Prime 20 Blondie songs – Basic Pop Journal15 min read


Top 20 Blondie songs
Prime 20 greatest Blondie songs

Encompassing storage rock, disco, energy pop, reggae and rap, there’s no scarcity of kinds to select from when compiling a listing of the perfect Blondie songs. Our choice consists of the entire band’s six UK No.1 hits along with some killer album tracks. By Jacob Wilson

After we chatted with Rubbish’s Shirley Manson, she politely declined to offer us her favorite Blondie observe, explaining how so lots of their creations held a novel place in her reminiscence. After we floated the identical query round buddies and colleagues, we have been met with an analogous response. It’s honest sufficient. Blondie have been (and nonetheless are) a uncommon phenomenon.


No different band on the time offered such a distinctly pop, but really uber-cool, exit from the crude, constrictive flash of punk, for a generation seeking melody, experimentation and a brand new aesthetic to admire. However greater than that, theirs is a really enviable chemistry, and one which, regardless of the hiccups and fallouts, has endured intact to the current day, and blossomed.

There are, after all, loads of prime cuts lacking right here, with honours going to early stomp The Hardest Half, Eat To The Beat that includes Clem at his energetic best, the fizzing punk pop of Dwelling In The Actual World, and the deliciously deadpan I’m On E. The Hunter’s misty-eyed ode, English Boys, deserves props, as does the band’s summery cowl of Beirut’s Sunday Smile, a surprise within the catalogue.

Additionally absent are No Exit’s creeping, part-spoken-word gem Double Take, and the driving Nothing Is Actual However The Lady, plus Pollinator’s Doom Or Future made with punk modern Joan Jett. There’s so many highs of their catalogue that we’ll little question have you ever screaming on the display screen… 

Nonetheless, right here’s our Prime 20 Blondie tunes. Tell us yours!


20  Fade Away And Radiate, Parallel Traces (1978)

On this Parallel Traces epic, Debbie strays from Hollywood glamourpuss – a coquettish Marilyn Monroe – to craving 60s balladeer evoking rose-tinted imagery of city nights, “Wrapped like sweet in a blue, blue neon glow” over rung-out chords. “My dream is on the display screen” purrs our main girl over a soundtrack that flits cleverly from minimalist to widescreen, woven along with the assistance of visitor guitarist Rober Fripp, to evoke the ebb and move of cinematic narrative – sonic quirks that will later present gasoline for well-known followers similar to Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood and Thom Yorke. A unusually apt reggae outro closes out the observe.

19  Good Boys, The Curse Of Blondie (2003)

The only satellite tv for pc unlinked from eighth album The Curse Of Blondie is considerably of a forgotten excessive, deserving of much more consideration than it will get. Debbie’s lyrical homage to Queen’s We Will Rock You dropped in the midst of the observe nearly landed them in scorching water, however all was effectively and the one managed a wholesome UK No.12 putting, serving to the album to claw its manner into the Prime 40. The Jonas Åkerlund-directed circus-themed video was nearly as good because it sounds, and usually slick remixes may be discovered on the two-CD set from Name Me-collaborator Giorgio Moroder (take a look at the prolonged combine for the total expertise) and Scissor Sisters.


18 (I’m Alway Touched By Your) Presence, Pricey, Plastic Letters (1977)

Penned by soon-to-be-ex-bassist Gary Valentine about his girlfriend Lisa Jane Persky and their seemingly telepathic connection and the “paranormal experiences” he had together with her, Presence, Pricey effortlessly charms because of a easy, upbeat chord sample, and a neat mixture of Debbie’s double-tracked vocals. It was Clem that satisfied the band to file the track regardless of the very fact Valentine was gone, and his galloping fills run wild, whereas Jimmy and Chris preserve it easy. From this, it’s straightforward to see how Blondie’s melodic recipe offered a blueprint for later retro-loving guitar bands similar to The Strokes. 

17 In The Flesh, Blondie (1976)

Blondie stood out from the crowded New York punk scene because of their out-of-step obsession with previous innocence and nostalgia, with Debbie’s indifferent magnetism including a recent edge. It might not have chimed with the cool youngsters on the time, nevertheless it’s since been hailed as a excessive level of their self-titled 1976 album. This, their second Non-public Inventory single, summoned the entire key substances that will later outline their future fame: demure 60s girl-group swoon and jukebox romance, juxtaposing these harmless pop hooks with a disarming story. Debbie, as at all times, supplies a window into the longer term, using the road between street-smarts and supreme femininity. A No.2 hit down below.

