The Hunter


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The Hunter Review

by William Ruhlmann

Autoamerican was Blondie's last real album (until their 1999 reunion with No Exit), after which the band collapsed in legal problems and solo aspirations. The Hunter was only made because they still owed Chrysalis an album on their contract, and it sounds like the obligatory record it was. "Island of Lost Souls" (the album's only U.S. singles chart entry and, in fact, the only song released as a single in the U.S.) was a try at remaking "The Tide Is High," while "The Beast" tried to re-create at least the rap section of "Rapture." "War Child," which made the U.K. Top 40, was a dance rock effort in the style of "Call Me," and one of two somewhat autobiographical Debbie Harry lyrics, along with "English Boys." (Harry wrote all the album's words except for those to keyboard player Jimmy Destri's "Danceway" and the cover of the Marvelettes' 1967 hit "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game," which was written by Smokey Robinson.) "For Your Eyes Only" had been intended as the theme song for the 1981 James Bond film, but rejected (rightly) in favor of a competing entry by Bill Conti and Mike Leeson that went on to become a Top Five hit for Sheena Easton. The rest of the material was equally second-rate, consisting of funk-rock tracks with the barest of melodies, and lyrics that ranged from impenetrable ("Orchid Club") to incoherent (the science fiction epic "Dragonfly," which alternated recited and sung sections having something to do with a spaceship race). Blondie was always a band with ideas -- musical, lyrical, and visual -- but The Hunter found them running short conceptually as well practically. It was a disappointing end.

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