Eat to the Beat

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Eat to the Beat
Eat to.jpg
Studio album by Blondie
Released October 1979
Recorded May–June 1979
Studio The Power Station, Electric Lady Studios, New York City
Genre New wave
Length 43:01
Label Chrysalis
Producer Mike Chapman
Blondie chronology
Parallel Lines
Eat to the Beat
Singles from Eat to the Beat
  1. "Dreaming"
    Released: September 1979
  2. "Union City Blue"
    Released: November 1979 (UK)
  3. "The Hardest Part"
    Released: January 1980 (US)
  4. "Atomic"
    Released: February 1980 (UK),
    April 1980 (US)
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Entertainment WeeklyB[2]
Q4/5 stars[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[4]
Spin Alternative Record Guide7/10[5]
Uncut5/5 stars[6]
The Village VoiceA−[7]

Eat to the Beat is the fourth studio album by the American rock band Blondie. It was certified Platinum in the US, where it spent a year on the Billboard album chart. Although it peaked at No.17, it was one of Billboard's top 10 albums of 1980.[8] It also reached No.1 on the UK album chart in October 1979[9] and was certified Platinum by the BPI.


The album includes a diverse range of styles as pop, punk, reggae, and funk as well as a lullaby. Three singles were released in the UK from this album ("Dreaming", "Union City Blue" and "Atomic"). "The Hardest Part" was released as the second single from the album in the US instead of "Union City Blue" (though a remix of "Union" would be released in the US in 1995). According to the liner notes of the 1994 compilation The Platinum Collection, the song "Slow Motion" was originally planned to be the fourth single release from the album, and producer Mike Chapman even made a remix of the track, but following the unexpected success of "Call Me", the theme song to movie American Gigolo, these plans were shelved and the single mix of "Slow Motion" remains unreleased. An alternate mix of the track entitled The Stripped Down Motown Mix did however turn up on one of the many remix singles issued by Chrysalis/EMI in the mid-1990s.

Blondie's first video album was produced in conjunction with this record, featuring a music video for each of the album's twelve songs. It was the first such project in rock music.[10] Most of the songs were filmed in and around New York, the exception was the "Union City Blue" music video, which was filmed at Union Dry Dock, Weehawken, New Jersey. Each video was directed by David Mallet and produced by Paul Flattery. The video was initially available as a promotional VHS in 1979 and subsequently released on videocassette and videodisc in October 1980.[11]

Eat to the Beat was digitally remastered and reissued by EMI in 1994, and EMI-Capitol in 2001, with four bonus tracks and candid sleeve notes by Mike Chapman:

They wanted to try anything. And I was right there with them. We also had a title for the album at a very early point, so we had a concept of sorts: Eat to the Beat. I tried to have Debbie explain exactly what it meant to her, but in her normal fashion she simply confused me and I was forced to give it my own interpretation. ... [Drugs] found their way to the studio and presented us with yet another obstacle. The more drugs, the more fights. It was becoming a real mess. ... The music was good but the group was showing signs of wear and tear. The meetings, the drugs, the partying and the arguments had beaten us all up, and it was hard to have a positive attitude when the project was finally finished. ... Was this the record that the public was waiting for, or was it just the waste of seven sick minds? I had never experienced this kind of emotional rollercoaster before, and I have never forgotten the sounds, smells and tastes that came with it. I guess that was what they meant: Eat to the Beat.[12]

The 2001 remaster was again reissued in 2007 (June 26 in the US; July 2 in the UK) without the four bonus tracks. Included instead was a DVD of the long-since deleted Eat to the Beat video album, marking the first time it had been made available on the DVD format.

