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 bands biggest selling single and second #1, and the UK, where it became their fourth #1 hit. It was Billboards #1 hit of the year for 1980.
Song and single information
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. 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. 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 French (Appelle-moi, mon chéri).
In the US the song was released by three different record companies: the longest version (at 8:06) on the soundtrack album by Polydor, the 7" and 12" on Blondies label Chrysalis, 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/EMIs 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.
Populatiry and acclaim
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 the RIAA. It also spent four weeks at number two on the U.S. dance chart. The single was also #1 on Billboard magazines 1980 year-end chart. It was released in the UK two months later, where it became Blondies fourth UK no.1 single in little over a year. The song was also played on a British Telecom advert from the 1980s. Twenty-five years after its original release, Call Me was ranked at #283 on the list of Rolling Stones 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 Billboards All Time Top 100.
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.
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