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Blondie (Blondie) - All about the group: biography and facts

The history of the band...

The history of "Blondie" through the mouths of the members

Blondie is a "new wave" musical group that has undergone a lot of changes over the period of its existence, just like the city that gave birth to it. For eight years, the participants successfully adopted the ever-changing New York style to create new and unique art. At first, it displayed light motifs of the 60s, which in 1974 began to gain experienced popularity. After - the inspiration for creativity was the punk culture, with which the entire cent of New York was saturated at that time. The group managed to reflect the disco movement and the mainstream in music. At the same time, it was not difficult for the soloist Debbie Harry to successfully adopt and implement the style of any new movement in her work.

In 1982, 4 singles of the group led the top charts, and 6 albums were sold in ten million copies.

In May 2014, original Blondie members Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Clem Burke celebrated the band's 40th anniversary with a new album called "Ghosts Of Download" and a compilation of Blondie's best tracks.

About how the group became one of the best musical experts in New York - tell the members themselves and people who personally observed the development of their work.

Early years (1974-1975)

The collaboration between the Brooklyn native, later the guitarist of the legendary New York band Chris Stein and Deborah (Debbie) Harry, an ordinary girl from New Jersey, is due to their joint musical performance in one of the local cabarets. Later, this evening not only filled the hearts of young people with romanticism, but also inspired them to create their own group. A year later, the plan was implemented: the group was supplemented by Clem Burke - drums, Jimmy Destri - keyboardist, and Fred Smith - bassist (Soon he will be replaced by Gary Valentine).

Harry and Stein in 1982.
Harry and Stein in 1982.

Harry: “Chris and I came up with several names for the band. Among them were "Serpent" and "Angel", however, they did not seem to me exactly what is easily remembered. One day, I was walking down the street and someone called out to me, "Hey, blondie." And I thought, God, that's pretty easy to remember."

Stein: “Debbie and I lived on the Bowery. Hari, our bassist, lived with us for some time. There were several cockroaches in our apartment - and a poltergeist. There were constant knocks on the walls and paintings falling. Poltergeists are lured by teenagers who experience severe anxiety. Hari was just that. He soon left the group."

Richard Gotterer (producer of the first two albums "Blondie" and "Plastic Letters"): “I left Sire Records and thought about releasing a compilation of New York bands. Debbie was very interested in this idea. I told her that I was not going to take anyone. I walked into their studio and as soon as they started playing, I was grinning from ear to ear."

Rise to fame (1976-1978)

Blondie in 1977.
Blondie in 1977.

Gotterer signed with Blondie to the independent label Private Stock and released their self-titled debut. Performing in Kansas City and CBGB, they gained fans of their new punk wave.

Harry at CBGB (music club) in 1978
Harry at CBGB (music club) in 1978

Marky Ramone (drummer of "Richard Hell and the Voidoids" and, later, "The Ramones"): 

“When Blondies performed, I always wanted to get in the front rows to look at Debbie. She carried the mystery and sexuality, while not exposing frank parts of the body for show. Her style has always had a special taste and zest.”

Debbie:

“When we first performed at CBGB, this was not the stage it became later. It was a local bar, and we were paid a couple of beers to perform.”

"In The Flesh" single cover
"In The Flesh" single cover

Gotterer:

"The single 'In The Flesh' was a hit in Australia, reaching number two in 1976. This was the first sign that Blondie could sell. The second album featured a cover version of the New York band Randy and the Rainbows' song "Denise". Debbie sang part of the song in French. I don't even know if the French was real, but it was the first hit in the UK, which in 1977 stayed in second place for a long time.

Rise of pop stars (1979-1981)

Blondie's Hits cover
Blondie's Hits cover

The song "Heart Of Glass" topped America's Top Singles in 1979. This was followed in 1980 by the hits "Call Me" and a cover on the Paragons reggae track "The Tide Is High".

The most popular single was "Rapture", released in 1981. The soloist managed to adopt the speech technique used by rappers, which Harry and Stein heard reading at parties in the Bronx. In her rap, Debbie mentioned Fab Five Freddy and DJ Grandmaster Flash. These artists were key figures in the early New York hip hop scene.

Fab Five Freddy (American rapper): 

“I knew Chris and Debbie from the New York art scene and visited their homes. Chris had the best marijuana and Debbie had the sandwiches she gave me. It was fun to see the homemade Marilyn Monroe of her generation! They were supporters of what was happening in the Bronx - earlier than anyone."

Stein: “A few years later, U-God and Wu-Tang Clan member Inspectah Deck once told me that Rapture was the first rap song they heard as kids. This confession shocked me."

Fall (1982)

blondie
Blondie

Reaction to Blondie's sixth album, The Hunter, was lukewarm. However, the world tour was canceled halfway through. The reason was internal stress, drugs, financial problems and illness of the guitarist. After 7 years, Harry and Stein broke up.

Stein: “Over the past few years, we have been on top of everything. Our accountant didn't pay taxes for us, so I ended up in debt to the IRS."

Harry: “There were some “blows” along the line. I think that the manager who was with us at that time liked to keep the team in balance and uncertainty. It was terrible psychology."

Smith: “Then Chris really discovered a rare skin disease - Pemphigus. Thank God he is cured. Debbie gave up everything just to take care of him. Just as she was away, Madonna showed up and took her place in the media."

Harry: “Would I change anything? No. Because if I changed one bad situation, a million others would change too. And we had a lot more good times than bad!

Our days...
Our days…

Now the group continues its creative way! Let's see their latest creations:

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