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Blondie


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

New wave alternative pop/rock

Status:

Most recent release, Blondie 4(0)-Ever: Greatest Hits Deluxe Redux / Ghosts of Download (2 CD/DVD, 2014); most recent release of all-new Pollinator (2017)

See also:

Blondie's site

Wikipedia's entry on Blondie

The Ectophiles' Guide's entries for Deborah Harry's solo work, Clem Burke's Adult Net

Comparisons:

Though they are somewhat like other powerpop bands that followed them, they broke this particular ground.

Covers/own material:

Own and occasional covers

General comments:

Blondie was one of the first New Wave bands from out of the punk movement to really make it in the pop world. The band has broken up and reformed. For a full history, see Wikipedia's entry on Blondie. (Neile)

Recommended first album:

A best of compilation might be a good place to start if you want to taste their music. If you want to seriously explore it, start from the beginning. Parallel Lines and Eat to the Beat are considered the most classic Blondie albums. (Neile)

Recordings:


Parallel Lines

Release info:

1978—Chrysalis

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Deborah Harry—vocals
Clem Burke—drums
Jimmy Destri—electronic keyboards
Nigel Harrison—bass guitar
Frank Infante—guitar (all tracks) and co-lead vocals (track six)
Chris Stein—12-string guitar and E-bow

Guest artists:

Robert Fripp—guitar (4)

Produced by:

Mike Chapman

Comments:

A classic album. Who hasn't heard and enjoyed "Heart of Glass"? (Neile)

Eat to the Beat

Release info:

1979—Chrysalis

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Deborah Harry—vocals
Chris Stein—guitar
Clem Burke—drums
Jimmy Destri—keyboards; backing vocals (7, 11)
Nigel Harrison—bass guitar
Frank Infante—guitar; backing vocals (7, 11)

Guest artists:

Mike Chapman—backing vocals (7, 11)
Donna Destri—backing vocals (12)
Ellie Greenwich—backing vocals (1, 9)
Lorna Luft—backing vocals (6, 8)
Randy Singer—harmonica (5)

Produced by:

Mike Chapman

Comments:

Another classic album full of unforgettable songs, like "Die Young, Stay Pretty", "Dreaming," "Accidents Never Happen," "Union City Blue, the title track.... Great pop/rock with gorgeous vocals. (Neile)

The Hunter

Release info:

1982—Chrysalis

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended only for Blondie fans

Group members:

Deborah Harry—vocals
Chris Stein—guitar
Frank Infante—guitar
Jimmy Destri—keyboards
Nigel Harrison—bass guitar
Clem Burke—drums

Guest artists:

Ray Maldonado—trumpet
Luis Ortiz—trumpet
Rick Davies—trombone
Mac Gollehon—trumpet
Robert Aaron—saxophone
Sammy Figueroa—percussion
Manual Badrena—percussion
Roger Squitero—percussion
Janice G. Pendarvis—backing vocals
Zachary Sanders—backing vocals
Lani Groves—backing vocals
Darryl Tookes—backing vocals

Produced by:

Mike Chapman

Comments:

I happen to like a few of the songs on this album. (jjhanson@att.net)

No Exit

Release info:

1999—Beyond Records

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Chris Stein—lead guitar, bass
Deborah Harry—vocals
Clem Burke—drums
James Destri—keyboards

Guest artists:

Leigh Foxx—bass guitar
Paul Carbonara—rhythm guitar

Produced by:

Craig Leon

Comments:

A really solid Blondie album. Got a lot of grief for its wide variety of music, but to me that seemed entirely consistent with Blondie's history. I just love to hear Deborah Harryy sing, though—such power and brings back so many good memories. (jjhanson@att.net)

it's getting better each listen, to me the weakest cut on it is the first single (title track) with Coolio & other guest. It's not their strongest project ever but is in my opinion very good. The band and Deborah Harry's vocals are strong. I think if you enjoyed them before you'll like this as well. My favorite track is a catchy tune called "Maria." (ptv@scm-metals.com)

