(On Blondie, One of the Earliest Pioneers of New Wave)
As I have already written in previous articles, the earliest roots of New Wave music may be traced back to the mid- ’70s. And among the New Wave bands that may be regarded as pioneering, prolific, and still active at the same time is the American band Blondie.
Officially formed by Deborah “Debbie” Harry and Chris Stein in 1975 in New York, United States, Blondie is regarded as one of the very first American New Wave bands. Clem Burke (drums), Jimmy Destri (keyboards), and Gary Valentine (bass) completed the band’s lineup. Blondie’s music is best characterized by Stein’s angular and gyrating guitar melodies and by Harry’s sexy yet powerful voice and the overall danceable beat and catchiness of the songs. Blondie released its self-titled first album in 1976, which contains their first hits, “X-Offender,” “In the Flesh,” and “Rip Her to Shreds.” In 2011, Blondie released its ninth studio album, Panic of Girls, with songs like “D-day,” “What I Heard,” and “Love Doesn’t Frighten Me” still carrying the band’s signature sound. The band disbanded in 1982 and reformed in 1997.
The rest of Blondie’s discography are Plastic Letters (1978, “[I’m Always Touched by Your] Presence, Dear”), Parallel Lines (1978, “Heart of Glass”), Eat to the Beat (1979, “Dreaming”), Autoamerican (1980, “T-Birds”), The Hunter (1982, “Island of Lost Souls”), No Exit (1999, “Maria”), and The Curse of Blondie (2003, Hello, Joe”).
Visually, Harry and her looks remain to be Blondie’s center of attraction. However, she’s not only the band’s singer and frontperson but also a cowriter in many of the band’s songs. She pursued a solo career especially during Blondie’s inactivity, releasing five solo albums: Koo Koo (1981, “Jump, Jump”), Rockbird (1986, “Frenchkissin’ in the USA,” written by Chuck Lorre), Def, Dumb and Blonde (1989, “Kiss It Better,” cowritten with Tom Bailey and Alannah Currie, formerly of Thompson Twins), Debravation (1993, “Strike Me Pink,” cowritten with Jonathan Bernstein and Anne Dudley), and Necessary Evil (2007, “If I had You,” cowritten with Barb Morrison and Charles Nieland).