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?