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Gotham Sleaze Flashback: Blondie’s Way

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For many, Blondie may be considered more of a pop band today, but their roots are entrenched in punk and rock and roll and came up the same time as Ramones, Television and Talking Heads. Blondie songs are catchy with wicked hooks, but what really makes them a great band is their attitude and make no mistake pop music lovers, this band drips with punk attitude.

The early seventies Blondie hit the stage with knockout vocalist (and ex-Playboy playmate), Debbie Harry. During the late seventies and early eighties, Blondie had eight Top 40 hits, including four that went to number one (“Heart of Glass”, “Call Me”, “The Tide Is High” and “Rapture”). It was also during this time when Blondie appeared on American Bandstand and played “One Way Or Another.” Clearly from the video the band was in love with “Bob Dylan hair.” Television is a difficult place to keep the energy high and this performance definitely suffers from that. However, their fearless approach and punk-rock infused nonchalance does translate onto the small screen, this band is just so “cool!” Bonus: Check out the fan in yellow at 2:30 – hilarious!

Blondie would incorporate multiple genres including reggae, rap and disco into their punky rock and roll sound and yet still maintain credibility with their fans. Part of this may be the company Harry and the band kept over the years, David Bowie, Lou Reed and band New York Dolls to name a few. Another attribute of Blondie to admire is how the band continued to be daring with their music, incorporating new genres, but never leaving behind their seventies garage band sound and roots, a Lower East Side band that came up through the downtrodden scene of CBGB’s.

In 1982 the band broke up, but it didn’t stick, continuing to put out music into the nineties, including another hit, “Maria”, which went number one on the UK charts, making Blondie the first American band to have chart-topping UK singles in three different decades.

Blondie has inspired countless New York City bands and beyond and in 2006 Blondie were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Blondie is a New York City music institution.


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