Listen to Blondie’s 1980 cover of Johnny Cash’s classic ‘Ring of Fire’
When one thinks of Blondie they think of effortless cool, dusky New York nights and the pulsating electricity of new wave punk. Yet we’re choosing today to revel at the moment Debbie Harry and Blondie went country as they cover Johnny Cash’s iconic hit ‘Ring of Fire’.
The idea of Harry’s heavenly vocals trying to reach the dark depths of Cash’s gravel toned bellow is one Blondie ditch fairly quickly and instead pay homage to the original composition by Anita and June Carter. The song was put together for the 1980 movie Roadie and sees the band provide a classically cheesy music video with all the new wave western attire you could hope for.
The film, which stars Meat Loaf, is tinged with a sort of country-rock crossover and features some notable stars as well as musical acts. Soul Train’s Don Cornelius and Hee Haw cast member Gailard Sartain both take major roles while musical acts included Roy Orbison, Hank Williams, Alice Cooper, and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot.
While a film based on young Texas good ol’ boy finding a knack for electronic equipment, and taking that talent to land himself a job as a roadie with a raucous travelling rock-and-roll show, may not be to everybody’s taste—the film’s soundtrack is full of gem from the aforementioned stars.
The stand out number has to be Blondie’s cover of Cash’s hit. The video sees Harry plant a kiss on Meat Loaf’s character before taking to the stage in the aforementioned garb and delivering a rootin’ tootin’ good time for the adoring crowd. While the cover does come in the form of a fictitious live show, it is a testament to Harry’s ability to make any song truly her own, and perhaps to the heights of fame, she herself was beginning to climb.
Watch below as Blondie cover Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’ as part of 1980 film Roadie.