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Blondie is the name of an American rock band that first gained fame in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The band was a pioneer in the early American punk rock and New Wave scenes. Since its debut it has sold over 40 million records. Its first two albums contained strong elements of these genres, and although successful in Australia and the United Kingdom, Blondie was regarded as an underground band in the United States until the release of Parallel Lines in 1978. Over the next three years, the band achieved several hit singles and was noted for its eclectic mix of musical styles incorporating elements of disco, pop and reggae, while retaining a basic style as a New Wave band.
Lead singer Deborah Harry achieved a level of celebrity that eclipsed other band members', leading to tension within the group. Following a poorly received album, and with core member Chris Stein diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease, the group disbanded in 1982. As members pursued other projects, Blondie's reputation grew over the following decade and the group reformed in 1998, achieving renewed success and a number one single in the United Kingdom the following year. The group toured and performed throughout the world over the following years, and was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the RockWalk of Fame in 2006.
In the early 1970s, Chris Stein moved to New York City, and inspired by the New York Dolls, aimed to join a similar band. He joined The Stilettos in 1973 as their guitarist and formed a romantic relationship with the band's vocalist, Deborah Harry. A former waitress and Playboy Bunny, Harry had been a member of the folk-rock band, Wind in the Willows, in the late 1960s. In 1974, she parted ways with The Stilettos and Elda Gentile, the band's originator. Stein and Harry formed a new band with drummer Clem Burke, keyboard player Jimmy Destri and bass player Gary Valentine. Originally billed as "Angel and the Snake" the band soon renamed themselves "Blondie" in late 1975. The name was taken from comments from truck drivers who called "Hey, Blondie" to Harry as they drove by. Two former members of the original lineup were sisters Tish Bellomo and Eileen Bellomo (who is more commonly known as "Snooky"), who were both vocalists. The two left the band, and now they are famous for starting the company Manic Panic. The two of them are now the current vocalists in their band Sic F*cks, who only perform once a year.
Blondie became regulars at New York's Club 51, Max's Kansas City, and CBGB. They got their first record deal with Private Stock Records in the mid-'70s and released their debut album Blondie in 1976, along with the single "X-Offender". Private Stock Records was then bought out by the UK-based company, Chrysalis Records, and the first album was re-released on the new label in 1977 along with the single "Rip Her to Shreds". Rolling Stone wrote about Blondie for the first time in August 1977 and observed the eclectic nature of the group's music, comparing it to Phil Spector and The Who and commented that the album's two strengths were Richard Gottehrer's production and the persona of Deborah Harry, saying she performed with "utter aplomb and involvement throughout: even when she's portraying a character consummately obnoxious and spaced-out, there is a wink of awareness that is comforting and amusing yet never condescending." It also noted that Harry was the "possessor of a bombshell zombie's voice that can sound dreamily seductive and woodenly Mansonite within the same song".
Their first commercial success occurred in Australia in 1977, when the music television program Countdown mistakenly played their video "In the Flesh", which was the b-side of their current single "X-Offender". Jimmy Destri later credited the show's Molly Meldrum for their initial success, commenting that "we still thank him to this day" for playing the wrong song. In a 1998 interview, bandmember Clem Burke recalled seeing the episode in which the wrong song was played, but he and Chris Stein suggested that it may have been a deliberate subterfuge on the part of Meldrum. Stein asserted that "X-Offender" was "too crazy and aggressive [to become a hit]", while "In the Flesh" was "not representative of any punk sensibility. Over the years, I've thought they probably played both things but liked one better. That's all." In retrospect, Burke described "In the Flesh" as "a forerunner to the power ballad."
The single and album each reached the Australian top 5 in October 1977, and a subsequent double-a release of "X-Offender" and "Rip Her to Shreds", was also popular. A successful Australian tour followed in December, though it was marred by an incident in Brisbane when disappointed fans almost rioted after Harry cancelled a performance due to illness.
