The Hunter (Blondie album)

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The Hunter
Blondie - The Hunter.jpg
Studio album by Blondie
Released May 1982 (1982-05)
Recorded Fall 1981 – February 1982
Studio The Hit Factory, New York City
Length 45:17
Label Chrysalis
Producer Mike Chapman
Blondie chronology
Autoamerican
(1980)
The Hunter
(1982)
No Exit
(1999)
Singles from The Hunter
  1. "Island of Lost Souls"
    Released: April 1982
  2. "War Child"
    Released: July 1982

The Hunter is the sixth studio album by American band Blondie, released in May 1982.[1] It was Blondie's last album of new material until 1999's No Exit. It was recorded in the fall of 1981 and January and February 1982.

Overview[edit]

The Hunter is loosely a concept album based on the theme: searching, pursuing, and hunting.[2] Tracks on the album include Jimmy Destri's Motown pastiche "Danceway", while "Dragonfly" has a science-fiction theme to its lyrics about a race in space. "The Beast" deals with Deborah Harry's experiences of becoming a public figure: "I am the centre of attraction, by staying off the streets". "English Boys" is Harry and Chris Stein's melancholy tribute to "those English boys who had long hair", The Beatles, recorded the year after John Lennon's assassination in New York City, describing the innocence and idealism of the 1960s, while "War Child" references military conflicts in Cambodia and the Middle East. The album concludes with a cover version of Smokey Robinson's "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game", originally recorded by The Marvelettes in 1967.

The song "For Your Eyes Only" was originally written for the 1981 James Bond film of the same name, the producers of the film, however, favored a track composed by Bill Conti and Michael Leeson and asked Blondie to record that song instead.[3] Blondie declined, the Conti/Leeson song was passed on to Sheena Easton. Blondie opted to release their song (written by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein) on The Hunter.

Two singles were released from the album, "Island of Lost Souls" and "War Child" (the latter of which was also released as a 12" extended version). "Danceway" was planned for release as a single in Canada (backed with "For Your Eyes Only")[4] but the single was withdrawn.

In the liner notes to the 2001 reissue of The Hunter, producer Mike Chapman stated "I knew that we were in a different and far less accessible artistic space. And that worried me. I could tell that things were different now, and I knew that this would be the last Blondie album."

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 1.5/5 stars[5]
Robert Christgau C[6]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars[8]

The album peaked at No.9 in the UK, No.15 in Australia and No.33 in the US. Compared to Blondie's three previous albums with Mike Chapman as producer (Parallel Lines, Eat to the Beat and Autoamerican), The Hunter proved to be a disappointment, both commercially and critically. Six months after its release, the band splintered, the summer Tracks Across America Tour '82 was set to promote the album, but turned out to be unsuccessful. The band's European tour which was due to follow in autumn was cancelled.[9]

The Hunter was digitally remastered and reissued by Chrysalis Records UK in 1994, and again by EMI-Capitol in 2001, both times with the 12" version of "War Child" as the only bonus track.

Track listing[edit]

Side One
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Orchid Club" Nigel Harrison, Debbie Harry 5:45
2. "Island of Lost Souls" Chris Stein, Harry 4:42
3. "Dragonfly" Stein, Harry 6:00
4. "For Your Eyes Only" Stein, Harry 3:07
5. "The Beast" Stein, Harry 4:54
Side Two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "War Child" Harrison, Harry 4:00
7. "Little Caesar" Stein, Harry 3:00
8. "Danceway" Jimmy Destri 3:19
9. "(Can I) Find the Right Words (To Say)" Destri, Harry 3:07
10. "English Boys" Stein, Harry 3:49
11. "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game" Smokey Robinson 3:37
Bonus track on 1994 and 2001 CD reissues
No. Title Writer(s) Length
12. "War Child (Extended version)" Harrison, Harry 7:58

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Robert Aaron – horn arrangements, saxophone
  • Sammy Figueroa – percussion
  • Manual Badrena – percussion
  • Roger Squitero – percussion
  • Janice G. Pendarvis – backing vocals on "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game"
  • Zachary Sanders – backing vocals on "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game"
  • Lani Groves – backing vocals on "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game"
  • Darryl Tookes – backing vocals on "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game"
  • Ray Maldonado – horns on "Little Caesar", "Island of Lost Souls" and "War Child"
  • Luis Ortiz – horns on "Little Caesar", "Island of Lost Souls" and "War Child"
  • Rick Davies – horns on "Little Caesar", "Island of Lost Souls" and "War Child"
  • Mac Gollehon – horns on "Little Caesar", "Island of Lost Souls" and "War Child"

Production[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1982) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart 15
Canadian Albums Chart[10] 24
Dutch Albums Chart[11] 19
German Albums Chart[12] 49
New Zealand Albums Chart[13] 27
Norwergian Albums Chart[14] 19
Swedish Albums Chart[15] 18
UK Albums Chart[16] 9
US Billboard 200[17] 33

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Liner notes to 2001 remastered reissue (EMI-Capitol / Chrysalis 72435-33670-2-2)". Discogs. Retrieved 16 October 2017. 
  2. ^ "The Hunter press release". rip-her-to-shreds.com. 1982. Archived from the original on 14 September 2016. 
  3. ^ The Music of James Bond – Page 264 Jon Burlingame – 2012 "“For Your Eyes Only” (Blondie, 1981). The New York-based rock group was briefly under consideration to perform the movie theme before Sheena Easton was chosen, the group had had three number-one hits in the previous year (including ..."
  4. ^ 45cat.com (cat:CHS2640)
  5. ^ https://www.allmusic.com/album/r2081
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ Ralph Heibutzki (September 1999). "Once More (Into the Bleach): Blondie Returns For Its Fifteenth Round". rip-her-to-shreds.com. Discoveries magazine. Archived from the original on 11 September 2017. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "100 Albums". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. 36 (22). 10 July 1982. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "Blondie – The Hunter". dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "German Charts > Blondie > The Hunter" (in German). charts.de PhonoNet. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "Blondie – The Hunter". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Blondie – The Hunter". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Blondie – The Hunter". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "Blondie – UK Chart Positions". officialcharts.com. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "The Hunter – Blondie : Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 

External links[edit]