Daily Mail - Monday 8th February 1999

Blondie, back at No 1 after 17 years in the wilderness

YEARS after most followers of the pop scene had consigned them to history, Blondie stormed back to the top of the charts last night. The single Maria became their sixth number one, 17 years after their last hit. The band, fronted by singer Debbie Harry, now 54, had 13 top 20 hits between 1978 and 1982 and sold 40 million albums worldwide. Between early 1979 and late 1980, the New York group were one of the biggest names in pop's New Wave, clocking up five British number ones - Heart of Glass, Sunday Girl, Atomic, Call Me and The Tide is High. Other hits included Denis, (I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence Dear, Picture This, Hanging on the Telephone and Union City Blue. However, internal tensions plus a serious illness to guitarist Chris Stein - Miss Harry's long-term partner - led to them splitting up in 1982. Miss Harry nursed Stein back to health from a rare skin disease while launching a solo career which included the 1989 hit I Want That Man. She sang with the Jazz Messengers and also appeared in films and plays. A much-publicised reunion last year saw Blondie play a sell-out European tour. Their comeback album, No Exit, is due out later this month.

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