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PE.com - 6th December 2007

Deborah Harry still pushing boundaries

By PAUL SAITOWITZ
Special to The Press-Enterprise

Before Gwen, before Madonna, there was Deborah Harry. The striking blond frontwoman for new wave/punk amalgam Blondie may not have been the first starlet to use her looks, knack for style and talent to propel her band to stardom, but she was definitely one of the first. 

Today at 62, more than 30 years after Blondie's self-titled debut hit shelves, the singer, songwriter and sometimes actress is still pushing the boundaries. Her recently released fifth solo set, "Necessary Evil," is an eclectic collection of tunes unified by the singer's trademark vocals. 

"With Blondie, we always did a lot of different things ... reggae, punk, rock," she said over the phone. "This is kind of just a continuation of the way I've always written songs ... it's more fun to try different things." 

Harry spent a year and half working on "Necessary Evil," her first solo project in 14 years. Lead single "Two Times Blue" features a groovy rhythm that has landed the tune in the top five of Billboard's dance charts. Not bad for a sexagenarian. 

"You know, when I look back on what I have been able to accomplish in my career and on what I'm still doing I feel very lucky," she said. "I really couldn't ask for anything more." 

Harry's current tour began in early November and has been bringing out the Blondie faithful at every stop. However, if it's Blondie music they came to hear, they may leave disappointed. Harry has been sprinkling in just two of her band's tracks per night . Although the shows are focused on her work as a solo artist, she feels the vibe of her performances is the same her band's. The same can be said about her approach to songwriting. 

"I don't consciously think when I write whether a song is more suited for Blondie or for a solo album, I just write the way I've always written," Harry said. "Blondie has such a loyal fan base, and I think the reason people come to these shows is because it's still my voice and it's still a part of the sound." 

The response to her tour has been such that Harry is contemplating adding more dates in 2008. She's acting -- she has a supporting role in the upcoming film "Elegy," starring Penelope Cruz and Dennis Hopper -- and hopes to continue making movies. 

"I'm enjoying staying busy and doing what I love to do," she said. "You have to make a choice early on about which path you go down and I'm happy with what I've chosen."

Link: PE.com - 6th December 2007


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