1977 also saw the release of their second album, recorded as a four piece band because Gary Valentine had left. Plastic Letters was promoted extensively throughout Europe and Asia by Chrysalis Records. The album's first single which won them their first Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocals Performance "Denis", a cover version of Randy and the Rainbows's 1963 hit, reached number two on the British singles charts, while both the album and the second single, "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear", each reached the British top ten. That chart success, along with a successful 1978 UK tour including a gig at the Roundhouse (the Boomtown Rats opened), made Blondie one of the first American new wave bands to achieve mainstream success in the United Kingdom. By this time, Gary Valentine had been replaced by Frank Infante (Bass Guitar / Guitar), and shortly after that Nigel Harrison (Bass Guitar) was also added (in addition to Infante) expanding the band to a six piece for the first time.
All Music Review later described Plastic Letters as inferior to its predecessor, saying that with the exception of the two singles, it appeared to have been constructed from "leftovers" from the Blondie album. It noted that Gottehrer's production could not compensate for the "pedestrian musical tracks" or save the album from "general mediocrity".

Mainstream success:
Parallel Lines, their next album, was produced by Mike Chapman and eventually won them a Grammy for Best Rock Album. Its first two singles were "Picture This" and "Hanging on the Telephone." "Heart of Glass" was their first U.S. hit and garnered them another Grammy for Best Disco Recording. It was a reworking of a rock song that the group had performed since its formation, but updated with strong elements of disco music. Clem Burke later said the revamped version was inspired partly by Kraftwerk and partly by the Bee Gee's "Stayin' Alive," whose drum beat Burke tried to emulate. He and Stein gave Jimmy Destri much of the credit for the final result, noting that Destri's appreciation of technology had led him to introduce synthesizers and to rework the keyboard sections. Although some members of the British music press condemned Blondie for "selling out," the song became a popular worldwide success. Selling more than one million copies and garnering major airplay, the single reached number one in many countries including the U.S., where until this point they had been largely considered an "underground" band. The song was accompanied by a music video that showcased Deborah Harry's hard-edged and playfully sexual persona, and she began to attain a celebrity status that set her apart from the other band members, who were largely ignored by the media.
Blondie's next single in the U.S. was a more aggressive rock song, "One Way or Another," which picked up a Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocals Performance, and it reached the top 30 but the band's greatest success continued to be in the UK, where an alternate single choice, "Sunday Girl," became another number one smash.
Their fourth album, Eat to the Beat, was well received by critics as a suitable follow-up to Parallel Lines but in the U.S. it failed to achieve the same level of success. In the UK, the single "Atomic" reached number one, "Dreaming" number two, and "Union City Blue" was another substantial hit, while in the U.S. their singles did not chart as strongly.
Deborah Harry worked with the Italian songwriter and producer Giorgio Moroder, who had been responsible for Donna Summer's biggest hits, and they composed the song "Call Me" for the soundtrack of the film American Gigolo. The song became the biggest hit of Blondie's career, spending six weeks at number one in the U.S. and becoming a hit throughout the world. Their album Autoamerican was released shortly thereafter and contained two more worldwide hits, the reggae-styled "The Tide Is High" and the rap-flavored "Rapture", each hitting number one in both the U.S. and UK. "Rapture" was the first song containing elements of rap music vocals to reach number one in the U.S. and helped introduce the then underground rap genre to a larger audience. "Rapture" would be their only single to achieve a higher chart position on the U.S. charts than in the UK, where it peaked at number five.

Hiatus, The Hunter, and breakup:
Following their success of 1978-80, Blondie took a brief break in 1981. That year, Debbie Harry and Jimmy Destri both released solo albums; Stein helped out with Harry's album, and Burke with Destri's. Also in 1981, Blondie was offered the chance to perform the theme to the new James Bond film, For Your Eyes Only. They were under the impression that they had been asked to compose the track as well, but when they presented their song to the film's producers, they learned the offer was to record the theme already written by Bill Conti and Michael Leeson. The producers rejected Blondie's song and passed the offer on to Sheena Easton, who had a top ten hit with the Conti/Leeson song. Blondie's composition for the film was, however, included on their next album.
