This week, our Song of the Week is classic track from New York’s Blondie, the vibrant Dreaming from 1979’s Eat to the Beat.
Much like their CBGB contemporaries in Ramones and Talking Heads, Blondie were notable for the injection of pop melodies into the punk formula, pioneering what we’d now call a smorgasbord of different genre labels — new-wave, pop-punk, power-pop etc etc…
While many of their songs employ this, it’s Dreaming that seems to personify what new-wave is. Boosted by Clem Burke’s hyperactive, perpetually-filled drumming (I swear, by this point, Clem Burke has been called underrated so many times that we can all just say he’s one of the best drummers ever now, surely?), the track has an undeniable pulse that’s sure to get even the most stubborn wallflowers on the floor. Over this, the weaving guitar and bass of Chris Stein and Nigel Harrison, respectively, creates this otherworldly tune, it seems more elevated than much of their previous work, of course this is helped by synth drones that float over the song like a guardian angel. Speaking of which, Debbie’s slightly-reverbed vocals sound like the final words of someone being raptured (ehhh) up into a state of total serenity.
Eponymously so, Dreaming has a sense of peace to it that, despite the aforementioned animalistic drumming, comes as a welcome respite to a lot of punk at the time — a time that was ravaged in political and economic turmoil all the same. While, for me, Blondie are far from the most consistent band of the era, songs like this, like Dreaming, remind me that, at their best, you really couldn’t get much better.