Maria (Blondie song)

"Maria" is a song by American rock band Blondie. The song was written by Blondie keyboardist Jimmy Destri and produced by Craig Leon. Taken from their album No Exit (1999), it was Blondie's first new release since 1982. "Maria", issued as a single in Europe on January 11, 1999, reached number one in the United Kingdom; Blondie's sixth UK chart-topper. The song also topped the charts of Greece and Spain, becoming a top-20 hit across Europe and in New Zealand.

"Maria"
Blondie - Maria.jpg
Single by Blondie
from the album No Exit
ReleasedJanuary 11, 1999 (1999-01-11)
Studio
GenrePower pop[1][2][3]
Length
  • 4:51 (album version)
  • 4:09 (radio edit)
Label
Songwriter(s)Jimmy Destri
Producer(s)Craig Leon
Blondie singles chronology
"War Child"
(1982)
"Maria"
(1999)
"Nothing Is Real but the Girl"
(1999)
Alternative cover
US edition of the single with alternative cover art
US edition of the single with alternative cover art
Audio sample
"Maria"
Music video
"Maria" (Live) on YouTube

The song was included on the band's 2014 compilation album, Greatest Hits Deluxe Redux. The compilation was part of a two-disc set titled Blondie 4(0) Ever, which includes Ghosts of Download, their tenth studio album, and marked the 40th anniversary of the band's formation.[4]

Background and compositionEdit

"Maria" was written by the band's keyboardist, Jimmy Destri, who had penned some of their earlier hits such as "Atomic". He wrote the song while reflecting on his days in Catholic school, when he fantasized about meeting the ideal girl. According to Destri, the track is about teenage desire.[5] A line from the song: "...like a millionaire/walking on imported air", was used in the previous Blondie track "Walk Like Me" (also written by Destri) from the album Autoamerican (1980), and the track shares a similar lyrical motif with their 1977 single "Rip Her to Shreds".[1] "Maria" is written and composed in the key of A major.[6]

ReleaseEdit

In the United Kingdom, "Maria" was released as a two-CD set. The first contains remixes of the song,[7] and the second contains live versions of "Screaming Skin" (a track from the No Exit album) and their first hit single: "In the Flesh". Both were recorded during Blondie's No Exit Tour.[8]

Critical receptionEdit

Billboard described the song as a "delectable track", and a "skillfully arranged array of passionate Debbie Harry vocals, great guitar and drum thrusts, and neat harmonica passages that climb into the toll of cathedral bells." They also noted that "all these touches are in the service of a cool rock/pop intelligence powered by the street smarts that are the Blondie trademark." Daily Record commented, "Almost two decades after their last No 1, comeback stars Blondie have gone back to their "new wave" roots" with "Maria".[9] The Daily Vault's Mark Millan called it a "pop gem" that "kicks off". He added that the singer's "commanding performance" really shows off her impressive range, and stated that "this one is still one of their best singles to date."[10]

Chart performanceEdit

"Maria" debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart on February 7, 1999, giving Blondie their sixth UK number-one single and first chart-topper since "The Tide Is High" in November 1980.[11] It spent 17 nonconsecutive weeks in the top 100, ending the year as the UK's 33rd-best-selling hit.[12] The release of "Maria" came exactly 20 years after "Heart of Glass", Blondie's first UK number-one hit.[1] Across the rest of Europe, "Maria" topped the charts in Greece and Spain and was a top-10 hit in Austria, Flanders, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Sweden, and Switzerland.[13][14][15][16] It additionally reached the top 20 in Italy and the Netherlands and attained a peak of number five on the Eurochart Hot 100.[17][18][19]

"Maria" was not as successful in the North America, stalling at number 82 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 43 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart;[20][21] however, it did enter the top 20 on the Billboard Adult Top 40, Hot Dance Club Play, and Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales charts.[22][23][24] The single also underperformed in Australia, where it peaked at number 59,[25] but fared better in New Zealand, reaching number 16 during its third week on the country's chart.[26]

Music videoEdit

The music video for "Maria" was directed by Roman Coppola (credited as Alan Smithee), and takes place in New York City.[5] Parts of New York through night-vision goggles are seen before zooming into an apartment where Blondie are performing the song. Mysterious dark-clothed individuals are seen around different buildings setting up surveillance equipment to monitor the band. Toward the end of the video, one of the dark-clothed individuals aims a sniper rifle towards lead singer Deborah Harry, and fires a bullet at her. In slow motion, the bullet smashes through a window, a light bulb and the microphone towards her, but Harry (moving in real time) simply plucks the bullet from the air before it hits her (perhaps tying into the theme of "no exit", the band's comeback album).

