Blondie by Blondie

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Blondie by Blondie
Blondie by Blondie

Album Released: 1976

Blondie ::: Artwork

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1.X Offender3:14
2.Little Girl Lies2:07
3.In The Flesh2:33
4.Look Good In Blue2:55
5.In The Sun2:39
6.A Shark In Jets Clothing3:39
7.Man Overboard3:22
8.Rip Her To Shreds3:22
9.Rifle Range3:41
10.Kung Fu Girls2:33
11.The Attack Of The Giant Ants3:34


Blondie sound a bit clumsy compared to their later professionalism, but as with most debuts, nowhere else does the band display this much sheer enthusiasm.

The band gleefully deconstruct 60's AM pop, with a modern sheen supplied by Jimmy Desti's synths, which dominate here in a way they never quite would again, especially on the corny West Side Story send-up "Shark in Jets Clothing".

In "X-Offender" (for the original title, prefix that with 'Se'), Harry gets busted by a cop and gets turned on by it, practically drooling over his badge and playing the part of the bad girl, not because she's really bad, but because he might want to go out with her if he thinks she is. At least I think that's the basic gist.

Harry makes the best of her limited voice, cooing seductively in "Look Good in Blue", and wispily whispering on the ballad "In the Flesh". "In the Sun" is modern surf to make the Beach Boys proud, except the setting is New York Island. Everybody loves a good catfight, and "Rip Her to Shreds" is one of the bitchiest.

The record kind of slacks off towards the end though, with interesting but not as catchy numbers with overly camp titles and lyrics - "Kung Fu Girls", "Attack of the Giant Ants".

A pleasurable gem of an album, but not as catchy or accomplished as some of their later material. Still, it's one of their best, and anyone who likes Blondie will get a kick out of it.

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by Reviewer: Creative Noise (blogging at Creative Noise)

In many ways, Blondie were a bizarro world Talking Heads. They focused on humor, a pastiche of musical styles that were long outdated, and - above all - a strong sense of style.

Blondie are a lopsided grin, a naughty wink, and are usually associated with frontwoman Debbie Harry. Their music has little of the seriousness of penetrating monologue of a David Byrne, or the hypnotic lockstep of the Talking Heads' rhythm section.

Blondie had a pretty good formula though ... deliberately cheesy synth parts, smart humorous lyrics set to discarded 50's and 60's sounds - Motown girl groups / surf music / cloying 50's ballads / even an ode to West Side Story.

The quintessential example is the opening "X Offender", which opens - like many early 60's songs - with a spoken intro from Harry on how she wants to go with an unspecified 'you'. Of course, it turns out that 'you' refers to the officer arresting her for prostitution, and that's the sort of humor prevalent on this album.

The lyrics are almost all pure pop kitch, and deliberately so - listen to the way Harry says flesh on "In the Flesh", another psychotic love obsession song. It sounds perverse - I mean, who wants literal 'flesh' - and the word has such a horrible sound (also note the double entendre contained in the chorus of "Look Good in Blue").

Drummer Clement Burke works hard, which enables Blondie to shift genres successfully, but the band's sound is nevertheless pretty thin - it's clear that Harry's vocals were the intended focus of attention - the rest are there to fill out the backing, occasionally tossing off a central riff, but otherwise pretty nonchalant. Do the public even remember any of them besides Harry nowadays?

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by Reviewer: Obscurity (blogging at Obscurity!)

The nicest thing about vintage Blondie is that even though the music is now many decades old, it still sounds fresh. And that's as true about the band's debut as the best of their later stuff, even though the melodies here might not be quite as notable.

Blondie have the reputation for sparking the New Wave movement, but the genre can be traced back to as early as Sparks in the first half of the 70's. What Blondie did is streamline it without being weird, pretentious, or even that artistic - they just wanted to make fresh new music. But they were indeed there at the beginning of a long line of New Wave artists - The Cars, Elvis Costello, and Talking Heads all came a bit later. So dubbing Blondie as the 'godfather of New Wave' does seem justified.

Despite all that, Blondie didn't make much of an impression at the time. The album wasn't a commerical success anywhere except modestly in England, and for some reason less modestly in Australia. And listening to it now, it's difficult to imagine it was once considered underground music in the United States, as it sounds so clean and poppy!

The one thing that New Wave did for the world, and what Blondie do here, is put a fresh face on old school pop music. After all, the music of Motown and the British Invasion had become passe, and people were starting to miss the fun and enjoyability of straightahead pop - instead, the market was saturated with overblown prog/rock albums, as well as the then-burgeoning disco scene.

Blondie put a new face on 60's-style pop with "X Offender", doo-wop with "In the Flesh", surf music with "In the Sun", and even Broadway Jazz with "A Shark in Jet's Clothing". So, it's not like the band had simply come out of the blue - their aim was to revive great old genres that the public were kinda missing, and the result was some fantasticly slick and fresh new pop music.

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by Reviewer: Don Ignacio (blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews)