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Subject Topic: Blondie - "Heart Of Glass" Post ReplyPost New Topic
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crapfromthepast
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Posted: 10 February 2009 at 10:36pm | IP Logged Quote crapfromthepast

Some surprising results for this song.

I started by digging out my bought-it-at-the-time pressing of the 45, Chrysalis CHS 2295, which has a very nice picture sleeve (picture of Deborah Harry in a heart-shaped frame in front of a white background). The 45 has a printed time of 3:22 and an actual run time of about 3:23.

Two important things to note about the original 45:
  1. The mix lacks the "growly" synth sounds that were added when "Heart Of Glass" was remixed for The Best Of Blondie LP. Specifically, the 8-second intro on the 45 is just the neato drum machine pattern, and the breakdown from 2:31-2:34 is just the drums and 16th-note keyboard part. The remix on The Best Of Blondie has extra sounds at those points that can best be described as synthesizer cats in heat.
  2. There is a slight amount of tape drag on the 45 that slows it down by about 0.2% or 0.3% from beginning to end. Specifically, this pressing of the 45 starts at 115.0 BPM and finishes at 114.8 BPM.
I then dug out my rerelease of the 45, with a silver-colored label and "CLASSICS" across the top. This 45 is Chrysalis VS8 42944, with "Heart Of Glass" on Side A, and "Hanging On The Telephone" on Side B. The printed time of "Heart Of Glass" is 4:33 (which is close to the actual time on The Best Of Blondie), but the actual time is also 3:23. It's the same version as the original 45, but runs a tiny bit faster, going from 115.3 BPM at the beginning to 115.0 BPM at the end.

I then dug out my original 12" single, Chrysalis CHR-1192, with Deborah Harry in a white dress on the record label.

The A-side has a printed time of 5:50 and an actual time of about 5:50. The mix is the same as the 45 (no cats in heat), but with many edits and parts repeated. It runs about 114.9 BPM, slowing down a tiny bit but much less than the 45. It's tough to get a BPM meaasurement at the end due to the many repeated sections.

The B-side of the 12", labeled "Instrumental", has a printed time of 5:17 and an actual time of about 5:16. The song structure is completely unrelated to the vocal version - parts are cut and pasted everywhere, which is kinda cool to hear. It, too, lacks the cats-in-heat sounds, but it's got even more elements removed. There's no "popcorn" drum machine intro - it just begins on the downbeat. The last 90 seconds or so is basically the same drum-fill riffing that makes up the end of the Best Of Blondie remix, which is interesting to me - until the Best Of Blondie LP, the B-side of the 12" was the only place to hear Clem Burke playing his heart out. There is some tape drag on this version, too going from 115.1 BPM at the beginning to 114.8 BPM at the end.

I don't have the Parallel Lines album, but I would bet that the album version is the same mix as the 45 and the 12", because the "pain in the a**" verse that's cut from the 45 appears in the 12".

