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Autoamerican is the fifth studio album by the American rock band Blondie. It was released in November 1980[5] and reached No.3 in the UK charts, No.7 in the US, and No.8 in Australia.

Blondie - Autoamerican.png
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 1980 (1980-11)
StudioUnited Western Recorders, Hollywood
GenreNew wave
ProducerMike Chapman
Blondie chronology
Eat to the Beat
The Hunter
Singles from Autoamerican
  1. "The Tide Is High"
    Released: October 1980
  2. "Rapture"
    Released: January 12, 1981
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Record Guide: The '80sB−[2]
Rolling Stone1/5 stars[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004)3/5 stars[4]



The album was a radical departure for the band, with opening track "Europa" setting the pace. The track is a dramatic instrumental overture featuring orchestral arrangements and ending with vocalist Debbie Harry declaiming a passage about automobile culture over an electronic soundtrack. Besides rock and pop tracks, the band explored a wide range of other musical genres: "Here's Looking at You" and "Faces" show jazz and blues influences, the reggae hit "The Tide Is High" was a cover of The Paragons' 1967 Jamaican ska hit, whereas "Rapture" combined funk, rock, jazz, and even saw them embracing the then emerging genre of rap. The closing track, "Follow Me", was a cover of a torch song from Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's 1960 Broadway musical Camelot.

Producer Mike Chapman insisted the band record in Los Angeles. Guitarist Chris Stein lamented: "Every day we get up, stagger into the blinding sun, [and] drive past a huge Moon-mobile from some ancient sci-fi movie."[6] Drummer Clem Burke welcomed the change: "Autoamerican was fun. We got to spend two months in California. I'm always up for a free ride."[7] However, the band insisted on the cover artwork shot being from their hometown, posing on a roof near New York's Broadway and Eighth (more precisely 300 Mercer St). The image was taken from a commissioned painting by artist Martin Hoffman (1935–2013).[8]

The band released two singles from this album, "The Tide Is High" and "Rapture". "The Tide Is High" hit Number One in several countries, including the US and the UK. "Rapture" became the first rap song ever to reach number 1 on the singles chart in the US (it also reached #5 in the UK and #4 in Australia).

Autoamerican was digitally remastered and reissued with two bonus tracks by Chrysalis Records in the UK in 1994 which included the extended 12" Special Disco Mix versions of "Rapture" and its B-side "Live It Up", from 1981. The album was again remastered and re-released by EMI-Capitol in 2001, again featuring the extended version of "Rapture" along with the full-length version of their number 1 hit "Call Me" (from the film soundtrack to American Gigolo), and also "Suzy & Jeffrey" which was originally the B-side to "The Tide Is High" single.

Track listingEdit

Side One
1."Europa"Chris Stein3:31
2."Live It Up"Stein4:09
3."Here's Looking at You"Debbie Harry, Stein2:58
4."The Tide Is High" (Cover of The Paragons)John Holt, Howard Barrett, Tyrone Evans4:39
5."Angels on the Balcony"Laura Davis, Jimmy Destri3:47
6."Go Through It"Harry, Stein2:40
Side Two
7."Do the Dark"Destri3:51
8."Rapture"Harry, Stein6:30
10."T-Birds"Nigel Harrison, Harry3:56
11."Walk Like Me"Destri3:44
12."Follow Me"Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe3:01
Bonus track on cassette edition
7."Susie and Jeffrey" (B-side to "The Tide Is High" single)Harry, Harrison4:10
Bonus tracks 1994 CD reissue
13."Rapture (Special Disco Mix)"Harry, Stein9:59
14."Live It Up (Special Disco Mix)"Stein8:13
Bonus tracks 2001 CD reissue
13."Call Me (Original Long Version)" (From the original motion picture soundtrack American Gigolo)Giorgio Moroder, Harry8:06
14."Suzy & Jeffrey" (B-side to "The Tide Is High" single)Harry, Harrison4:10
15."Rapture (Special Disco Mix)"Harry, Stein9:59


Additional personnelEdit


Chart peaksEdit


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[20] 3× Platinum 300,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[21] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[22] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[23] Platinum 1,000,000^

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


  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Autoamerican - Blondie". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-09-01.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG:Blondie". Archived from the original on 2010-01-18. Retrieved 2012-09-01.
  3. ^ Carson, Tom (1985-02-20). "Autoamerican". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2012-04-15. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
  4. ^ "Blondie: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2014-04-09. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
  5. ^ Palmer, Robert (November 28, 1980). "The Pop Life". New York Times. New York. Blondie's new album, Autoamerican, was released this week
  6. ^ Heller, Bill (April 11, 2010). "NYC's greatest hits". New York Post. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  7. ^ Porter, Dick; Needs, Kris (2012). Blondie: Parallel Lives. Omnibus Press. ISBN 1780381298. unpaginated.
  8. ^ Martin Hoffman: Martin Hoffman dies - Orlando Sentinel Archived January 16, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Blondie – Autoamerican". (in German). IFPI Austria. Archived from the original on 2014-02-24. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  10. ^ "100 Albums". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. 14 (10). 14 February 1981. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  11. ^ "100 Albums". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. 34 (18). 11 April 1981. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  12. ^ "Blondie – Autoamerican". (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2014-03-12. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  13. ^ "German Charts > Blondie > Autoamerican" (in German). PhonoNet. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  14. ^ "Blondie – Autoamerican". Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  15. ^ "Blondie – Autoamerican". Archived from the original on 2007-10-25. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  16. ^ "Blondie – Autoamerican". Archived from the original on 2014-02-03. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  17. ^ "Blondie – UK Chart Positions". Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  18. ^ a b "Autoamerican – Blondie : Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on 2013-08-12. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  19. ^ "Canadian 1981 Top 100 Albums". Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  20. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Blondie – Auto American". Music Canada. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  21. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Blondie – Automaerican". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  22. ^ "British album certifications – Blondie – Autoamerican". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 1 June 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Autoamerican in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  23. ^ "American album certifications – Blondie – Autoamerican". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 1 June 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit