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Music

Watch Arcade Fire cover Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’

@TomTaylorFO

Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’ is a track with such a distinct melody and booming atmosphere that it almost seems to demand to be covered. Personally, I still maintain that Miley Cyrus’ rip rousing live version is one of the greatest covers of all time, but Arcade Fire are certainly on the money too when they tackled the classic in concert while touring the masterful Suburbs.

In an odd way, even though it obviously isn’t their own song, this explosive yet perfectly constructed rendition almost seems to hint at the musical development that has delivered their latest masterpiece WE. The new album comprises perfectly composed melodies above all else, where key changes come as naturally as a bird taking to flight to soar towards pastures new. 

The song is an epic that saw the amalgamation of punk and disco – which were theoretically just different sides of the same coin anyway – and delivered a much-needed dose of weekend liberation to a tough time in New York City. However, it didn’t always go down a storm. “Chris [Stein] always wanted to do disco,” keyboardist Jimmy Destri told Rolling Stone, “We used to do ‘Heart of Glass’ to upset people.”

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Debbie Harry also echoed this point when she said: “When we did Heart Of Glass it wasn’t too cool in our social set to play disco. But we did it because we wanted to be uncool. It was based around a Roland Rhythm Machine and the backing took over 10 hours to get down.” That is certainly a job well done considering the song has since sold around a whopping 1.32 million copies. 

Fortunately, crowds now bask in the anthem and its simple upbeat layering is an influential technique in music. Arcade Fire are forever colliding genres in their own unique way, so ‘Heart of Glass’ suits them well. The band stay true to the original for an anthem that is guaranteed to get a crowd moving. 

This cover version came off the back of the band’s Reflektor tour, an album with a similar Roland Rhythm Machine sound throughout. They tackled the Parallel Lines classic in Houston, Texas and it was rightfully met with a righteous reception. You can watch the masterful rendition of the punk crossover classic below. 

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