Style icon Debbie Harry turns 72 today (July 1), and is in the heat of promoting and touring her latest release with Blondie, ‘Pollinator’.
Dressed in black and yellow ‘Save The Bees’ inspired costume, she took to London’s Hyde Park Stage yesterday as part of the events of British Summer Time in the capital. She remains at the forefront of fashion in pop music, just as she did in 1974 when she joined Chris Stein to form what is now arguably the most famous new wave group of all time; Blondie.
Countless hits from their discography remain popular now, Blondie toured Australia and New Zealand with Cyndi Lauper earlier this year and has jetted from the UK back to the US to take their new album ‘Pollinator’ round the country. But how has she, and Blondie fared over the years? Lets take a sample to soundtrack your Saturday night…
The first track of the first Blondie album, in true Debbie Harry fashion is the story of walking the thin line of the law in search of romance. The song was supposedly first called ‘Sex Offender’, but that was far too explicit of course.
The 1978 song, considering it wasn’t wrote specifically for Harry and co. tells a lot about her as an artist. The verse sung in ‘French’ mid-way through the track was intended to be grammatically correct, Harry however preferred the incorrect pronunciation and the ‘pidgin French’ was born.
Heart of Glass
One of the most famous intros of all time, Heart of Glass is a floor-filler all over the world. The confession of naivety in love runs through the veins of this song. The amount of Mothers-to-be swirling round Fathers-to-be on the dance floor in 1978 doesn’t bear thinking about, we’ll move on…
The second song on the list from the 5-star album ‘Parallel Lines’, and more French. A happier and more upbeat track that is supposedly about Debbie and Chris’ cat, or something…
A year later, the pounding drums of Dreaming create the Blondie sound that puts this one up there with my favourites. Dream, dream, even for a little while…
Fast-forward to 1999, but that same tempo dominates ‘Maria’, more lust combined with the slight touch of wedding bells creates another ode to women. Nevertheless, her voice has kept the strength to pull of that chorus again and again. Time for some Jamie Theakston 1999 Top of The Pops.
Yep, one from 2017. The tenth track from this years’ ‘Pollinator’ does feature a 70s and 80s keyboard sound, and those same romantic lyrics, but it falls a touch short.
There we have it, 7 songs that sum up the career of Debbie Harry with Blondie. Style, attitude, bags of quality, even if the latest album isn’t awe-inspiring.