Wednesday, February 6, 2008

JIMMY DESTRI - Heart on a Wall

Jimmy Destri is best known as keyboardist and one of the three principal songwriters in Blondie (the others are vocalist Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein). And while his Blondie contributions - including classics such as Atomic, 11:59 and Maria - are hardly obscure, many casual fans are not aware that Destri released a solo album on Chrysalis in 1981.

The LP - Heart on a Wall - is not quite up to the quality of Blondie at their best, but remains an enjoyable listen all the way through. In fact, its highlights very well could have been strong Blondie tracks. Don't Look Around - my personal favorite - has an almost dream pop vibe and is excellent in both melody and lyrics. The title track is a strong ballad with impassioned, Bowie-esque vocals by Destri. Numbers Don't Count (On Me) is a catchy and fun tune that name drops various Blondie songs, while Little Metal Drummer is a Spaghetti Western instrumental that features Chris Stein on harmonica and guitar and Deborah Harry on backing vocals. King of Steam and Under the Ice provide a bit of an edge, and perfectly represent the LP's overall murky, distant, almost desperate feel (which actually works in its favor).

Despite its strong points there was nothing very radio-ready on Heart on a Wall, and the album quickly fell into obscurity. Although there has been a great resurgence of interest for Blondie in the past 10 years after the band reformed, Destri's lone solo album still hasn't seen a CD release.

Back in 2006 Destri had this to say about demand for and a possible CD reissue of Heart on a Wall:

I am overwhelmed by all the requests for "Heart on a Wall" and the possibility of its re-release on CD.

I will try to locate the master through the label and see what can be done. We may have to start a grass roots campaign, are you ready? Can we take on the World to together? "Are you with me? Will you follow Caesar?" Will we defeat the hun? Will there be cake? Will there be...
nevermind, sorry. Back to reality.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem as though a reissue ever materialized, so until further notice vinyl will have to do. Here's a vinyl rip of Heart on a Wall :

Jimmy Destri - Heart on a Wall (1981)

Track list:
1 - Bad Dreams
2 - Don't Look Around
3 - Living in Your Heart
4 - My Little World
5 - Little Metal Drummer
6 - Numbers Don't Count (On Me)
7 - King of Steam
8 - Under the Ice
9 - Heart on a Wall

Blondie, Deborah Harry, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Japan

- Jimmy Destri on Wikipedia
- Jimmy Destri on MySpace
- Official Jimmy Destri site
- Jimmy Destri page on official Blondie site


Holly A Hughes said...

Always loved Jimmy Destri. I remember hearing cuts from this album when it first came out, but there was so much else to buy in those halcyon days. (sigh) Thanks for reminding me of this!


Carlos Lopes said...

I was after this album for more than 20 years!!! Now I found it!!! You are a star, man! THANKS for existing.

Franko6677 said...

Hi Carlos, glad I could help. Hope you enjoy it!

Inescapable Bliss said...

Fantastic post! It's great to hear this again after all these years. Nice too to see that the blogger who posted it has such a fine prose style... and a strangely familiar handsome face. ;)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for putting this up. I never would have been able to get it. It's great!

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine had this and let me tape it when it first came out but I haven't been able to find it since. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

yes i own this very obscure record!!