Rapture – Blondie

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………..on March 28th of 1981 Blondie reaches #1 on Billboard with “Rapture”. This was the first #1 hit song with a rap. Written by Deborah Harry and Chris Stein “Rapture” is a combination of disco, funk, and hip hop with the rap section forming an extended coda. Artists like Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, and Kurtis Blow had been rapping since the mid-’70s, and The Sugarhill Gang had the first Top 40 hit earlier in 1980 with “Rapper’s Delight,” but until “Rapture,” rap had never been incorporated into a hit pop song. Debbie Harry did the rap, and it was really ridiculous, with lyrics about the “Man from Mars eating cars,” but the novelty helped the song become a hit. Until this came out, rappers always used existing songs as the basis for the music they would rap over. They usually took disco or soul records and looped the beats to extend the breaks. Debbie Harry’s rap in this was nothing special, but it was the first rap in a song that had its own original music. As the age of disco ended, so did Blondie’s success. This was their last US hit until 1999, when they had a comeback song called “Maria.” They did have another UK hit in 1982 called “Island Of Lost Souls”. A few months after this song was released, Tom Tom Club issued their first single, “Wordy Rappinghood.” The Tom Tom Club song wasn’t issued in America, but became a big hit in Europe and Latin America. Like “Rapture,” it featured a white female vocalist doing a rap (Tina Weymouth). The song peaked at #5 in the UK.