WORDS - 1st November 1978

COVER STAR

BLONDIE are a household name, arguably the only new American group of '78. Riotous reactions, gold grooves & smash singles have elevated this 6-piece New York outfit to previously undreamt of heights. Blondie are not just a pretty face, they are DEBBIE HARRY on vocals, CHRIS STEIN on lead guitar, FRANK INFANTE on 2nd guitar, NIGEL HARRISON on bass, CLEMENT BURKE on drums & JAMES DESTRI on keyboards. The present line-up evolved in '75 & their recording contract was dealed in Oct. '76. Richard Gottehrer, who produced their debut LP "Blondie", gave the group its distinctive '60s sound that led to inevitable comparisons with Phil Spector. Keyboardist Jimmy 'Farfisa' Destri also singlehandedly spearheaded a revival of the much-vaunted Farfisa sound. Following their 1st LP, Blondie undertook their 1st UK tour, since when they've made the kind of conscious determined effort to conquer British fans that our bands adopt in reverse when they're out to slay American audiences. "Plastic Letters", their 2nd LP contained 2 hit singles "Denis" & "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear". So with "Denis" their 1st No. 1, 'Blondie Mania' spread throughout the country. Surprisingly, because they're based in New York, they always come over to 'plug' their new records in person, unlike many absent sensations.
Their current Autumn '78 tour was awaited with almost fanatical expectation & to go with it - a new album, "Parallel Lines" on Chrysalis CDL.1192, which was produced by Mike Chapman. The musicianship improved all the time, the songs likewise while Debbie's voice is in fine fettle. "Picture This", the single off the album, has already charted impressively. The uninitiated still rate Blondie a new wave band. This new LP should dispel that misapprehension. For Blondie play good contemporary rock 'n' roll, moreover they play it well! Therein lies the difference. Besides no punk outfit ever had a front lady who looks or sounds as good as Debbie Harry! So it looks like Blondie are going to have to keep coming over to add a spot of much-needed lustre to our pop scene.


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