Blondie's Rapture was number one this week in 1981

"Rapture" by Blondie was number one on the charts this week in 1981.
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On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse event brought about talk of the Rapture from the bible. It just so happens that "Rapture" by Blondie was number one on the charts this week in 1981. The two aren't related whatsoever, but let's take a look back at Blondie's song.

The single, written by Blondie co-founders, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, was featured on the band's fifth studio album, Autoamerican. It was released as the second and final single from the album on January 12, and by March 22, the song topped Billboard Hot 100, where it remained for two weeks. This would be the band's final single to reach No. 1.

The song was inspired by a rap event that Harry and Stein attended with their friend Fred Brathwaite, aka Fab 5 Freddy, who is mentioned in the song. They were both impressed with the excitement and skill of the MCs partaking in the freestyle rap and decided to make their own rendition of a rap.

Fab 5 Freddy is mentioned in the lyrics, "Fab 5 Freddy told me everybody's fly," and Grandmaster Flash in "Flash is fast, Flash is cool." The additional lyrics about the Man from Mars were inspired by Stein's love of sci-fi and B-movies. The song captured the feeling of dancing at a crowded club "Toe to toe / Dancing very close / Barely breathing / Almost comatose / Hang each night in Rapture."

Rapture combines the elements of rap and disco music, making it infectious and wildly popular. It became the first number-one song in the US to feature rap vocals and the first video to air on MTV containing rap music. The music video premiered on Solid Gold in January 1981.

There have been many versions of "Rapture," but one that really stands out and has been called "epic" by Harry is the one performed by Solider Boy (Jensen Ackles) of The Boys series. This a performance recorded before his heroic final mission, and he was posthumously awarded a Grammy for Best Special Guest Performance.

"Rapture" has also been covered by Alicia Keys and Erasure and sampled on many songs including “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel” by Grandmaster Flash.

In 2022, Harry and Stein were guests on climatologist Dr. Michael E. Mann's podcast Sing for Science podcast, where they discussed the song as well as ancient climate history, preventing climate armageddon, climate, and agriculture. They talked about the rap event Braithwaite took them to in the South Bronx, which "seeing it [rap] in person was really eye-opening.”

Harry added, “I don’t remember there being any formality to it. It also seemed that there were some no-name kids that just jumped up there because they really had something to say, which was also very exciting."

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