Blondie was founded in New York in 1974 and is one of the most important representatives of the New Wave. The band developed into one of the most important artists of the 80s.
Debbie Harry – Blondie Biografie
The New Wave Band was founded by guitarist Chris Stein and singer Debbie Harry. Debbie Harry had already had a moving time. She worked as a waitress, go-go dancer and secretary in the New York BBC office. Later she was a background singer in the folk band The Wind in the Willows, before she got to the Stilettos. Here she met guitarist Chris Stein, with whom she founded Blondie and was involved for a long time. The musical collaboration between the two continues to this day. The original band included ex-Stiletto drummer Billy O’Connor and Fred Smith.
The first performances were under the name Angel and the Snake. Already in autumn 1974 the name was changed. Inspiration might have been truck drivers who called Debbie Harry “Hey, Blondie”. Born was one of the most important brands of the New Wave.
After a few personal chores, drummer Clem Burke and bassist Gray Valentine joined the band in 1975. Later keyboardist Jimmy Destri completed the group. At the end of 1976 the debut album “Blondie” was released, which initially received little attention. Only after the success of the two successors “Plastic Letters” and “Parallel Lines“, it found a bigger audience. It entered the British charts for one week in 1979.
The second album “Plastic Letters“, was the breakthrough of the band in Great Britain in 1978. The record was in the charts for 54 weeks and got platinum. In the USA and Germany, the audience noticed the musicians with the third album “Parallel Lines“. The record made it into the “Rolling Stone 500“, the best albums of all times.
Mit Mike Chapman gewannen Blondie einen der führenden Produzenten dieser Zeit. Er produzierte mit den Musikern bis 1982 weitere drei Schallplatten. Chapman hatte damit entscheidenden Anteil daran, dass Blondie zu prägenden Künstlern der 80er Jahre wurden. Die New Wave Band wechselte 1998 den Bassisten. Frank Infante schloss sich der Gruppe an. Wenig später stieß der Bassist Nigel Harrison hinzu und ergänzte die Band zu einem Sextett. Neben Chris Stein hatte Blondie nun mit Infante einen zweiten Gitarristen.
After the band had already released their first commercial hit with “Dennis” in Great Britain in 1978, they achieved a world hit with “Heart of Glass” one year later. The song landed on the first place and ensured the breakthrough in the USA. The “Rolling Stone” recognized the hit in 2010 as one of the 500 greatest hits of all times. The band became more versatile and played with various style elements, not denying their roots in Punk and New Wave.
As one of the first rock bands, Blondie produced a music video. Some reviewers were critical of the commercialization, but the success proved the musicians were right. For the hit “Call me“ Blondie was nominated for a Grammy. Co-author was the well-known producer Giorgio Moroder. The song appeared in the soundtrack of the movie “American Gigolo“. It was shown in German cinemas under the title “Ein Mann für bestimmte Stunden“. The ground was finally prepared to further shape the scene in the 80s as influential artists. After “Eat to the Beat” (1979) and “Auto-American” (1980) initially the last album of the band followed with “The Hunter” in 1982.
Dissolution and solo career of Debbie Harry
The commercial success of the last record was moderate and increasingly led to differences within the band. In addition Chris Stein got a rare autoimmune deficiency of the skin. The New Wave band had to cancel a European tour planned for the summer of 1982 and announced their dissolution in November 1982.
Debbie Harry and Chris Stein remained a couple. They withdrew because of Stein’s sickness. The couple had huge debts from the time of Blondie and had to sell a large mansion. Increasing drug excesses persuaded Harry to end her intimate relationship with Stein. But they both remained musically connected.
After the first attempt of a solo career of Debbie Harry failed in 1982/83, a second attempt since 1986 brought at least a small success. “French Kissin’in the USA” came in Great Britain among the top 10. Overall Harry released five solo albums, which never reached the success of her band career. Already since 1975 the singer made a name for herself again and again as a film actress.
Blondie – Reunion
In the 1990s the artists of the 80s became interesting for a new audience. So it came to the reunion of the band in the second half of the decade. In 1999 the album “No Exit” was created, which contained the hit “Maria“. With the song from Jimmy Destri the band got in Great Britain another gold record. There was even platinum in Germany.
The importance of the band for rock music was testified by the admission to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Two years later the musicians went on a world tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the album “Parallel Lines“. There were more and more albums in the past years. Although they reached no longer the great success of the heydays, but a loyal fan base still exists today.
In 2014 the band declined to perform at the Olympic Games in Sochi. The Reason were discriminatory laws against homosexuals in Russia. Debbie Harry admitted her bisexuality publicly the same year. Currently, Blondie is touring with the cast Debbie Harry (vocals), Chris Stein (guitar, bass), Clem Burke (drums), Leigh Foxx (bass), Matt Katz-Bohlen (keyboards) and Tommy Kessler (guitar).
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Blondie Booking – Blondie Kontakt über Artist Relations Manager Stefan Lohmann
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