Meaning of Heart of Glass Blondie

The release of the Parallel Lines album was a turning point in the history of the American rock band Blondie. The previous two records of the young band could hardly be called successful. They didn’t do well on the charts, and New York punks were almost unknown outside of their hometown.

They recorded the third album under the direction of a new producer, Mike Chapman, who was insisted on by the bosses of the Chrysalis label. Under his leadership, the group released an amazing record, which was very different from the previous work of Blondie and brought her international fame. The main hit was the disco song Heart of Glass, which won the hearts of the public on both sides of the Atlantic.

The history of the creation of the song Heart of Glass

The composition was one of the first collaborations between Chris Stein and Debbie Harry. Its early version appeared in early 1974, but the final version was not ready until a few years later.

The history of the creation of Heart of Glass can be easily traced by the excerpts from the interviews that the authors of the track, producer Mike Chapman and other participants in the recording of the track gave to various publications.

Let’s hear from Chris:

When Debbie and I lived in our top-floor apartment at 48 W. 17th St., I often carried around a borrowed multi-track recorder. With it, I could record a rhythm guitar track and then overlay melodic and harmonic lines on top of it. This is how I recorded and processed my songs. In the summer of 1974, I wrote a song referring to the catchy Rock the Boat tune from the Hues Corporation, which was a big hit at the time. Debbie and I called it The Disco Song…

In 1975 we demoed the song in a very simplified version, calling it Once I Had a Love. Then we forgot about it.

Wall Street Journal


The meaning of the song Heart of Glass

Excerpts from an interview with Debbie Harry will help us understand the main idea of ​​the text. True, she was not always consistent in her explanations, but the main idea is not at all difficult to grasp.

I had a notebook where I wrote down the poems and thoughts that visited me. For this one, Chris was constantly experimenting with the song and the lyrics literally popped into my head. The words that I came up with expressed something typically school: about how you first love someone, then you stop loving and suffer from it. But instead of thinking about the pain for a long time, it was about ignoring the gap, like: “Well, okay, then this is how it should be.”

Both Chris and I are no strangers to art and were familiar with existentialism, surrealism, abstract art and so on. The idea that I wanted to convey can be expressed like this: “Live and let live” … When we started performing the song at CBGB, I added a bunch of “woo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o “. It was a gimmick that was typical of girl bands in the sixties. Chris and I loved R&B… Soon the audience that came to our shows started ordering The Disco Song…

The Guardian

…the lyrics weren’t about anyone in particular. It’s just a mournful moan for lost love.


I’m tired of girls who write and sing about suffering because of love. So I said, “Look, there are a lot of girls who just turn around and leave.”


Lyrically, it’s about a fan who stalked me and Chris saved me from him.

Words and Music

Chris talked about how the song’s title came about:

Initially, Debbie’s second line in the song was “Soon turned out, he was a pain in the ass”. Mike thought it wouldn’t sound very good on the radio, so I came up with the phrase “heart of glass”, which everyone liked. Debbie introduced it as “Soon turned out, had a heart of glass”. We used it as the title of the song.


blondie band

Recording and release of Heart of Glass

It is unlikely that the song would have become a worldwide hit if the members of the Blondie group had not started working with Mike Chapman. A word from the famous producer:

I first met Chris and Debbie at New York’s Gramercy Park Hotel. They gave me cassettes of new songs for the album. The music was great, but I needed a song that could really hit. I asked if they had anything else. They said, “Well, we have this song that we call The Disco Song.” When they delivered it, I thought it was really good, but not 100% finished yet.


The song was recorded in June 1978 at New York’s Record Plant. Mike recalled how it all happened:

Our first audition for the album was attended by all six members of the band. To defuse the situation, I asked them to start with the song that was most comfortable for them – Once I Had a Love. She needed a different name.


Chapman also talked about how the idea came about to release the record in an unusual style for the band:

I asked Debbie what her favorite female singer in the music business is. She replied, “Donna Summer,” specifically, “I Feel Love.” I didn’t expect this at all. I said to her and Chris, “Why don’t we do a song like Giorgio Moroder?” Giorgio produced great Donna albums.

The band members liked this idea, which they saw as a step forward, but its implementation turned into a lot of unforeseen problems. They picked up the rhythm for a long time, suffered with vocal parts, struggled with numerous difficulties when mixing tracks, and so on.

In January 1979, Heart of Glass was released as the third single from Parallel Lines. She topped the charts in the US, UK, Germany, Canada and many other countries.

Rolling Stone listed the track as one of the 500 Greatest Music Songs of All Time. It is also included in the ranking of the best dance songs according to Slant magazine.

Public reaction

Fans of the group, who are well acquainted with her former work, were surprised by the song, recorded in such an unusual style for Blondie. Some fans even accused the musicians of betraying the ideals of the “new wave” and venality. Here’s what the team members think about it.

Debbie Harry:

When we recorded Heart of Glass, it wasn’t cool in our circle to play disco. But we recorded it because we didn’t want to be cool.

1000 UK #1 Hits

People were nervous and angry that we brought new trends to rock music. Even though we covered Lady Marmalade and I Feel Love live, it pissed off a lot of people that we got into disco with Heart of Glass… Our drummer Clem Burke even refused to play the song at first. When it became a hit, he said, “I guess now I have to do it.”

The Guardian

Jimmy Destry, Blondie keyboardist:

Chris has always wanted to play disco. We used to do Heart of Glass to upset people.

Rolling stone

Chris Stein:

As far as I know, disco was part of R&B, which I always liked.

The Guardian

We didn’t expect the original to shoot like that. We recorded it as something new to add variety to the album.

Clip Heart of Glass – Blondie

The music video was directed by Stanley Dorfman. The famous Studio 54 club appears in the video, which led to the myth that the shooting was carried out within the walls of this institution. In fact, it was filmed in an obscure club that has long ceased to exist.

Cover versions

The most popular cover of Heart of Glass was recorded by Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen and French DJ Bob Sinclar. Their version of the song rose quite high in various charts. Let’s watch the video clip.

Interesting Facts

  • The writers of the song claim that they did not know about the existence of the German film Heart of Glass (1976) when they gave the name of the composition.
  • John Lennon once sent Ringo Starr a postcard asking him to write more Heart of Glass songs.
  • The 2001 Parallel Lines re-release contains an early version of the song called Once I Had a Love (aka The Disco Song).

Heart of Glass Lyrics

Chorus x2
Once I had a love and it was a gas
soon turned out had a heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

In between
What I find is pleasing and I’m feeling fine
Love is so confusing there’s no peace of mind
If I fear I’m losing you it’s just no good
You teasing like you do


lost inside
Adorable illusion and I cannot hide
I’m the one you’re using,
please don’t push me side
We could’ve made it cruising, yeah

Yeah, riding high on love’s true blueish light


Heart of Glass Lyrics

Chorus x2:
Once I was in love and pressed on the gas
Soon it turned out that my heart was made of glass
Everything seemed real, but in the end
Only distrust remains, and love is gone

I like everything and I’m fine
Love is confusing and takes away peace of mind
If I’m afraid of losing you, what good is that?
You habitually tease me


I got lost
In attractive illusions and unable to hide it
I’m the one you use
Please don’t push me away
We could handle it, yeah

Yes, soaring high in the bluish rays of true love


Song quote

I think a lot of people associate this song with a sense of loss or sadness.

Debbie Harry

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