16 X Offender, Blondie (1976)

Described by its co-writer Gary Valentine at Blondie’s quite awkward Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame induction because the track that “bought us the file deal within the first place.” This story of forbidden union betwixt a name woman and her arresting officer takes us by the scruff of the neck and drags us to the Bowery. Initially titled ‘Intercourse Offender’, however toned down by the band’s label, this was the punked-up new wave romp chosen to open their debut self-titled assortment. Beneath producer Richard Gottehrer’s guiding hand, Jimmy Destri’s playful riffing organ, Clem’s faultless rhythm, Chris Stein’s surfy solo, and a few candy harmonies as soon as extra set pop savvy in opposition to the extra salubrious subject material.

15 Dreaming, Eat To The Beat (1979)

The texture-good vibes of this power-pop ballad nonetheless maintain courtroom at this time: “Dreaming is free,” Harry croons within the refrain of the lead single from Eat To The Beat, a line dreamed up by Chris Stein, with Harry finishing the remainder of the lyrics round it. Inspiration got here from Euro-pop, and the passing resemblance to a sure Swedish four-piece hovers within the background. “Dreaming is just about a cop of Dancing Queen,” Stein admitted to Leisure Weekly. “Lots of occasions it’s the rhythm observe that means what the lyric goes to be,” added Harry, and it’s Clem Burke’s thunderous drums that invigorate the track, as Debbie meditates on the fantasy of fame and a life freed from its trappings.

14  The Tide Is Excessive, Autoamerican (1980)

Chosen as lead single from Blondie’s fifth album Autoamerican, this delectable cowl model of Kingston trio The Paragons’ 1967 rocksteady obscurity was found by Debbie on a compilation given her in London. Beneath producer Mike Chapman’s path, with veteran composer Jimmie Haskell offering the string and horn association, the observe shot to No.1 on either side of the Atlantic. Very like the then-alien sounds of rap delivered to the fore by the band for Autoamerican’s different massive hit single, Rapture, The Tide Is Excessive introduced the equally peripheral sounds of Jamacian rocksteady to the eye of the typical American. 

13 Detroit 442, Plastic Letters (1978)

The CBGB grit and youthful starvation was nonetheless palpable on second album Plastic Letters, no extra so than on the pummelling visceral punk guitars and sneering vocal of Detroit 442 – taking its title from the Oldsmobile 442, the notorious American muscle automotive. Stein and Destri concocted this chorded, whammy-happy, organ-fuelled street anthem, whereas Clem’s thumping beat supplies the ever-present spine. Debbie snarls, “Really feel scorching to go like Jimmy O” (a reference to touring companion Iggy Pop’s actual title) amidst bleak imagery of concrete factories and meeting traces – it’s clear that that is the uncooked, unedited early Blondie in full impact.

12 Image This, Parallel Traces (1978)

“All I would like is a room with a view” – for what seems a straight-up musical love letter to boyfriend Chris, Debbie’s lyrics (for producer Mike Chapman “elusive and exquisite”) have been introduced vividly to life with assist from Jimmy and Chris himself. Right here, the trio solid a stone-cold Blondie basic that lightly binds all the important thing substances that made Parallel Traces so good: cascading girl-group melodrama, New York fashion, and a faint echo of the band’s punk previous. The lead single from the album, Image This wasn’t issued within the US, nevertheless it narrowly missed the UK Prime 10, Mick Rock’s provocative sleeve picture that includes Debbie licking a vinyl including additional attract.

11  Rip Her To Shreds, Blondie (1976/77)

This, the primary single on Chrysalis, has been deciphered as an assault on press remedy of ladies, a roasting of Sid Vicious’ different half Nancy Spungen (because the ‘Miss Groupie Supreme’ of the lyrics) and, as Debbie defined, a illustration of the scene on the time. “It’s so soiled and menacing,” Harry advised Leisure Weekly. “That’s what the New York scene was like. There was toughness, however a whole lot of affection as effectively.” Chris’ guitar rides the wild surf, whereas Jimmy brings his Farfisa organ hook, with Debbie each suave and road on the mic. The label famously supported the one with that notorious poster bearing the slogan: “Wouldn’t you want to tear her to shreds?” – a lot to Debbie’s disdain.

