Picture, if you will, a seven-year-old kid in a red, white and blue Speedo circa 1978 running around the local swimming pool having the time of his life. Over the giant-horn like speakers the local radio station blares all the hits from the 1979. This was planting the seeds of what would become the music nerd I am today and where I would develop my first rock & roll crush.
Wedged in between the male-dominated guitar-driven cock rock – Rod Stewart “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy;” Cheap Trick “I Want You To Want Me;” Electric Light Orchestra “Don’t Bring Me Down;” Foreigner “Double Vision;” and Robert Palmer “Bad Case Of Lovin’ You” – was the female-fronted New York band Blondie.
Their 1979 breakout album ‘Parallel Lines’ birthed the three major singles ‘”Hanging on the Telephone,” “One Way or Another,” and how could we forget “Heart of Glass.” Whomever was the DJ at the local radio station at the time of my swimming adventures must have been a huge fan because one of these songs were in heavy rotation every hour. So if you spent the majority of the sunshine-soaked day at the swimming pool you got to hear Blondie ALL THE TIME.
Now this was pre-MTV so I had no idea who Blondie’s front woman Debbie Harry was or what she even looked like, but I was in love with that honey-soaked voice which had a devil-may-care attitude. I can’t really say when I got to see what Debbie Harry looked like – maybe it was in a magazine, maybe it was a few years later when MTV launched – but I know when I did see her, she looked exactly like I had expected – after all the band’s name said it all.
Sadly, time kind of cheated me out of the Blondie heyday. The band broke up in 1982 after their album ‘The Hunter’ so I never really got to dig deep into the bands history until much later in life and the more I found out my suspicions were dead on. Debbie Harry was as bad ass, as sexy and turned out to be one of the most influential women in rock & roll.
The bands rocky road together is legendary and they did put all that behind them to reunite in 1999 when they released ‘No Exit’ and have released three more album since then. I shamefully admit, I never spent time with any of those records, my love for Blondie comes from my youth.
You can have your pop divas of the modern times who think they are bad ass, risqué and quite frankly an embarrassment; give me Debbie Harry anytime. She is legendary and no one should ever forget that.
10. “Fade Away and Radiate” (from ‘Parallel Lines’ 1979)
9. “Rip Her to Shreds” (from ‘Blondie’ 1976)
8. “Union City Blue” (from ‘Eat to the Beat’ 1979)
7. “Atomic” (from ‘Eat to the Beat’ 1979)
6. “One Way Or Another” (from ‘Parallel Lines’ 1979)
5. “The Tide Is High” (The Paragons cover) (from ‘Autoamerican’ 1980)
4. “Dreaming” (from ‘Eat to the Beat’ 1979)
3. “Heart of Glass” (from ‘Parallel Lines’ 1979)
2. “Hanging on the Telephone” (The Nerves cover) (from ‘Parallel Lines’ 1979)
1. “Call Me” (from ‘American Gigolo’ 1980)