Blondie – Denis 1978

Written by on 7 March 2021

“Denise” is a song written by Neil Levenson. The song was inspired by his childhood friend, Denise Lefrak. In 1963, the song became a popular top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, when recorded by the American doo-wop group Randy & the Rainbows. A cover version by the American new wave group Blondie, re-titled “Denis”, reached number 2 in the UK Singles Chart in 1978. Dutch actress and singer Georgina Verbaan covered “Denis” in 2002 and reached number 30 on the Dutch Singles Chart.

“Denis” (using the masculine form of the name in French, with a silent “s”) is a 1978 cover of the song by the American new wave band Blondie. The cover of the song helped the band break into the international market. It was featured on the band’s second studio album, Plastic Letters (1978), and was the second UK single release by Blondie on Chrysalis Records.

The initial Blondie version contained a verse with partly improvised lyrics in French by the group’s vocalist Debbie Harry. The second, re-recorded version had its debut as a bonus track on EMI UK’s 1994 re-issue of Plastic Letters.

“Denis” was released in February 1978 and reached number 2 in the UK and broke into the Top 20 in most European countries including number 1 in Netherlands. In the UK, the song was kept at number 2 for three weeks, first by Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” and then by Brian and Michael’s “Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs”. Just like “Rip Her to Shreds”, the single was issued on both 7″ and 12″ formats in the UK, and both feature two B-sides, “Contact in Red Square” from Plastic Letters and “Kung-Fu Girls” from Blondie. “Denis” was the only single released in the US from Plastic Letters (with “I’m on E” as the B-side) though it never charted. In 1988, a remixed version of the track was issued as a single from the Blondie/Debbie Harry remix compilation Once More into the Bleach. This time the single reached number 50 in the UK

 

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