I think it's telling that my favorite tracks are the live classics at the every end. "Rapture" is, well, rapturous. :) I'm also rather frightened by the fact that my favorite of the new tracks is the single. Sigh. (meth@smoe.org)

Well, it is somewhat uneven, and I've only played it a few times so far, but I too think the best new song is "Maria." I really love that one though. Debbie's soaring vocal is fabulous. (colford@chlotrudis.org)


Blonde And Beyond: Rarities & Oddities

Release info:

1993—EMI/Chrysalis

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended for Blondie fans

Comments:

Blondie's Blonde And Beyond: Rarities & Oddities is worth it for the hilarious original version of "Heart Of Glass", called "Once I Had A Love", and a live version of Bowie's "Heroes" with Robert Fripp on guitar. Otherwise mostly disposable B-sides and the odd single, though "Angels On The Balcony" from "AutoAmerican" is a welcome inclusion. The "disco version" of the real "Heart Of Glass" omits the Drum Fills Of Doom at the end of the song and that's a shame. :) (ahoran@ozemail.com.au)

The "Heroes" cover is a live track with Fripp guesting on guitar (Debbie credits him at the end of the song) and is a fabulously energetic rendition. Whew!!! The Fripp track is what makes this album for me. I'm not a great fan of compilations at the best of times, and the material on this one did not encourage me to extend my collection of Blondie CDs beyond Parallel Lines and Eat to the Beat which I already had. Good discography in the liner notes, though, and not a bad survey of the band's career from shambolic punk beginnings to directionless soft-rock demise. It's still in the player, just because I love the final track *SO* much! (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)


The Curse of Blondie

Release info:

2003—Sanctuary (U.S>)/Epic (U.K.)

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Deborah Harry—vocals
Jimmy Destri—keyboards
Chris Stein—guitar
Clem Burke—drums

Guest artists:

Leigh Foxx—bass
Paul Carbonara—guitar

Produced by:

Steve Thompson; Jeff Bova (2)

Comments:

I have to confess something, as utterly silly and embarrassing as it is: I am absolutely, positively *obsessed* with Blondie's new album, The Curse Of Blondie.
     A bit of background: the first album I ever purchased with my own money was Parallel Lines, back at the local KMart when I was 10. "Heart of Glass" was at the top of the charts at the time. The band has always held a special place in my heart.
     I'd heard there was going to be a new album, but wasn't too motivated to buy it until I serendipitously saw Blondie perform the single, "Good Boys" on one of the talk shows and was amazed by how much I liked the song. Well, it turns out that's not even my favorite song on the album. :} Depending on the day, that honor could go to "Goldenrod" or "Undone".
     There is some genuinely cool stuff on this cd, including a version of a traditional Japanese folk song, and especially the tribal, dissonant "Desire Brings Me Back", which sounds like something Land Of The Blind would do. Seriously. (meth@smoe.org)

Great album by a great band. One of my favorites of 2004. (jjhanson@att.net)


Ghosts of Download

Release info:

2014—Five Seven Music

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Debbie Harry
Chris Stein
Clem Burke
Leigh Foxx
Matt Katz-Bohen
Tommy Kessler

Guest artists:

System Solar (1)
Miss Guy (2)
Beth Ditto (3)
Los Rakas (6)
Keilah Baez, Felicia Dennis, Keisha Williams (7)

Produced by:

Jeff Saltzman, Chris Stein

Comments:

Why not more people talk about Blondie I don't know. My guess is they're underselling themselves (Panic of Girls was given away with some magazine and Ghosts of Download is the B-Side to their greatest hits record, giving the implicit impression of cheap music). The last two albums have been stellar and the '90s album No Exit was great as well. I don't know why anyone would listen to the Blondie songs from the '70s and '80s but not this... Rating: 54/100. Best tracks: "Euphoria", "Prism," "Backroom," "Can't Stop Wanting." (raschee@gmail.com)


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2017-10-18 16:20:17.
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