Look-in - 13th October 1979
They've been away from the headlines for a few months following their spectacular successes earlier in the year, but now they're back...
Carry On Dreaming
The group had a very busy month in September with the release of their fourth album Eat To The Beat and their ninth single Dreaming (backed by Sound Asleep).
There was quite a bit of celebrating in the Blondie camp, too, because Eat To The Beat is their first album release for a year following the phenomenally successful Parallel Lines (September 1978), and its release coincided with the news that Parallel Lines has made over 1 million UK sales, a 'platinum' in sales jargon of the record business.
The new album has again been produced by Mike Chapman, mastermind of all those distinctive-sounding hits by The Sweet a few years ago, and the man who put the finishing touches to Blondie's recent ones. Tracks include Eat To The Beat, Slow Motion, Die Young And Stay Pretty and Living In The Real World. Before the release of the album, everyone at Chrysalis Records and at the London offices of the group's agent was very excited about the prospect for the new offerings. Not surprisingly: the single Dreaming, which is also on the album, has been dominating the airwaves and Debbie & Co. are back in the limelight again.
The band has not been giving that many live performances recently. They had spent a long time on European tours - including one of Britain - and made it quickly to the top here with their sweet 'New Wave' sound. However, in America they were much slower to take off and have recently spent a great deal of time appearing on American television shows, where most of the music is pre-recorded. The only one who actually gets to play his instrument on these programmes is drummer Clem Burke: "You can't fake playing the drums," he says!
Although Blondie are delighted about the way they have now been accepted in the States, they always prefer live gigs on stage to the recorded studio performances of American television. One particular development for the group in the USA is the way that many record stations, especially the disco ones which would previously not touch any form of New Wave music, are giving them a great deal of airtime. As you may know, America has far, far more radio stations than we have here in Great Britain, and each tends to concentrate on a particular type of music - country, heavy metal, disco, easy-listening, etc.
Apart from a short promotional stint for Eat To The Beat, we will not, apparently, see Blondie in action in Britain until the early New Year, 1980. Then they will be doing a grand tour taking in all the major music centres throughout the country.
It's difficult to say anything new about Blondie, because their long European tours and final rise to the big time in the States have been pretty well documented - by us as much as anybody! But for any late converts to Blondie, the line-up is: Clem Burke (drums), Frank Infante (guitars), Jimmy Destri (keyboards), Chris Stein (guitars, songwriter, arranger and boyfriend of Debbie), Debbie Harry (of course) and the only British member, bassist Nigel Harrison. Harrison originally comes from Stockport, Lancashire, and joined Blondie in November 1977 after leaving a group called 'Nite City'.
It's usually Debbie Harry who gets most of the publicity within the band, and to listen to her and see her performing you can understand why. Of course, she's hardly the dumb blonde some make her out to be. She writes a great deal of material with her boyfriend, Chris Stein; for example they both wrote Dreaming. Debbie, in fact, has already stated her annoyance at the fact that many people are too busy looking at her to concentrate on the music. However, with sales of their records rocketing the way they are, it's obvious that people are not just looking at Ms. Harry.
Debbie has often been compared to that other photogenic blonde, Marilyn Monroe - and not just because of their looks, although they do indeed look alike in many photographs. Monroe was forever complaining that people would not take her seriously beyond her spectacular appearance, even though in her own right she sang and acted her way through some great movies in the 1950s and 60s, like Some Like It Hot, Niagara, The Prince And The Showgirl, Let's Make Love and The Seven Year Itch.
Nobody in their right mind, however, could compare Monroe's voice to that of Debbie Harry. Debbie has herself appeared in two movies now. The first was a re-make of Jean Luc Godard's Alphaville, which was co-directed by Chris Stein and the second, which was finished in America in June this year, is called Union City, a thriller set in the 1950s. The new album carries a great track called Union City Blues. A coincidence? There is no information at present on the rating or release dates for this new film, but it isn't likely, apparently, to appear in Britain for some time.
Life's not all film-making and recording glamour for Debbie, though - she recently surprised a British reporter in New York by making him wait while she went and scrubbed out the bath! Which just goes to show that Blondie really are cleaning-up the music scene right now...!
25 COPIES OF
'EAT TO THE BEAT'
MUST BE WON
That's right! In this week's exclusive album competition we're offering 25 copies of Blondie's latest offering, Eat To The Beat, as prizes. It contains twelve great new tracks, including their latest chart-busting single Dreaming.
ALL YOU HAVE TO DO to stand a chance of winning one of these fabulous LPs is to take a look at the five questions printed on the right and write your answers to them in the spaces provided on the coupon. Then send it, on a postcard only please, with your name, address and age completed, to: Look-in Blondie Competition, P.O. Box 141, London SE6 3HR. The senders of the first 25 all-correct entries drawn from the postbag after the closing date, Monday, 29th October, 1979, will each receive a copy of Eat To The Beat.
1. How many albums have Blondie released, including their latest?
2. Who is Blondie's drummer?
3. Name the latest film in which Debbie Harry appears.
4. Who is the only British member of Blondie?
5. Who produced Eat To The Beat?