I have the true 45 version (with the true 45 mix) on the following CDs:
  • Rhino's Billboard Top Hits - 1979 (released 1991, runs 3:22, and is best-sounding of the bunch)
  • Time-Life's AM Gold - 1979 (released 1997, runs 3:22, digitally identical to Billboard CD)
  • Silver Eagle's Dancin' The Night Away (released 1988, runs 3:23)
  • Madacy's Rock On 1979 (released 1996, runs 3:23, digitally exactly 5.1 dB louder than Dancin' The Night Away)
  • Time-Life's Sounds Of The Seventies - 1979 (released 1990, runs 3:22)
  • Sessions Presents The Ultimate Party Album (released 1992, runs 3:22, sound quality very close to Sounds Of The Seventies CD)
  • Priority's Mega-Hits Dance Classics Vol. 1 (released 1989, runs 3:23, mastered too loud and clips a lot)
  • Silver Eagle/Warner Special Products' After Hours (released 1990, runs 3:22, runs about 0.7% too fast)
The A-side of the 12" version appears on
  • Blonde And Beyond (released 1993, runs 5:48, true 12" version)
  • Time-Life's Modern Rock - The '70s (released 1999, runs 5:44 and fades earlier than true 12")
The Best Of Blondie version (cats-in-heat synths and much longer than 45 or original LP version) has no tape drag effect - presumably that got fixed in the remixing process, so the BPM is constant throughout. This appears on:
  • Sandstone's Reelin' In The Years Vol. 3 (released 1991, runs 4:33, mastered by Steve Hoffman and best-sounding of the bunch, 114.5 BPM)
  • The Best Of Blondie (US version, runs about 4:34, 114.5 BPM)
  • The Best Of Blondie (UK version, runs about 4:32, 115.1 BPM - a little faster than US version)
  • Razor & Tie's The '70s Preservation Society Presents Disco Fever (released 1991, runs 4:33, too much treble, not enough bass, 114.5 BPM)
  • Silver Eagle/MCA's Shades Of Love (released 1989, runs 4:34, waveform severely clipped on one side at around -5 dB, runs 114.5 BPM)
The remaining CDs all have some edit of the Best Of Blondie mix, some in an unsuccessful attempt to recreate the 45 without the tape drag (but including the cats-in-heat synths), and some just being weird edits:
  • Rhino's The Disco Years Vol. 2 (released 1990, runs 3:23, 114.5 BPM, stellar sound - too bad it's the wrong mix; this is the only fault I've found thus far in this outstanding Rhino series)
  • Rhino's New Millennium Disco Party - The Divas (released 2000, runs 3:23, 114.5 BPM, sound close to Disco Years but too loud and clips a lot)
  • EMI Australia's Seventies Complete (5-CD set, released 1997, runs 3:17, 116.7 BPM - WAY too fast!)
  • Skifan Iceland's Pottpett 70's (released 2001, runs 3:53 - not sure what edit this is supposed to be, 115.4 BPM)
  • The Platinum Collection (released 1994, runs 4:09 - again, not sure what edit this is, mastered too loud, 114.5 BPM)
  • Disky Europe's Wow That Was The 70's (8-CD set released 1999, runs 4:06, sound very similar to Platinum Collection, 114.5 BPM)
And there you have it.

Bottom line: For the true 1978 mixes, avoid the cats-in-heat synths!
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Hykker
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Posted: 11 February 2009 at 7:00am | IP Logged Quote Hykker

This song has to hold the record for the number of different versions out there.
There were 2 different issues of "Parallel Lines", one with the 5:50 12" version, and earlier pressings with a shorter version (3:54 listed), both contained the PITA lyrics, but no cats-in-heat synth. I used to have copies of both versions of the LP, but since I have the 12" I got rid of the one with the 12" version on it (storage space is limited).
There was also a CD called "Music of the Millenium" that contained a different edit of the song, the verse after the bridge was the "once I had love & it was a gas, soon turned out I had a heart of glass" line from earlier in the song replacing the PITA verse. I don't recall offhand whether it had the cats-in-heat synth intro or not.

Edited by Hykker on 12 February 2009 at 6:11pm
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AndrewChouffi
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Posted: 11 February 2009 at 8:55am | IP Logged Quote AndrewChouffi

What I'm looking for is the original 'Parallel Lines' album mix on CD (Hykker mentions it above).

I have the vinyl of it, but I wonder if it's on a CD.

Andy
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Roscoe
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Posted: 11 February 2009 at 9:04am | IP Logged Quote Roscoe

The 12" version is also on the DCC gold "Parallel Lines" CD (very rare and expensive unfortunately). I edited this down to a very nice sounding 45 version, although I wasn't aware of the BPM differences noted above.
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MMathews
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Posted: 12 February 2009 at 4:17pm | IP Logged Quote MMathews

Hi folks,

Oh, I'm such a Blondie fan and this single was soo huge for me when it came out.