10 Sunday Lady, Parallel Traces (1978)

“I do know a lady from a lonely road/ Chilly as ice cream however nonetheless as candy” – it will appear that inside the indifferent romanticism painted right here that Debbie was someway describing her personal indefinable magnetism however, in actual fact, this 1979 single supposedly involved itself with a runaway pet cat – Sunday Man – owned by Harry and Stein. Written by Chris, this continued the profitable 60s harmony-meets-new wave blueprint, because the follow-up to cross-Atlantic mega-hit Coronary heart Of Glass, and managed to win the No.1 spot within the UK, plus Prime 10 placings in numerous different European territories. As Melody Maker’s Harry Doherty declared on the time, this actually was “pop excellence”.

9 One Means Or One other, Parallel Traces (1978)

In a manner it’s the watermark that proves the overriding high quality of Blondie. As absolutely one of many band’s best-loved tracks, it’s unbelievable to assume it didn’t even make UK single standing. However when seen in context, housed as it’s inside a set of such high quality as Parallel Traces, it turns into simpler to grasp. It’s one other so as to add friction by putting pop savvy alongside darker themes, this one being a couple of stalker: “I used to be really stalked by a nutjob,” Harry advised Leisure Weekly. “So it got here out of a not-so-friendly private occasion. I attempted to inject slightly levity into it to make it extra lighthearted.” Loads of others have had a crack at this one, together with a Debbie Harry-approved model by One Path.

8  Denis, Plastic Letters (1978)

Blondie had their first style of correct chart success breaking via throughout Europe with their second Chrysalis single, a teenage love lament commandeered from doo-woppers Randy and The Rainbows, who’d discovered some success with it in 1963. Cleverly recast for his or her viewers, and with the gender switched, Denis rose to No.2 within the UK, solely stored from final chart glory by Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights – a noble opposition if ever there was one. “Debbie sang a part of it in French,“ defined producer Richard Gottehrer. “I didn’t even know if the French was actual, nevertheless it turned their first hit within the UK. Center America didn’t care.”

7  Union Metropolis Blue, Eat To The Beat

Union Metropolis Blue revisits Debbie’s previous occasions as a go-go dancer in Union Metropolis, New Jersey, through a legendary romance story of energy and keenness, set to an expansive dream-pop skyline dreamt up by Debbie with then-bassist Nigel Harrison. Its video provides color to the scene conjured within the lyrics with the band acting on the Union Metropolis docks, Debbie in mirrored shades, a uncommon second during which she’s slinging a guitar. The one wasn’t launched within the States, however managed a wholesome No.13 within the UK, and has since appeared in Oliver Stone’s 1981 horror movie The Hand, in addition to being lined by quite a few hip indie youngsters.

6  Rapture, Autoamerican (1980)

At first we have been slightly doubtful, as Debbie rapped about males from Mars and all that consuming of vehicles and bars, it kind of broke her mystique to a younger music fan listening within the 90s, utterly acclimatised to rap and hip hop. It at all times appeared totally weird that this was the primary ‘rap’ track to make it to No.1. However, ’tis true, we heard it out of context. In any case, it was given the seal of approval by the rap faces of the time, buddies from the New York block events frequented by Debbie and Chris – plus Wu Tang Clan have since mentioned it was the primary that they had heard of rap. Its significance within the emergence of the entire rap and hip hop scene can’t be ignored.

Learn extra: Making Blondie’s Parallel Traces

Learn extra: Blondie – Pollinator evaluate

5  Hanging On The Phone, Parallel Traces (1978)

Opening Blondie’s breakthrough third album Parallel Traces, this irresistible confection of two minutes 17 seconds of pure sugary punk-pop instantly resulted in an immovable earworm for anybody with ears. It might have been a straight-down-the-middle gender-flipped remake of a track reduce by short-lived Cali punk outfit The Nerves (proper all the way down to the ringing phone that begins the observe), however Blondie and producer Mike Chapman pushed it seamlessly into the mainstream with no lack of cool.

