Stevie Nicks has always made wise choices in his two musical careers. But it is not perfect. Nicks made mistakes, including turning down future hits for various reasons. She turned down Dave Stewart and Tom Petty’s hit “Don’t Come Around Here No More” simply because she had fought with producer Jimmy Iovine and was put off by Petty’s voice on it. She also refused to work on “Purple Rain” with Prince.
However, refusing a particular future move was beyond Nicks’ control.
Stevie Nicks turned down a first version of Blondie’s hit “Call Me”
Italian producer Giorgio Moroder first chose Nicks to record a song called “Man Machine”, the main theme song of the 1980 film. American gigolo. According to StevieNicks.info, it was an early version of Blondie’s 1980 hit, “Call Me”.
However, Nicks turned down the song because she had recently signed a contract with Modern Records. So, Moroder introduced the song to Blondie’s singer, Debbie Harry. She agreed to collaborate with Moroder if he allowed her to work on the melody and lyrics.
Eventually Harry changed the whole song, but it still sounded like one of Nicks’ hits with Fleetwood Mac. The verse of “Call Me” has the same chord progression and melodic outline as “Rhiannon”.
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Blondie’s Chris Stein said Harry’s words were more subtle than Moroder’s words
Blondie completely changed Moroder’s original song. According to producer and bandmate Chris Stein, it was for the best.
“Debbie’s words are much more subtle than what [Giorgio] wrote. He was very blunt and said, “I’m a man and I go out and fuck all the girls.” Debbie’s lyrics are much more subtle, and the movie in a way isn’t that blatant, âStein said in Dinner with Blondieâ¦ and William Burroughs by Victor Bockris.
Harry’s reconfiguration of the song only took a few hours. She wrote the lyrics from the perspective of the film’s main character, a prostitute. âWhen I was writing it, I was imagining the opening scene, driving down the California coast,â Harry said (via Far Out).
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How successful has âCall Meâ been in the United States?
“Call Me” helped Blondie’s success soar. âAs soon as I heard Deborah sing a rough version of ‘Call Me’ I knew we had a hit,â Moroder said. He was right; “Call Me” became Blondie’s highest-rated single of her career.
He won a Grammy nomination and spent six consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. After all this success, Moroder was supposed to produce a full Blondie album, but he quit due to the band’s attitude towards each other.
âThere were always fights,â he recalls. âI was supposed to do an album with them after that. We went to the studio, and the guitarist was fighting with the keyboardist. I called their manager and quit.
Still, we wonder what Nicks would have done with the song if it hadn’t been bound by her new recording deal.