The great thing about the New York punk scene is how diverse it was. It was more than just the three chord genius of The Ramones. Another group emerged on the scene with a female out front. Not just your ordinary female. The hottest woman on the face of the earth. I am talking about Debby Harry. On the 1-10 scale, she was an 11. An 11 damn it.
One thing that was happening back then was bands would first put out a single. Of course Record Stop was right on top of this marketing ploy. I would buy the single and listen to both sides and immediately fall in love with most of the new bands. Then it felt like forever before an entire album would come out. I wanted to be at the record factory taking it hot off the press.
Blondie was one of those bands that had a single called “X Offender”, backed with “In The Sun”. A poppy 50’s inspired gem on each side with just the right amount of raw unpolished energy that spoke to me.
Finally, the album arrives. I took it home and played side A, then I turned it over and played Side B, then I turned it over and played Side A, then I turned it over and played Side B. This continued for about 3 weeks straight. I don’t think I slept. I just listened to this album. I could not get this thing off my turntable. It was so unbelievably wonderful. Why this is never mentioned as a perfect pop record, I will never understand. It’s just perfect.
The first 4 songs tell a story of a hooker and the cop she is secretly in love with. It was West Side Story meets The Bowery. It’s 50’s sensibility with 60’s girl group flavor and punk attitude. It’s a perfect blend of everything that is great about pop music, yet unrecognized as such.
I tried so hard to get people to understand how great this album is, but usually failed.
Saw Blondie 5 times back in their prime and they were wonderful. My infatuation with Debby Harry was probably unhealthy, but damn she was gorgeous.
However, when I found out she was 32 years old I felt a little grossed out (funny to think of that now that I am 55), but she was still an 11.
Blondie made 4 perfect albums, but I think they became too popular for their own good.
Blondie hit it big with “Heart of Glass” and even bigger with “Call Me”. Eventually, they earned their place in pop history and received all the well deserved accolades.
However, that first album still has a place in my heart and always will.
Did I mention how hot Debby Harry was?