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Blondie (Official Thread)

Discussion in '70's Music' started by Foxhound, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. Foxhound

    Foxhound retired

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    [​IMG]

    Official Website

    Blondie (1976)
    Plastic Letters (1978)
    Parallel Lines (1978)
    Eat to the Beat (1979)
    Autoamerican (1980)
    The Hunter (1982)
    No Exit (1999)
    The Curse of Blondie (2003)
    Panic of Girls (2011)



    Blondie was formed in New York City in August of 1974 by guitarist Chris Stein and former Playboy bunny turned singer Deborah Harry out of the remnants of their previous band, the Stilettos. Originally calling themselves Angel & the Snake, the band underwent more than a bit of personnel turnover initially but after just over a year the lineup was finalized as follows:

    Deborah Harry - Vocals

    Chris Stein - Guitar

    James Destri - Keyboards

    Gary Valentine - Bass

    Clement Burke - Drums


    The band was renamed Blondie in late 1975 after the shouts Deborah got from truckers passing them on the road. By this time they had become regulars at New York punk emporiums Club 51, Max's Kansas City and CBGB.

    On the strength of its popularity with club patrons, the band secured a contract with Private Stock Records in 1976 and released the debut album "Blondie" in early 1977.

    Blondie - January 1977
    U.K. #75, Australia #14


    [​IMG]

    "X-Offender" was chosen as the band's first single but wasn't much of a commercial success:



    When a video of the B-side, "In the Flesh", was perhaps mistakingly and perhaps not aired on the Australian television program "Countdown", it rocketed up the Australian charts to #2. Not surprising to me at all since "In the Flesh" remains perhaps my personal favourite Blondie track:



    Gary Valentine left the band midway through 1977 and the band recorded the tracks that would end up as its second album as a four piece band similar to the Doors:

    Deborah Harry - Vocals

    Chris Stein - Guitar

    James Destri - Keyboards

    Clement Burke - Drums


    Before these tracks were released though, Chrysalis Records bought out Blondie's contract with Private Stock Records in August of 1977 and rereleased the band's debut album in October. Blondie's second album was released early in 1978:

    Plastic Letters - February 1978
    U.S. #72, U.K. #10, Australia #64


    [​IMG]

    The first single from the album, "Denis", a cover of the 1963 Randy & the Rainbows hit, reached #2 on the U.K. charts:



    Surprisingly, it didn't chart on Billboard in the U.S. despite being another of my personal favourites by Blondie. The second single, "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear" reached #10 in the U.K.:



    Once again it didn't make the Billboard charts in the U.S. though.

    Anyone that can't wait for my next installment on Blondie can read this excellent writeup on the band from the Barnes & Noble site here:

    Biography from Barnes & Noble

    :hv:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2012
  2. flipflop

    flipflop Prisoner of rock'n'roll

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    Re: The Blondie thread!

    I'm a big fan of Blondie - pretty much grew up on 'em. Got a few cassettes with a best of and Plastic Letters and the rest is history...

    And Debbie's the hottest thing to ever stand on a stage

    [​IMG]

    Caught them live on their comeback tour a few years back - great show.
     
  3. eberg15101

    eberg15101 Senior Member

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    Re: The Blondie thread!

    I was waiting for this Fox!:)

    I've been really into Blondie lately... and kind of funny... all the radio stations keep playing Blondie a lot, they never really did that much before... Heart Of Glass every once in a while, but One Way and Hanging On the Telephone as well...
    Rip Her to Shreds is my favorite song from Blondie, but I don't mind anything they put out, as Blondie, I'm not really a fan of the solo years...

    Nice OP btw:D
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
  4. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    Re: The Blondie thread!

    I have two of Blondie's albums, Parallel Lines and a Greatest Hits compilation. Not the biggest fan but I do play their CD's once in a while.

    Funny trivial note about Deborah Harry, she dyed her hair blond for so many years it all fell out eventually...:eek: She was in luck though once she let it grow out in it's natural brunette color it all came back. I wonder how many other fake blonds are going to have that happen....? For the record I like brunettes more myself.:grinthumb
     
  5. Foxhound

    Foxhound retired

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    Re: The Blondie thread!

    But I never knew!

    So am I. I mean what's not to like?

