NATIONAL Singles Register - October 20th 1989
Vol. 23 - No. 25 - Page 2
Our Cover Girl DEBORAH HARRY
Many people still associate Deborah Harry with her former band, even though "Def, Dumb and Blonde" is her third solo album, and Blondie hasn't recorded since 1982.
True, the group's significance had made the past tough to forget. Along with the Ramones, Talking Heads and others, Blondie shocked the music industry out of its late seventies slumber as pioneers in the New Wave era.
They managed to land four top 20 singles in the UK in 1978 alone. Stateside, Blondie racked up four No. 1 hits in their brief history, but chart success is only part of the story.
Blondie added rock respectability to the much maligned dance club scene in 1979 when "Heart of Glass" became No. 1 in virtually every country in the world. And, "Rapture" broke ground as one of the first rap records to succeed on pop radio (we're talking No. 1 in 1981).
Besides the fact that she sang all lead vocals and co-wrote most of Blondie's hits, Debbie Harry immediately became a true multi-media artist on her own terms.
She acted in a number of critically praised films (including "Videodrome," "Union City" and "Hairspray") and she wrote and sang several motion picture theme songs ("Scarface," "American Gigolo" and "Polyester").
She co-hosted "Andy Warhol's 15 Minutes" on MTV and her comments were featured on the jackets of books authored by cultural icons as diverse as Timothy Leary, John Waters and Iggy Pop.
Recently, Debbie's last solo album produced yet another international top 10 hit, "French Kissin' In the USA." Her role on the CBS season premier of "Wise Guy" feature her performance of the haunting ballad "Bright Side," which is included in "Def, Dumb and Blonde" in a remixed version by the legendary Arthur Baker.
So, although she has been chullin' through most of the late '80's, "Def, Dumb and Blonde" is proof enough that Debbie is definitely back. Naturally, songwriting partner Chris Stein is on board, and he and Debbie have come up with some of their strongest material ever.
Two songs were co-produced by Thompson Twin Tom Bailey, including the first single "I Want That Man," which is accompanied by a video directed by Mary Lambert (who has been causing a commotion with videos for most of Madonna's hits, including "Like A Prayer").
"Def, Dumb and Blonde" also reunited Debbie with Blondie producer Mike Chapman on several outstanding tracks, including "Maybe For Sure" and "He Is So." And, even though this is Debbie's first release for Sire Records, both the label and the artists have played such important roles in the New Wave/CBGB days that it feels like a reunion for us, too.
But, enough of the past.
Like Debbie says, "Here comes the 21st century..." so start spinning "Def, Dumb and Blonde" and have some fun getting there.