How A Stalker Inspired One Of Blondie's Most Famous Songs

Blondie — co-founded by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein — was formed in New York in the 1970s. The band went on to produce such hits as "Heart of Glass," "Call Me," and "Rapture," among others, and is known for their punk and new wave style of music. Stein and Harry collaborated on writing songs for many of the band's albums, but there is one particular song that was influenced by Harry's personal experience.

"One Way or Another" is one of the tracks included in Blondie's third studio album titled "Parallel Lines," which was released in 1978. Before the release of the third album, Blondie had already made a name for themselves in the European market, and they had a following in the United States, but they have yet to reach music stardom in their own country (via Farout Magazine). That all changed with the release of "Parallel Lines," and the album opened doors for new opportunities for the band. "One Way or Another" has been regarded as one of Blondie's most popular releases, and Rolling Stones included it on their list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Who inspired the song?

Songwriters get inspiration for their lyrics from various experiences, and Debbie Harry was no different. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Blondie singer shared what "One Way or Another" is all about. The singer said that she wrote the song about a stalker that she once had. While living in New Jersey, Harry was in a relationship that she eventually broke off. Her ex-boyfriend spent all day working at a chemical plant and would drink all night.

According to Harry, it came to a point when the man would constantly call her on the phone and show up at her place unannounced. The stalking got so bad that Harry had to leave New Jersey (via Louder Sound). When writing the song, however, she wanted to make it appear more humorous to counter the severity of the situation. "I think in a way that's a normal kind of survival mechanism," the singer explained. Instead of dwelling on it, she said that life had to go on "one way or another," which inspired the lyrics of the song.

The process of creating the song

Blondie worked with Mike Chapman on "Parallel Lines." Chapman is a record producer known for helping create several No. 1 hits in the '70s. According to Louder Sound, the studio's atmosphere was charged when the producer worked with the band. Upon their first meeting, Chapman described the band as being "all over the place" in terms of their music. However, the producer saw that the band had songs that he said were musical masterpieces and just needed some tweaking to become hits.

Chapman admitted that some of the band members didn't agree with how he ran the studio, but the partnership pushed forward, and the hard work paid off. Despite not reaching the top of music charts, "One Way or Another" became a favorite among the band's fans, and "Parallel Lines" helped capture a wider audience in the United States (via Biography). The song was well-received by critics who praised Harry's aggressive vocals accompanied by raw guitar riffs. "One Way or Another" became a staple on the band's song list whenever they performed live.