After a sequence of poised hits in which Debbie Harry defined glamour for a generation, it’s almost a relief to hear Blondie sound so dishevelled here. “Call Me” is a romp, a gloriously chaotic collision of twenty different ideas – multilingual bridges, boogie riffs, glam shout-out backing vocals and more. The pile-up might have been expected given the nature of the song – a collaboration between a band on a trajectory out of new wave and into everywhere, and a producer who’d made his name in disco but had a clear and enduring fascination with the trashy end of rock.
Not all the ideas are good – that horrible synth-guitar solo certainly isn’t – and the clutter initially threatens to overwhelm the song, but everyone sounds like they’re happily throwing decorum to the wind, and the record’s energy is thoroughly infectious. By the end, with Harry’s wicked glee over “your lover’s lover’s alibis”, you’re sad the party has to stop.