The band reconvened in 1982 to record and issue The Hunter. In contrast to their earlier commercial and critical successes, The Hunter generally received lukewarm-to-negative reviews, and failed to hit the top 20 in the US top charts. The album did spin off two fairly minor hit singles: "Island of Lost Souls" (#11 UK, #37 US), and "War Child" (#39 UK).
With tensions within the band on the rise due to the commercial decline and the constant press focus on Harry to the exclusion of other band members, events reached a breaking point when Stein was diagnosed with a serious, life-threatening illness. In mid-1982, Blondie announced their break-up.
Stein and Harry (a couple) stayed together, and retreated from the public spotlight for a few years. After Stein recovered from his illness, Harry resumed her solo career in 1985, with active participation from Stein in all her recordings. Meanwhile, Burke became a much-in-demand session drummer (and played for a time with Eurythmics), and Destri also maintained an active career as a producer/session musician.

Regeneration:
During the late 1980s and into the early 1990s, Blondie's past work was recognised by a new generation of fans and artists such as Madonna, and Chrysalis Records released several collections of remixed versions of some of their biggest hits. Speaking in 1998, Clem Burke said he had recognized elements of Blondie in the band No Doubt, while Harry commented that she began to realize "our reputation had grown since we stopped".
In 1996, Stein began the process of a Blondie reunion and contacted Destri, who was then producing, and Burke. In 1998 the band reformed without Harrison and Infante, who had unsuccessfully sued to prevent the reunion under the name "Blondie". The resulting album, No Exit, described by Jimmy Destri as "15 songs about nothing", reached number 3 on the UK charts, and the song "Maria"which Destri had written while in high schoolbecame Blondie's sixth UK number one single. During this time Harry also worked as a vocalist for the avant-garde jazz troupe, The Jazz Passengers, having collaborated with them on their 1997 debut album Individually Twisted.
"Atomic" is featured in the 2002 PlayStation 2 videogame Grand Theft Auto: Vice City as part of the New Wave radio station Wave 103, with "Heart of Glass" on its 2006 prequel game, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories on the same station. "One Way or Another" also made it to the soundtrack of Driver: Parallel Lines, which interestingly shares the same name as the song's original album.
They released the album The Curse of Blondie in October 2003, followed by the single "Good Boys". As of 2004 Jimmy Destri has retired from touring, leaving only Harry, Stein and Burke from the original lineup appearing at live shows.
In 2006, a mash up of Blondie's "Rapture" and The Doors "Riders on the Storm" was released as a single titled "Rapture Riders", and reached the top 30 on the Australian ARIA charts, and the top 10 on Billboard's Hot Dance Club chart in the U.S. Neither Harry nor Stein were involved in the song's production, but Harry commented that the song was "Amazingly good... It's rare that I really love something" and Stein also approved of the song, the two allowing it to be included on Blondie's Greatest Hits: Sight & Sound album.

Members:
-Chris Stein: Guitar / Bass Guitar.
-Deborah Harry: Vocals.
-Clem Burke: Drums / Percussion.
-Leigh Foxx: Bass Guitar.
-Paul Carbonara: Guitar.
-Kevin Patrick: Keyboards.
-Jimmy Destri: Keyboards.
Blondie : C57604
Blondie : C57604
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Blondie : p18807f1m79
Blondie : p18807f1m79
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Blondie : 174246
Blondie : 174246
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Blondie - No Exit album cover
Blondie - No Exit album cover
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Blondie - Eat to the beat album cover
Blondie - Eat to the beat album cover
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Blondie - Autoamerican album cover
Blondie - Autoamerican album cover
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Blondie - The Curse Of Blondie album cover
Blondie - The Curse Of Blondie album  cover
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Blondie - Blondie album cover
Blondie - Blondie album cover
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Blondie - Parallel Lines album cover
Blondie - Parallel Lines album cover
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Blondie - Plastic letters album cover
Blondie - Plastic letters album cover
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