Ok, for the other mix on The Best Of Blondie i believe was not created for that album, but i was happy they issued it on there. That is the mix that was in the original '78 video for the song. (Yes, there was a video.)

As mentioned above, the first issue of Parallel Lines had the original mix (i thought it ran about 3:48, not 4:20, Hykker, can u confirm that time?) and the original mix had the softer drum track, and instrumental ending.

I think what they did at remix time was remix the LP version punching up the bass drum big-time, and brought out the synths more, including the intro, and let it run a bit longer. This would be the creation of the video version, later issued on the Best-Of.
Then they mixed the 12" Disco version with less of the synth effects and the long looped ending repeating over and over.
And, as mentioned above, they edited this version for the 45. I guess they felt this was the hit mix to use, and i guess history says they were right.
They then re-issued the album with the 12" replacing the original mix. (I bought that too!)

Now, for Andrew: i too wanted the original LP version on CD, and was pleasantly surprised when i found my CD i bought does indeed have the original mix. It is an early cd issue of the album.
It says clearly on the back "Disco Version" with a time of 5:50, as does the disc itself. But, in fact they used the first album master to press the disc, so it contains the original. Now, it does run 3:48 and i thought that matched my old vinyl but i no longer have the vinyl to compare. The disc info is:
Catalog# F221192 on both spine and disc, and is dated 1985.
It contains no bonus tracks like subsequent re-issues of the album have. Happy hunting.

-MM    
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Hykker
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Posted: 12 February 2009 at 6:10pm | IP Logged Quote Hykker

MMathews wrote:


As mentioned above, the first issue of Parallel Lines had the original mix (i thought it ran about 3:48, not 4:20, Hykker, can u confirm that time?)


Well you were closer than I was...listed time on PL is 3:54. I didn't have the record handy at the time I made my first post.
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crapfromthepast
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Posted: 12 February 2009 at 8:55pm | IP Logged Quote crapfromthepast

MMathews wrote:
Ok, for the other mix on The Best Of Blondie i believe was not created for that album, but i was happy they issued it on there. That is the mix that was in the original '78 video for the song. (Yes, there was a video.)


Hmmm... my UK Best Of Blondie CD has "Special mix for this album by Mike Chapman" listed underneath the producers' credits for "Heart Of Glass", "In The Flesh", and "Sunday Girl". It's not small print either - it's listed three different times and is supposed to get your attention on the back cover. The Best Of Blondie LP originally came out in '81, I think. Was the video out when the single was big, or did it come out later?
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MMathews
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Posted: 13 February 2009 at 2:50pm | IP Logged Quote MMathews

Hi

Hmm, well, i did see the video in '79, but i realize that i always saw it on TV - so it would be better to say it was more or less that "version"..meaning it had the strong beat like the single, but had the LP version ending. So i'll go with likely different mix, but roughly the same edit/structure.
I'm glad they did it though, because i wanted the punchy mix with the rest of the original ending.

-MM
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Indy500
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Posted: 10 September 2010 at 7:48pm | IP Logged Quote Indy500

There is a demo version under the original title "Once I Has A Love" on the Platinum Collection Cd. It runs 3:56. And a version of "Once I Had A Love" -- produced by Mike Chapman from the Parallel Lines sessions -- appears as a bonus track on the Parallel Lines remaster running 3:14.
This track first appeared on Blonde and Beyond (3:11) but now includes a drumstick into. And may be remixed from the original tapes as it sounds much clearer.

Edited by Indy500 on 10 September 2010 at 7:49pm
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bwolfe
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Posted: 11 September 2010 at 4:47am | IP Logged Quote bwolfe

What about the version on Pure Disco 3 that was released back in the 90s?
I'm throwing this one out to the experts.

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bwolfe
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Posted: 14 September 2010 at 5:49am | IP Logged Quote bwolfe

I don't know Brian, maybe I'll find out on my own...
Talking to yourself is fun...

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