Get Backfired essential facts below. View Videos or join the Backfired discussion. Add Backfired to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Debbie Harry - Backfired.jpg
Single by Debbie Harry
from the album KooKoo
ReleasedJuly 1981
GenreNew wave, dance-rock
LabelChrysalis Records
Nile Rodgers, Bernard Edwards
Nile Rodgers, Bernard Edwards
Debbie Harry singles chronology
"The Jam Was Moving"
Audio sample

"Backfired" is the debut solo single from the American singer-songwriter and Blondie vocalist Debbie Harry. Released in 1981, it was taken from her gold-selling debut solo album KooKoo.

Song information

Despite Blondie having two number one singles ("The Tide Is High" and "Rapture") and a top 10 album (Autoamerican) within the previous twelve months, "Backfired" failed to make a significant impact on any of the charts. It peaked at #32 in the UK, and #43 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 (though it remains Harry's highest charting solo single in the US). It crossed over to Black radio and peaked at #71 on the U.S. Soul chart,[1] and peaked at #29 on the Dance chart.[2] The single managed to become a hit in only a few other countries including Sweden and Australia.

In an attempt to distinguish herself as a solo artist, Harry's image upon the single's release was quite different from her established image with Blondie. She had dyed her hair darker and had a new sci-fi inspired look, as seen in the music video for the song directed by H.R. Giger, who appeared in the video wearing a mask and mimes the male back-up vocals on the song.

Produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of the Chic who had just produced a huge hit album for Diana Ross, "Backfired" further developed Harry's experimentation with dance music as seen in some of Blondie's material (the Chic-inspired "Rapture" having been a No. 1 hit for them earlier the same year), this time delving more into funk music.

The 7" edit of "Backfired" appears on the Chrysalis Records/EMI compilation Most of All - The Best of Deborah Harry. A remix of the track by Bruce Forrest and Frank Heller was included on the 1988 Blondie/Debbie Harry remix compilation Once More into the Bleach. The original extended 12" mix from 1981 appears as a bonus track on both the 1994 and 2005 CD re-issues of the album KooKoo.

Track listing


  1. "Backfired" (7" Edit) (Nile Rodgers, Bernard Edwards) - 3:34 About this soundListen 
  2. "Military Rap" (Deborah Harry, Chris Stein) - 3:47


  1. "Backfired" (12" Mix) (Nile Rodgers, Bernard Edwards) - 6:23
  2. "Military Rap" (Deborah Harry, Chris Stein) - 3:47


Chart (1981) Peak
Australia 23
New Zealand 28
Sweden 16
UK 32
US Billboard Hot 100[3] 43
US Cash Box Top 100[4] 39


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 247.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 118.
  3. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  4. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, September 19, 1981

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes