Friday, April 28, 2017

#AtoZChallenge 1970's Billboard Hits - X is for...


Today the #AtoZChallenge brings us to the letter X. This is the second of three letters that did not have any songs that made it to the Billboard Hot 100 Year-End lists. So, I did some digging...


1976 - X Offender - Blondie

"X Offender" is the début single by American band Blondie. Written by Gary Valentine and Debbie Harry for the band's self-titled debut album, Blondie, the song was released as the album's lead single on Private Stock in June 1976.

The title of the song was originally "Sex Offender". Bassist Gary Valentine originally wrote the song about an 18-year-old boy being arrested for having sex with his younger girlfriend. Debbie Harry changed the lyrics so that the song was about a prostitute being attracted to the police officer that had arrested her. The track was co-produced by Richard Gottehrer who had worked with 1960s girl group The Angels, and the song is reminiscent of that era in its style.

Private Stock insisted that the name of the single be changed to "X Offender" because they were nervous about the original title. It was released in mid-1976 with the B-side being "In the Sun". While the song did not chart, Chrysalis heard it along with the Blondie album and signed the band. "X Offender" later served as the B-side to "Rip Her to Shreds". Due to limited copies of the single being released and the subsequent popularity of the band, a copy of the original UK Private Stock single "X Offender"/"In the Sun" is a sought-after rarity with copies selling for £750 in collectors' markets since the mixes of both songs on the single are different from those on the Blondie album. These mixes appear as bonus tracks on EMI/Capitol Records' 2001 re-issue of the album. Unfortunately, no master tapes of the Private Stock versions have been kept in the archives; consequently, these bonus tracks are direct transfers from vinyl.





1977 -  Xanadu - Rush

"Xanadu" is a song by the Canadian rock band Rush from their 1977 album A Farewell to Kings. It is approximately eleven minutes long, beginning with a five-minute-long instrumental section, then transitioning to a narrative written by Neil Peart, inspired by the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem Kubla Khan.

In Peart's lyrics, the narrator describes searching for something called "Xanadu" that will grant him immortality. After succeeding in this quest, a thousand years pass, and the narrator is left "waiting for the world to end," describing himself as "a mad immortal man."

Although the song does not explicitly state what "Xanadu" is, references to Kubla Khan imply that it is a mythical place based on the historical summer capital of the Mongol Empire.

"Xanadu" is the first Rush song in which synthesizers are an integral part. Unlike the previous albums 2112 and Caress of Steel, "Xanadu" used both guitar and synthesizer effects.







Be sure to follow the 2017 AtoZ Challenge playlist for all of the songs featured in this years challenge.




Did you listen to any of these tunes in the 70's?  Would you like to know more about these artists in future posts? Let me know in the comments.

What does tomorrow bring?
Tomorrow brings us the letter 'Y'. 
Any guesses as to which Billboard Hits from the 70s will be showcased?






18 comments:

  1. I knew XANADU would be one. Saw the movie, didn't understand it. Never heard this Blondie song. Think I may have like it better as originally written. The ONLY part I liked was the end. So glad Blondie got better!
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead


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    1. I believe you may be thinking of 'Xanadu' done by Olivia Newton John and ELO, which is completely different song. Their song didn't release until 1980, and was the title track to the movie 'Xanadu'.

      ~Mary

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  2. "Xanadu" despite the bad rap that it's often given, I like the Olivia Newton-John song, but Rush's song overall is preferred by me.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


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    1. I like to think that Rush's catalog is a bit more cerebral. Everything they put into it is done at a much more intelligent level.

      ~Mary

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  3. I got to see Rush perform in the early 1990's. Unfortunately, that's when I first began seeing concerts where people wouldn't sit down. ~sigh~ It's tough being short. I didn't 'see' Pink Floyd at all a few years later at the Cleveland Stadium. What can you do? Nice choices for the letter!

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    1. LOL. I haven't seen Pink Floyd, but I did get to see Roger Waters performing Pink Floyd music. It's okay to be short, just need to pick your seats better :)

      ~Mary

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  4. Hiya Mary! Popping back in this month. I know I've missed a lot and hope to catch up on your previous posts. X is a tough letter. I do really like Rush's Xanadu, one of the few Rush songs that I like. Rush is one of those bands that you either like or you don't. I only like some. I saw Rush in concert back in the 70s but I can't remember whether it was a Farewell to Kings tour or a 2112 one. They are indeed cerebral and I've always found them to be more tolerable with a little weed... :)

    I never heard that Blondie song. Interesting back story.

    Good job with a tough letter!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Hey there Michele!

      I didn't pay much attention to Rush until their later years. It was the 'Roll The Bones' album that caught my attention. I bet they would be awesome in concert (depending on your grade of weed!)

      ~Mary

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  5. Mary, I'm grateful you didn't use Olivia's 'Xanadu'. Can't stand that one! LOL This Blondie song was new to me. It reminds me of something The Ronettes might have done in the early '60s. Such a cool retro vibe! Rush's 'Xanadu' is at least somewhat interesting, but it goes on too long. Two songs for 'X'. That's quite a feat! I had trouble coming up with one (other than Xanadu, that is). Almost done! Yay! ☺

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    1. Thanks, Debbie!

      The Blondie song was a new for me as well. I'm glad that you preferred Rush's 'Xanadu'. Just a few more days... and I am tired!

      ~Mary

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  6. Two good choices. Rush is a group I would love to hear in concert (and I rarely go to concerts, for various reasons). I had never even heard of that Blondie song. It's interesting hearing the "first songs" of an artist and comparing them to their later work.

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    1. Sometimes I think Rush would be a good concert, but then I am immediately reminded of the Boston concert I went to that wasnt as great as I had hoped. I like seeing progress in artists work, too.

      ~Mary

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  7. I haven't heard these songs. Might be the first of your posts where I don't know any of the songs!

    Suzy at Someday Somewhere - Xtraordinary Moments

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    1. LOL Didn't you just say you hadn't heard 'War' before? With some of these obscure letters, there's a real good chance you haven't heard of them.

      ~Mary

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  8. Mary,

    I don't recall either of these songs. When I think of "Xanadu", I think of Elo and Olivia Newton-John's song but that released in 1980. I enjoyed the intro of these two tunes. Great job coming up with these picks for your theme!

    Art Sketching Through the Alphabet "X" (X-ray & Xena)

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  9. Blondie was so revolutionary. There really wasn't anyone like her at the time. And I had no idea Rush was Canadian!

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    1. We learn all sorts of things here, coach-daddy!

      ~Mary

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