With Eat to the Beat, Faced with the challenge of following up the million-selling Parallel Lines, Blondie delivered a record that’s not only ambitious in its range of styles.
The album includes a diverse range of styles as pop, punk, reggae, and funk as well as a lullaby. Three singles were released in the UK from this album (“Dreaming”, “Union City Blue” and “Atomic”). “The Hardest Part” was released as the second single from the album in the US instead of “Union City Blue” (though a remix of “Union” would be released in the US in 1995). According to the liner notes of the 1994 compilation The Platinum Collection, the song “Slow Motion” was originally planned to be the fourth single release from the album, and producer Mike Chapman even made a remix of the track, but following the unexpected success of “Call Me”, the theme song to movie American Gigolo, these plans were shelved and the single mix of “Slow Motion” remains unreleased.
Blondie’s first video album was produced in conjunction with this record, featuring a music video for each of the album’s twelve songs. It was the first such project in rock music. Most of the songs were filmed in and around New York, the exception was the “Union City Blue” music video, which was filmed at Union Dry Dock, Weehawken, New Jersey. Each video was directed by David Mallet and produced by Paul Flattery. The video was initially available as a promotional VHS in 1979 and subsequently released on videocassette and videodisc in October 1980