3:18
  2. "A dying star" - 4:36
  3. "Sailing away" - 4:00

Chipmunks version[edit source | editbeta]Edit

"Call Me"
[1]
Single by The Chipmunks
from the album Chipmunk Punk
Released August 1980
Format Vinyl
Recorded September 1979
Length 3:11 (LP/radio version)

3:49 (12" version)

Label Excelsior Records
Writer(s) Debbie HarryGiorgio Moroder
The Chipmunks singles chronology
"My Sharona"

(1980)

Call Me

(1980)

"On the Road Again"

(1981)

In 1980, KMET DJ Chuck Taylor played the 12" version of this single at double speed and announced, in jest, that it was The Chipmunks' latest single. So many requests came for this "new" Chipmunks release, that Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. and his collaborator Steve Vining rushed to record what would be the Chipmunks' "comeback album", Chipmunk Punk in 1980.[citation needed]

Other cover versions[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Live cover performances[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Preceded by

"Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)" by Pink Floyd

US Billboard Hot 100 number one single

19 April 1980 - May 24, 1980

Succeeded by

"Funkytown" by Lipps Inc.

Preceded by

"Working My Way Back to You" by The Detroit Spinners

UK number one single

26 April 1980

Succeeded by

"Geno" by Dexys Midnight Runners

Preceded by

"Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)" by Pink Floyd (first run) "Rock Lobster" by The B-52's (second run)

Canadian RPM 100 number-one single

3 May 1980 – 17 May 1980 (3 weeks) 31 May 1980 - 14 June 1980 (re-entry, 3 weeks)

Succeeded by

"Rock Lobster" by The B-52's (first run) Cars by Gary Numan (second run)

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