Writer(s): Deborah Harry/Giorgio Moroder (see lyrics here)
Released: February 1, 1980
First Charted: February 16, 1980
Peak: 16 US, 17 CB, 15 GR, 16 HR, 16 RR, 11 UK, 16 CN, 4 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.25 UK, 1.4 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 82.5 video, 376.69 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Composer and producer Giorgio Moroder, best known for his work with Donna Summer, initially approached Stevie Nicks about doing a song for the movie American Gigolo. Because of a restrictive contract she’d signed with Modern Records, Nicks had to turn him down. He turned to Blondie instead for the movie’s theme song. BB
Moroder gave Debbie Harry, the lead singer of Blondie, a rough instrumental called “Man Machine” and asked her to write the lyrics. WK She says the band jumped at the chance “to work with their hero…‘He was the king of disco…And we were still the anti-establishment invaders.’” RS After seeing a rough cut of the film, she went home FB and wrote lyrics in just a few hours from the perspective of a male prostitute – the main character of the film. WK
Moroder didn’t enjoy the experience, however. He said he was supposed to do an entire album with the band, but that he called the band’s manager and quit because the guitarist and keyboardist were fighting in the studio. SF Harry said “He’s very nice to work with…(but) I don’t think he has a lot of patience who fool around or don’t take what they do seriously…He’s a perfectionist…so I think that people who are…less concentrated bore him him quickly.” FB
The song became the band’s second #1 in the U.S. after “Heart of Glass” and spent four weeks atop the dance chart. WK The song was Blondie’s fourth chart-topper in the UK and also hit #1 in Canada. Its six weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart helped it to earn the distinction of the magazine’s top song of the year. In the UK, the song was also used for an ad for a British Telecom. BB
First posted 11/13/2019; last updated 7/13/2023.