    Blondie's style encapsulated the punk rock rebellion against the flower children and their music. The members of the band wore suits, straight-leg trousers, narrow ties and Converse All-Stars thus hearkening back to the clothing style of the early to mid-sixties. Not to mention the short punk hairdos most members favoured. The left wing political posturing of the "love generation" was also happily missing from Blondie's repertoire.

    Nor was there even a hint of the excesses of the prog rock movement of the early seventies in the band's music. Blondie stuck to good honest rock and released a steady stream of commercially viable three minute singles like those heard on the airwaves in the early to mid sixties from bands like Herman's Hermits and Gary Lewis & the Playboys . In fact, the first Blondie track I ever heard was a cover of the 1963 Randy & the Rainbows hit, "Denise".
     

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    Last edited: Feb 15, 2010
  6. Foxhound

    Foxhound retired

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    Re: The Blondie thread!

    Frank Infante had joined Blondie in July of 1977 to replace Gary Valentine on bass. Frank though switched to guitar when bassist Nigel Harrison joined in November making Blondie a sextet.

    Blondie's lineup stayed as this grouping for the next four albums:

    Deborah Harry - Vocals

    Chris Stein - Guitar

    Frank Infante - Guitar

    Nigel Harrison - Bass

    James Destri - Keyboards

    Clement Burke - Drums


    Blondie turned to Brit Mike Chapman to produce its next album. "Parallel Lines" would become the band's big breakout release worldwide:

    Parallel Lines - September 1978
    U.S. #6, U.K. #1, Australia #2


    [​IMG]

    "Picture This" was the first single from the album and got to #12 in the U.K. Deborah's plaintiff offer "I will give you my finest hour, the one I spent watching you shower", still wasn't enough to make the release chart in the States or Canada:



    "I'm Gonna Love You Too", a light but frantic rocker in the finest tradition of punk, was next - and flopped everywhere:



    "Hanging on the Telephone" then made it to #5 in the U.K. but once again failed to chart in the States or Canada:



    Then came a reworking of a hard rocking number that the band had been playing since its inception, "Heart of Glass". James Destri had reworked the keyboard parts by introducing a synthesizer and drummer Clem Burke had altered the beat to resemble that from "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees. It was a huge smash hit and reached #1 in all major markets.



    "Sunday Girl" came next making it to #1 in the U.K. and Australia - but despite being another of my personal favourite Blondie tracks inexplicably failed to chart again in either the U.S. or Canada. Philistines!



    It was the release of the aggressive rocker "One Way or Another" with Deborah vowing to "drive by your house" that gave Blondie its second smash hit in North America. It reached #24 in the States and #14 in Canada but didn't chart in the U.K. or Australia where folks evidently have less sympathy for stalkers, blonde or not:



    All these singles had their effect though. "Parallel Lines" has sold over 20 million copies worldwide. The album is #140 on "Rolling Stone's" list of the 500 greatest albums of all time and "New Musical Express" scored it #18 on its list of the greatest albums of all-time in 2003. Finally "Blender" magazine ranks it the seventh greatest American album of all time.

    So popular has "Parallel Lines" been that Chrysalis Records also released it as a picture disc:

    [​IMG]

    :rock:
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  7. Foxhound

    Foxhound retired

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    Re: The Blondie thread!

    Here's Deborah in her Playboy bunny days:
     

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  8. Foxhound

    Foxhound retired

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    Re: The Blondie thread!

    Now here's Deborah a few short years later as an aspiring punk singer forced to wash guy's cars to keep herself in lipstick and fingernail polish:

    :uc:
     

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    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
  9. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    Re: The Blondie thread!

    Looks like she needed money for some underwear as well Fox...good picture though.
     
  10. Tiny Tim

    Tiny Tim Senior Member

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    Re: The Blondie thread!

    Minor correction. She wasn't a "Playboy bunny turned singer". She was a singer all along, she was a member of hippie folk group "The Wind in the Willows" who released their only record in 1968. The stint as a bunny was just one of many jobs she took as a struggling musician. She also waitressed at Max's Kansas City and worked as a secretary at the BBC's New York office.

    Big fan as well. I had a poster on my wall that....I think I'll stop there to avoid oversharing.:D
     

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