Chapman was put in to make sure that the pop hooks have been proper up entrance for Parallel Traces, however nowhere else is it extra evident than proper right here, its fizzing refrain capturing “that magical Ronettes-like poppiness”, enthused Melody Maker’s Harry Doherty on the time. Hanging On The Phone turned Blondie’s lift-off second within the UK, effortlessly  piercing the Prime 5, in addition to being a reasonable hit Europe-wide – even when it did fall on deaf ears within the US. Boo.

4  Maria, No Exit (1999)

Over 15 years had handed when Blondie lastly regrouped for what has bought to be essentially the most easy return made by any group within the historical past of pop. This immediate basic – Jimmy Destri-penned – single confirmed the world that comebacks can really feel utterly uncontrived and totally pure. It was, to make use of a well-worn cliché, just like the Blondie of previous had by no means gone away, and Maria was really up there with one in all their profession best.

With lustful, however loving lyrics about Destri’s childhood sweetheart, Maria bottled their heyday essence, whereas sounding totally snug the place it was, in 1999. The track was UK No.1, a feat they’d now achieved throughout three many years. “The band was conscious that our comeback had some momentum, however to have a No.1 was a pleasing shock,” admitted Harry. “Maria is perhaps our most pleasing No.1 for that motive.” Neglect about nice comeback singles, that is one in all the nice singles. 

3  Atomic, Eat To The Beat (1979)

A signature Blondie observe that got here collectively through the Eat To The Beat classes by completely happy accident quite than by any form of design, third single Atomic was the product of Jimmy Destri’s constant, but failed, makes an attempt to recreate a track in the identical vein as their triumphant mega-hit Coronary heart of Glass. Fortunately, issues took a fortuitous upturn when, as Debbie remembered, “he gave it the spaghetti-western remedy” – and when she added her lyrics. Concurrently each super-fun and super-cool, with the required hooks nailed in place, Atomic climbed swiftly
to the summit of the UK charts, earlier than returning to the UK Prime 20 some 15 years later, in 1994, when the observe slipped in at No.19 because of a P Diddy remix. Producer Xenomania additionally deftly reworked Atomic for The Very Finest Of Blondie a couple of years on.

2  Call Me, American Gigolo (1980)

By the point of this 1980 Giorgio Moroder collaboration, Blondie have been on a roll. Debbie, particularly, was significantly scorching property. Only one 12 months earlier, Coronary heart Of Glass had stormed to No.1 within the UK and US and elevated the band to Rolling Stone cowl stars. Moroder initially had his sights set on Stevie Nicks to assist write and sing the tune for Paul Schrader’s thriller American Gigolo however, with Nicks busy, Debbie stepped up for what would find yourself one of many coolest get-togethers in pop historical past. The backing observe was reduce in LA, earlier than Blondie added their elements in New York. It was then again to LA, the place Moroder finessed the entire, including a keyboard solo from Harold Faltermeyer, of Axel F. fame. A No.1 smash in each the UK and the US.

1  Heart Of Glass, Parallel Traces (1978)

Blondie’s disco-pop basic originated way back to 1974, from a pre-Blondie composition written by Debbie and Chris entitled As soon as I Had A Love, aired reside as ‘The Disco Track’. It was a last-minute addition to Parallel Traces, because of producer Mike Chapman fishing for extra materials. Fortunately, he recognised potential and ran with the concept. Chris Stein remembered: “We have been considering extra about Kraftwerk than disco by that time”, maybe the explanation they acquired a state-of-the-art Roland CR-78 drum machine earlier than recording – described by Debbie as “this little rhythm field that went ‘tikka-tikka-tikka’”.

This new machine offered the syncopated intro earlier than Clem’s stable disco groove met Jimmy Destri’s silky Roland SH-5 textures. Debbie, in the meantime, captured that aloof city-cool. Coronary heart Of Glass conjured visions of the altering NYC backdrop that meant a lot to the band all through their historical past. The one was an absolute triumph, stealing No.1 in each the UK and the US, and promoting over 1,000,000 in each. Disco-pop perfection.

Did you get pleasure from our checklist of the perfect Blondie songs? What’s your favorite? Inform us within the feedback part beneath.

Learn extra: The Lowdown – Blondie & Debbie Harry

Learn extra: Debbie Harry interview



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