By Ray Shasho
Blondie featuring the enticing and voluptuous New Wave Songstress Deborah Harry will be performing for the first time at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Saturday September 24th.
Blondie’s 9th studio album called Panic of Girls is set to be released on September 13th. Debbie Harry, Clem Burke and Chris Stein, along with newer band members Leigh Foxx, Tommy Kessler and Matt Katz-Bohen, will kick off the tour on September 4th.
Tickets went on sale Friday July 8th and are available for purchase right here.
Blondie was formed in 1974 by original guitarist Chris Stein and Miami- born Deborah Harry (now 66 years old). The band amassed huge Punk followings at New York’s famed CBGB’S, Max’s Kansas City (Debbie Harry was once a waitress there) and Mothers. Blondie’s overwhelming popularity led them to the studio where they recorded their first album called Blondie in 1976 - under the Private Stock label.
The band toured in 1977 with Iggy Pop and David Bowie in support of their first album.
In the summer of 1977 Blondie released their second album called Plastic Letters, followed by a tour of Europe and Asia.
They were considered to be a New Wave -underground band until the release of their third studio album called Parallel Lines. The album considered to be their best effort spawned huge hits like- “Hanging on the Telephone,” “Sunday Girl,” “One Way or Another,” and their Billboard Hot 100 number #1 mega hit “Heart of Glass.” The song was sneered at by Blondie faithful as a sellout to their rooted Punk and New Wave principals for entering the commercially successful world of Disco music. Nevertheless, the Harry/Stein penned chart topper went Gold and became Blondie’s trademark tune.
During my stint in radio as a deejay, “Heart of Glass” and Peaches and Herb’s “Reunited” became the most requested songs on the airwaves at that time.
Of course we were told to play the censored version of Heart of Glass... “Soon turned out I had a heart of glass”
And not the original album version of the song...“Soon turned out to be a pain in the ass.”The uncensored version seemed minuscule compared to today’s FCC standards across the radio airwaves.
Over the next several years, Blondie became known for their eclectic music styles. While maintaining a New Wave base, the group ventured into Disco, Pop, Rap and Reggae.
In 1979, Blondie released their fourth studio album called Eat to the Beat. The album generated the hits “Dreaming” #2 in the U.K., Atomic #1 in the U.K. and “Call Me” (theme song from the movie American Gigolo) spent 6 weeks at #1 in the U.S. and became their biggest hit song.The album also went certified Platinum.
Blondie’s fifth album, Autoamerican spawned the Reggae-ish tune “The Tide is High,” another #1 hit in the U.S. and U.K. and “Rapture” another #1 hit. Released in 1981, Rapture was considered crucial in formulating Rap music. It was the first single with rap content to be a chart-topper in the U.S. The album went Platinum.
After the release of their sixth studio album called The Hunter in 1982, the band split-up and Deborah Harry pursued a solo career. The album produced their final U.S. hit called “Island of Lost Souls” before Chris Stein fell ill with a rare and often fatal genetic disease which led to the band’s breakup. Harry cared for Stein who eventually recovered.
Blondie reformed in 1997 and regained their popularity with the release of their seventh album called No Exit. The album produced the #1 hit single in the U.K. and 14 other countries called “Maria.” The album sold more than 2-million units worldwide.
Albums that followed were Live in New York, Livid, The Curse of Blondie, Live by Request, Live, Best Live and Live in Toronto.
Blondie celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2006 with their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the release of Greatest Hits: Sound & Vision, a best-of collection that contained all their classic videos.
Blondie has sold more than 40 million records worldwide.
Their brand new album called Panic of Girls is set to be released on September 13th.
Blondie LIVE at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater is surely a rare and exciting event -and this show will definitely sell-out fast!
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