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"Call Me" is a 1980 song by the American new wave band Blondie. Released in early 1980 as a single, "Call Me" was number one for six weeks on theBillboard Hot 100 chart, where it became the band's biggest single and second #1.[1] It also hit #1 in the UK and Canada, where it became their fourth and second chart-topper respectively. In the year-end charts of 1980 it was Billboard's #1 hit and RPM's #3.[4][5]

Contents[]

 [hide] 

  • 1 Song and single information
  • 2 Popularity and acclaim
  • 3 Music video
  • 4 Release history
    • 4.1 1981 Release
    • 4.2 1989 Release
  • 5 Chart performance
    • 5.1 Year-end charts
    • 5.2 End-of-decade charts
    • 5.3 1988 Remix chart positions
    • 5.4 Sales and certifications
    • 5.5 Chart successions
  • 6 Chipmunks version
    • 6.1 Tracklisting
  • 7 Other cover versions
  • 8 Live cover performances
  • 9 See also
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links

Song and single information[edit][]

"Call Me" was the main theme song of the 1980 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.[6] 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."[7] 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 in 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 Blondie's label Chrysalis, and a Spanish language 12" version, with lyrics by Buddy and Mary McCluskey, on the 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/EMI's 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.

Popularity and acclaim[edit][]

The single was released in the United States in February 1980. It peaked at No. 1 for six consecutive weeks, and was certified Gold (for one million copies sold) by the RIAA. It also spent four weeks at No. 2 on the US dance chart. The single was also No. 1 on Billboard magazine's 1980 year-end chart. The song lists at No. 44 on Billboard's All Time Top 100.[8] It was released in the UK two months later, where it became Blondie's fourth UK No. 1 single in little over a year. The song was also played on a British Telecom advert in the 1980s. 25 years after its original release, "Call Me" was ranked at No. 283 on the list of Rolling Stone's 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.

Music video[edit][]

There were two videos made:

  • One was compiled clips and video footage in New York of Debbie 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 Taxi through Manhattan traffic. This version was part of the 1981 "Best Of Blondie" compilation video.

Release history[edit][]

1981 Release[edit][]

US, UK 7" (CHS 2414)
  1. "Call Me (Theme from American Gigolo)" (7" edit) — 3:32
  2. "Call Me" (7" instrumental) — 3:27
UK 12" (CHS 12 2414)
  1. "Call Me" (7" edit) — 3:32
  2. "Call Me" (Spanish version – 7" edit) — 3:32
  3. "Call Me" (7" instrumental) — 3:27
US 12" (Polydor PRO 124)
  1. "Call Me" (Theme from American Gigolo) — 8:04
  2. "Call Me" (12" instrumental) — 6:10
US 12" (Salsoul SG 341) [promo only]
  1. "Call Me" (Spanish version, extended) — 6:23
  2. "Night Drive" (Reprise) - by Giorgio Morodor — 6:10

1989 Release[edit][]

UK 7" (CHS 3342-1)
  1. "Call Me" (Ben Liebrand Remix) — 7:09
  2. "Call Me" (Original Version) — 3:31
UK 12" (CHS 12 3342)
  1. "Call Me" (Ben Liebrand Remix) — 7:09
  2. "Backfired" (Bruce Forrest And Frank Heller Remix) — 6:03
  3. "Call Me" (Original Version) — 3:31
UK CD (CHSCD 3342)
  1. "Call Me" (Ben Liebrand Remix) — 7:09
  2. "Backfired" (Bruce Forrest And Frank Heller Remix) — 6:03
    • Performed by Debbie Harry
  3. "Call Me" (Original Version) — 3:31
  4. "Hanging on the Telephone" — 2:23

Chart performance[edit][]

Chart (1980) Peak

position

Australia (Kent Music Report)[9] 4
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[10] 5
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[11] 9
Belgium (BRT Top 30 Flanders)[12] 9
Canada (RPM 100 Singles)[5] 1
France [13] 4
Germany (Media Control Charts)[14] 14
Ireland (IRMA)[15] 2
Italy (FIMI)[16] 11
Japan (Oricon)[17] 12
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[18] 9
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[19] 12
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[20] 6
Norway (VG-lista)[21] 2
South Africa (Springbok Radio)[22] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[23] 3
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[24] 3
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[25] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[26] 1
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[26] 2
US Record World Singles[27] 1

Year-end charts[edit][]

Chart (1980) Peak

position

Canadian RPM 1980 Top 100 Singles[28] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[4] 1

End-of-decade charts[edit][]

End of decade (1980–1989) Position
US Billboard Hot 100 8

1988 Remix chart positions[edit][]

Chart (1989) Peak

position

UK Singles Chart[29] 61

Sales and certifications[edit][]

Region Certification Sales/shipments Canada (Music Canada)[30] Platinum 10,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[31] Silver 200,000^
United States (RIAA)[32] Gold 1,000,000^

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

Chart successions[edit][]

[show]Order of precedence

Chipmunks version[edit][]

"Call Me"
Single by The Chipmunks
from the album Chipmunk Punk
Released August 1980
Format Vinyl
Recorded September 1979
Length 3:11 (LP/radio version)

3:49 (12" version)

Label Excelsior Records
Writer(s) Debbie Harry, Giorgio Moroder
The Chipmunks singles chronology
"My Sharona"

(1980)

Call Me

(1980)

"On the Road Again"

(1981)

In 1980, KMET DJ Chuck Taylor played the 12" version of this single at double speed and announced, in jest, that it was The Chipmunks' latest single. So many requests came for this "new" Chipmunks release, that Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. and his collaborator Steve Vining rushed to record what would be the Chipmunks' "comeback album", Chipmunk Punk in 1980.[citation needed]

Tracklisting[edit][]

US 7" (SIS-1003)
  1. "Call Me" — 3:13
  2. "Refugee" — 3:08

Other cover versions[edit][]

  • In 1986, San Francisco-based band Until December covered the single on their self-titled album.[33]
  • In 1997, a cappella group Da Vinci's Notebook covered the song on their album Bendy's Law.[34]
  • In 1999, artist Emilia Mojello recorded a cover for the soundtrack of the comedy film Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.[35]
  • In 2001, indie punk rock band Squatweiler recorded a cover for the compilation How Many Bands Does It Take to Screw up a Blondie Tribute.[36]
  • In 2001, artist Nikka Costa recorded a cover for the soundtrack of the comedy film Zoolander.[37]
  • In 2001, The Box Tops covered the song for the compilation When Pigs Fly: Songs You Never Thought You'd Hear.[38]
  • In 2002, synthpop band I Am The World Trade Center covered the song on their album The Tight Connection.[39]
  • In 2002, Tiffany recorded a cover of the song for the compilation Platinum Girl: A Tribute to Blondie.[40]
  • In 2005, Lea DeLaria covered the song in the jazz album Double Standards.[41]
  • In 2008, Australian singer Tina Arena recorded a retro swing version of the song for her 2008 album Songs of Love & Loss II.[42]
  • In 2008, British singer Skye Edwards collaborated with Marc Collin of French band Nouvelle Vague on a cover of the song for the album Hollywood, Mon Amour.[43]
  • In 2009, American metalcore band In This Moment released a cover of this song as a single.
  • Scottish indie rock band Franz Ferdinand were asked by Blondie themselves[44] to cover it for a War Child charity album.
  • In 2010, Italian singer Sabrina Salerno and British singer Samantha Fox recorded a dance version of the song.[45]
  • Blondie re-recorded the song for their 2014 compilation album Greatest Hits Deluxe Redux. The compilation was part of a 2-disc set called Blondie 4(0) Ever which included their 10th studio albumGhosts of Download and marked the 40th anniversary of the forming of the band.

Live cover performances[edit][]

  • Garbage, No Doubt and The Distillers performed together a live version of the song in November 2002 at the Long Beach Arena.[46][47]
  • Ashlee Simpson covered the song live on her 2005 Autobiography tour.
  • Diana Vickers performed the track on The X Factor in 2008.
  • Fergie alongside Debbie Harry performed "Call me" at Fashion Rocks 2008.
  • Franz Ferdinand and La Roux performed a live version for the 2009 NME Awards.
  • American Idol season ten contestant Haley Reinhart performed the song during Idol Goes to the Movies week.
  • Sabrina Salerno and Samantha Fox performed together a live version of the song in 2013 at the "Retro FM's Legends" in Russia.
  • American Idol season 13 contestant Jessica Meuse performed the song during 80s week.
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