Video World - January 1982 - Page 60
Written by: Steven Littlejohns
THE BEST OF BLONDIE
Distributed by Chrysalis Video on VHS/Beta at £29.95
The Best of Blondie tape has been cunningly put together by the video
division of Chrysalis Records by stringing together a series of video
demonstration tapes which, presumably, they just happened to have on hand at the
They have, nonetheless, gone to it with a vengeance, and produced a tape of
impressive quality on both the technical and creative sides, the enjoyment of
which really depends on whether you can site through an uninterrupted hour of
Blondie music. I might venture to suggest that such a prospect is repetitive to
the point of boredom, but I realise there is a danger of getting mobbed by
hoardes of drooling fans if I do. After all, Chrysalis sold enough LP records
which consisted of just that, so why not a video?
All Blondie hits of any consequence are on the tape and, however similar to one
another they may sound, they certainly do not look the same. The creative
department has really done us proud here, and the group performs in every
imaginable setting - from a dry dock to being suspended in space against a
background of stars, watched by one of the characters from Star Wars. The camera
work is good, and the various performances well stage-managed.
It is the bits in between the songs that leave quite a lot to be desired. For
reasons which are never quite clear, the producers have chosen to link the music
with brief glimpses of a New York taxi driver making his way through the streets
at night. The tracks following these bits are introduced through a variety of
excuses, none of which are very impressive. These irrelevant and often
incomprehensible snatches actually have the effect of disjointing the action
rather than making it hang together more smoothly, which is presumably what they
were intended to do.
The opening few tracks are quite entertaining - they are taken from the group's
early days, and the male members look like a batch of cloned Beatle look-alikes
- a style which does not quite seem to fit in with that of the music; Ms Harry,
on the other hand, does not seem to have changed a bit over the
however-many-years-it-is, either in personal appearance or mode of dress.
The tape quality is reasonable and, if we ignore for a moment the irritating
presence of the taxi driver, it must be said that this is a very nicely produced
60 minutes - if you like that sort of thing. Nevertheless, each to his own, and
no doubt it will go down well with the Blondie fans... wherever they may be.