There were two main reasons I started listening to Blondie and they were: first I thought Debbie Harry was amazingly beautiful and second the style of music they made. At the time I got into Blondie I was listening to a lot of punk and new wave stuff like the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Sham 69, The Exploited, Ramones, Ian Dury, The Stranglers, etc … and it also helped me to annoy my parents. I actually used to like putting posters on my wall when I was a kid at school and one of my posters was a full size poster of Debbie Harry.
Blondie are an American punk / new wave cross and were formed in 1975 and consisted originally of Chris Stein, Debbie Harry, Jimmy Destri, Clem Burke and Gary Valentino. They were originally named "Angel And The Snake" but changed their name to Blondie in 1975 because Debbie Harry was repeatedly referred to as Blondie.
The self titled Blondie debut album was released in 1976 and then re-released a year later when they signed to a new record company. The band first received commercial success through an Australian TV show cock-up, the show was supposed to play the video to X Offender but actually played the video to In The Flesh. This event saw the album reach # 5 in the chart. In 1977 Gary Valentine had left and the album Plastic Letters was released and saw Blondie achieve success in the UK when the album went in to the top ten.
The hole that was made when Gary left the band was filled in 1978 by the inclusion of Frank Infante and then a new member (Nigel Harrison) was also added and Blondie embarked on a massive UK tour which included a gig at the Roadhouse where the Boomtown Rats Opened. This tour made Blondie one of the first American New Wave bands to attain success in the UK.
Blondie started to see even more success after the release of their third album Parallel Lines in 1978 which contained the song Heart Of Glass which was their first US # 1 hit and actually went on to sell over 1 million copies. Blondie seemed to be more popular in the UK and this was somewhat due to the singles Sunday Girl (which went to # 1) and also One Way Or Another. Their fourth album Eat To The Beat also had many singles which were popular in the UK (Dreaming, Atomic and Union City blues).
1980 saw Blondie rise again in the US chart with the Release of the album Autoamerican which contained the hit singles The Tide Is High, Rapture and Call Me (which was recorded for the movie American Gigolo). Rapture is the only Blondie single to get a higher chart position in the US (# 1) than the UK (# 5) and was revolutionary because of the combination of rap / hip-hop with their usual sound.
The Hunter was released in 1982 and did do as well as some of their previous albums and both Debbie Harry and Jimmy Destri had both released solo albums in 1981. After the decline in popularity of the band and the rising media attention of Debbie she decided to leave and Blondie broke up in August 1982. In 1997 they reformed and in 1999 the release of No Exit saw them return to the top of the charts once again and the single Maria reached # 1 in the UK exactly 20 years after their first which was Heart Of Glass.
Blondie released the album The Curse of Blondie in 2003 and March 2006 saw Blondie inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and also onto the Rock Walk Of Fame at Guitar Center on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.
My Top 10 Blondie Songs are:
01. Island of Lost Souls
03. One Way or Another
04. X Offender
05. Kung Fu Girls
06. (I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence Dear
07. Union City Blue
08. For Your Eyes Only
10. Good Boys
By Andy Jackson
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