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Autoamerican Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.3 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Autoamerican
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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, September 11, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

1980's Autoamerican found Blondie exploring a variety of sounds from the reggae of monster hit The Tide is High to the Lerner and Loewe torch song Follow Me to this fairly new thing at the time called rap. Rapture wasn't just a huge hit for the band but also the first ever rap song to reach #1 on the pop charts. This remaster adds the extended version of Call Me (as featured in the 1980 film American Gigolo ), the disco mix of Rapture and the b-side Suzy & Jeffrey !
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 11, 2001)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00005MNP6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,084 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Released in 1980, "Autoamerican" should be considered as great an album as, say, Dylan's 'Blonde on Blonde", the Rolling Stones' "Sticky Fingers", or Sprngsteen's "Born to Run". It's not, of course, at least not by any critics you will read in such places as Wenner's Rolling Stone. But as an album that would virtually define and predict the course of popular music during a decade at that decade's cusp, I think 'Autoamerican' is flatly without peer, as well as being a great sounding, well recorded, well produced, and well played collection of songs that belong together-all sharing a sound, an ambience, a common flavor, even as they cover an amount of ground-from rap, reggae, and Europop to a recital of Lerner and Lowe's "Follow Me" that holds its own with any I've heard-beyond rock bands, for the most part, even today, and much more so in 1980.

(And if you read my reviews you know I've heard "Follow Me" by the greatest of all popular singers. I wouldn't put Debbie in quite that class-although she can sing his daughter under the table, and did at the recent Peggy Lee tribute-she had more sense than her erstwhile rival Chrissie Hynde in not getting into that particular gator pit (a/k/a Duets II).)

There isn't a real stinker anywhere on this album. 'Suzy and Jeffery', a rare B side, is more a novelty, and I'm glad it didn't quite make the original album, but it's not a stinker. You also get the long mix of "Call Me", which is not on any Blondie album except compilations. I'm slightly disappointed we don't get the Christmas version of 'Rapture" , which as I recall featured Fab 5 Freddy and was a Flexidisc in a UK magazine.

'Autoamerican' also features great cover art, best enjoyed from the original vinyl due to size alone, as well as the original printed dust jacket.
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Format: Audio CD
If "Parallel Lines" is Blondie's greatest collection of songs - snappy, clever and direct, in ideal compliance with their standing as the perfect pop group - their 1980 "Autoamerican" is their greatest album, one that is dignified and complete, perfect in its total unity and harmony. Ironically it is at a time when Blondie were most alienated as a group that they sound most like a band, a contradiction evoked in the record's beautiful cover art.
On "Autoamerican" Blondie, in spirit at least, step outside New York and breathe in the vast scope and beauty of America. The record's opening sequence Europa, a somewhat intellectual concept of the automobile voiced robotically by Harry, is the statement of intent, giving way to the perfect disco bass of Live it Up, containing one of Blondie's great lines: "you know its so pass?/to sleep without you every day". Go Through It cruises along an open highway with tender love and gutsy charm. Do the Dark, tinged with North African allusion, is a shadowy and mysterious invitation to "do the Sidewalk Hustle/do the Invisible Dance" and is one of Blondie's most intoxicating songs.
Admittedly The Tide is High becomes increasingly easy to skip over as the album's finest moments become even more alluring; The old time dance-hall number Here's Looking at You - lazy, smoky and poignant, voiced through a glass of bourbon while pining for Monroe. The immortal Rapture, cooler now than it ever was, and a significant piece of pop culture in itself, pin-pointing the exact moment when the New York elite chose hip-hop over power pop. Evoking Basquait and Warhol as effortlessly as it does huge yellow taxi cabs and brownstone buildings; space mutants and b-movies; Coca Cola and Studio 54.
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Format: Audio CD
I completely forgot that the wondeful song "Call Me" was never included on any of Blondie's albums. Well, someone at the record company was very kind to include it here. Also included is "Suzy and Jeffrey" the B-side of The Tide is High single. A great song about blood tests, marriage, outstanding traffic tickets and Orson Welles. Very Blondie, indeed.
As for the original Autoamerican songs, they are all gems. The remastering has cleaned up the original muddy sound quite a bit. A true conceptual masterpiece, it begins with a very eerie instrumental entitled Europa. From there Debbie does disco-lite, a torch song, rap, punk, lounge and it all ends with a song from Lerner and Loew's Camelot. In many ways this was Blondie's swansong. The follow up, The Hunter, had it's moments, but it seemed a bit tired and a bit of a retread of Autoamerican. The big suprise was 1999's No Exit, which was every bit as fabulous as the earlier classics.
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Format: Audio CD
In my early teens, this was one of the first albums I ever owned (on vinyl!), purchased from my paper route earnings. I have since upgraded to the CD version, although I do not have the CD with the last 3 bonus tracks.
This album grows on you. As a child, I was disappointed with it, yet played it over and over. As an adult, it is one of about 5 CD's I would try to fetch if the house was burning.
Resisting an emerging trend at the time the album was originally cut, 1980, the album avoids the electronic sound. The guitars, bass and percussion are crystal clear, and Jimmy Destri makes the electric keyboard sing.
The album begins with the mostly instrumental Europa, with several lines of skat near the end, making for an excellent lead-in to the next track, the powerful, jazz/disco song Live It Up.
The melancholy Here's Looking At You is a mellow, jazzy tune about a woman reflecting upon her current romantic relationship.
The Tide Is High, which received oodles of radio play, requires no explanation; either you like it or you don't!
Angels On The Balcony is a song which begins very quirky; be careful if you're wearing headphones! This track showcases lead vocalist Deborah Harry's range, perhaps like no other song on this album. Plus, the band REALLY has it together on this track.
Go Through It, the shortest song on the album at 2:40, is a lively, "cruising song."
Do The Dark, which received limited airplay years ago, exemplifies Harry's talents well, but has too much of a synthetic sound at times.
Rapture, along with The Tide Is High, also received quite a lot of radio play. It is a cutesy, punky song.
Faces is perhaps the most disappointing track on the CD. Its high register can pierce right through you.
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