Track listing[edit]

Side One
1."Dreaming"Debbie Harry, Chris Stein3:08
2."The Hardest Part"Harry, Stein3:43
3."Union City Blue"Harry, Nigel Harrison3:22
5."Eat to the Beat"Harry, Harrison2:40
6."Accidents Never Happen"Jimmy Destri4:15
Side Two
7."Die Young Stay Pretty"Harry, Stein3:34
8."Slow Motion"Laura Davis, Destri3:29
9."Atomic"Harry, Destri4:40
10."Sound-A-Sleep"Harry, Stein4:18
11."Victor"Harry, Frank Infante3:19
12."Living in the Real World"Destri2:54

Video album[edit]

  1. "Eat to the Beat"
  2. "The Hardest Part"
  3. "Union City Blue"
  4. "Slow Motion"
  5. "Shayla"
  6. "Die Young, Stay Pretty"
  7. "Accidents Never Happen"
  8. "Atomic"
  9. "Living in the Real World"
  10. "Sound-A-Sleep"
  11. "Victor"
  12. "Dreaming"

Bonus videos – on side two of Videodisc release[13]

  1. Heart of Glass
  2. Picture This
  3. (I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence Dear
  4. Hanging on the Telephone


Additional personnel[edit]

  • Mike Chapman – background vocals on "Die Young, Stay Pretty" and "Victor"
  • Donna Destri – background vocals on "Living in the Real World"
  • Robert Fripp – guitar on "Heroes" bonus live track
  • Ellie Greenwich – background vocals on "Dreaming" and "Atomic"
  • Lorna Luft – background vocals on "Accidents Never Happen" and "Slow Motion"
  • Randy Singer (Hennes) – harmonica on "Eat to the Beat"


Chart positions[edit]


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[25] 2× Platinum 200,000^
France (SNEP)[26] none 173,300[27]
United Kingdom (BPI)[28] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[29] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Eat to the Beat – Blondie". AllMusic. Retrieved September 7, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Blondie: Eat to the Beat". Entertainment Weekly. New York: 85. September 21, 2001. 
  3. ^ "Blondie: Eat to the Beat". Q. London (182): 143. October 2001. 
  4. ^ Coleman, Mark; Berger, Arion (2004). "Blondie". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 85–86. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved September 23, 2011. 
  5. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). "Blondie". Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8. 
  6. ^ "Blondie: Eat to the Beat". Uncut. London: 90. [A] consistent thrill-ride of imaginative, hyperactive pop. 
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert (October 29, 1979). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved September 7, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Talent in Action Year End Charts" Billboard December 20, 1980: TIA-12
  9. ^ UK Official Charts Company
  10. ^ Once More (Into The Bleach): Blondie Returns For Its Fifteenth Round
  11. ^ McCullaugh, Jim. "SelectaVision Catalog Adds 'Eat To Beat'" Billboard October 11, 1980: 10
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Eat to the Beat – Blondie {76476020255} U - Side 2 - CED Title - Blu-ray DVD Movie Precursor". Retrieved 2016-09-23. 
  14. ^ "Blondie – Eat to the Beat". (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "100 Albums". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. 32 (13). 22 December 1979. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "Blondie – Eat to the Beat". (in Dutch). Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "German Charts > Blondie > Eat to the Beat" (in German). PhonoNet. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  18. ^ "Blondie – Eat to the Beat". Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  19. ^ "Blondie – Eat to the Beat". Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  20. ^ "Blondie – Eat to the Beat". Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  21. ^ "Blondie – UK Chart Positions". Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  22. ^ "Eat to the Beat – Blondie : Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  23. ^ "Canadian 1979 Top 100 Albums". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  24. ^ "Canadian 1980 Top 100 Albums". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  25. ^ "Gold and Platinum Search". Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  26. ^ "French album certifications – Blondie – Eat to the beat" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  27. ^
  28. ^ "BPI – Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on 2014-06-25. Retrieved 2013-09-21.  Note: User needs to enter "Blondie" in the "Keywords" field, "Artist" in the "Search by" field and click the "Search" button. Select "More >>" next to the relevant entry to see full certification history.
  29. ^ "Searchable Database". Retrieved 11 July 2012. 

External links[edit]