Track listingsEdit

Credits and personnelEdit

Credits are lifted from the UK and US single liner notes.[29][28]

Studios

Charts and certificationsEdit

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
Europe January 11, 1999 (1999-01-11) CD Beyond [14]
United Kingdom February 1, 1999 (1999-02-01)
  • CD
  • cassette
[59]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Jones, Rob (September 12, 2016). "Blondie Play "Maria"". The Delete Bin. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  2. ^ Masley, Ed (July 29, 2009). "Blondie keeps its edge after all these years". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Omnibus Press. p. 2695. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.
  4. ^ "Blondie – Greatest Hits Deluxe Redux/Ghosts of Download". AllMusic. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Blondie Music Video in Greenwich Village". onthesetofnewyork.com. April 3, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  6. ^ Jimmy, Destri (December 20, 2004). "Maria". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  7. ^ "Maria~ England CD #1". Recmod.com. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  8. ^ "Maria~ England CD #2". Recmod.com. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  9. ^ "Chart Slot". Daily Record. February 12, 1999.
  10. ^ Millan, Mark (March 25, 2010). "No Exit – Blondie". The Daily Vault. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Blondie: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  12. ^ a b "Yearly Best Selling Singles" (PDF). British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 24, 2010. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 16 no. 15. April 10, 1999. p. 10. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c d "Spanishcharts.com – Blondie – Maria" Canciones Top 50.
  15. ^ a b "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (NR. 319 Vikuna 16.4. – 23.4. 1999)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). April 16, 1999. p. 10. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Maria". Irish Singles Chart.
  17. ^ a b "Hits of the World – Italy" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 111 no. 19. May 8, 1999. p. 46. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  18. ^ a b "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 18, 1999" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  19. ^ a b "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 16 no. 15. April 10, 1999. p. 6. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  20. ^ a b "Blondie Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  21. ^ a b "Top RPM Singles: Issue 7495." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  22. ^ a b "Blondie Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  23. ^ a b "Blondie Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  24. ^ a b "Blondie Chart History (Dance Singles Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  25. ^ a b "ariaNET The Chart! Top 100 Singles – Week Commencing 29th March 1999". ARIA. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  26. ^ a b "Charts.nz – Blondie – Maria". Top 40 Singles.
  27. ^ Maria (US 12-inch single vinyl disc). Blondie. Logic Records, Beyond Records. 1998. 74321 78040 1.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  28. ^ a b Maria (US maxi-single liner notes). Blondie. Logic Records, Beyond Records. 1999. 74321-78040-2.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  29. ^ a b Maria (UK & European CD single liner notes). Blondie. Beyond Records. 1999. 74321645632.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  30. ^ Maria (European cassette single sleeve). Blondie. Beyond Records. 1999. 74321 645634.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  31. ^ "Maria~ Thailand CD (Promo)". Recmod.com. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  32. ^ Maria (Australian CD single liner notes). Blondie. Beyond Records. 1999. 74321642132.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  33. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  34. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Blondie – Maria" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  35. ^ "Ultratop.be – Blondie – Maria" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  36. ^ "Ultratop.be – Blondie – Maria" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  37. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 8130." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  38. ^ "Lescharts.com – Blondie – Maria" (in French). Les classement single.
  39. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Blondie – Maria" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts.
  40. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Blondie – Maria" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  41. ^ "Major Market Airplay – Week 6/1999" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 16 no. 6. February 6, 1999. p. 21. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  42. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  43. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Blondie – Maria". Singles Top 100.
  44. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Blondie – Maria". Swiss Singles Chart.
  45. ^ "Jahreshitparade Singles 1999" (in German). Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  46. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1999" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  47. ^ "Year in Focus – Eurochart Hot 100 Singles 1999" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 17 no. 1. January 1, 2000. p. 11. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  48. ^ "Top 100 Single–Jahrescharts 1999" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  49. ^ "Top 100–Jaaroverzicht van 1999". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  50. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1999" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  51. ^ "Romanian Top 100: Top of the Year 1999" (in Romanian). Romanian Top 100. Archived from the original on January 22, 2005.
  52. ^ "Årslista Singlar, 1999" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  53. ^ "Swiss Year-End Charts 1999" (in German). Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  54. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – singles 1999". Ultratop. Hung Medien.
  55. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Blondie; 'Maria')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  56. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1999" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 17, 2011. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  57. ^ "British single certifications – Blondie – Maria". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  58. ^ Taylor, Chuck (March 18, 2006). "Blondie". Billboard. p. 36. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  59. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. January 30, 1999. p. 26. Retrieved July 16, 2021.

External linksEdit