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  out of 4

Artist: Blondie
Genre: Rock
Release Date: September 2001

Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
No rating supplied

Blondie is one of those groups you never forget once you hear that first song. How can you forget the image of a platinum blonde ala Marilyn Monroe strutting her stuff on stage backed by a cool rock band? When listening to this music today it's hard to see how they exactly fit in with the uprising punk scene at CBGB's and Max's Kansas City in the late seventies. I think they had more of punk attitude than sound. They fit in well because of they way they looked and what they presented on stage. They were more new wave and pop than anything else. What I heard was great rock and roll music played in different styles to echo the times. Blondie could play rock; disco, movie science fiction, reggae, rap, or whatever hat you wanted them to wear, they wore it well. They entertained themselves quite well by playing what interested them. It was a magically formula that worked like a charm.

This remastered version of the 1976 self-titled debut "Blondie" has five quality bonus tracks to enjoy along with the original release, which sounds better than ever. 'X Offender' which originally was titled 'Sex Offender' (they dropped the X to make it more radio friendly if you can believe that), was their first single off the album. That one song launched an enormously successful career that was to last for several years. Then 'In The Flesh', which had hints of doo-woop, broke big in Australia. So while the band was trying to conquer America they were beginning to take overseas countries by storm. This was only the beginning of something much bigger.

The liner notes by producer Richard Gotteher give some good insight into the early days of the group. Some great shots of Deborah Harry, the lead singer, are provided as well. She looked sexy but tough, which was just the right look for the scene they making their name in.

You know why Blondie was such a great band? Not just because they had an attractive lead singer with charisma, they played music that people could relate to on all levels. They took the best of every decade from the fifties up to the time the recorded and made their own sound from that. That is more than apparent to me while listening to this first album. Give it a spin, and then another, and you will see exactly what I mean. Not only were they a great band, they were very smart.

1. X Offender (Harry/Valentine) - 3:14
2. Little Girl Lies (Harry) - 2:07
3. In the Flesh (Harry/Stein) - 2:33
4. Look Good in Blue (Destri) - 2:55
5. In the Sun (Stein) - 2:39
6. A Shark in Jets Clothing (Destri) - 3:39
7. Man Overboard (Harry) - 3:22
8. Rip Her to Shreds (Harry/Stein) - 3:22 9. Rifle Range (Stein/Toast) - 3:41
10. Kung Fu Girls (Destri/Harry/Valentine) - 2:33
11. The Attack of the Giant Ants (Stein) - 3:34
12. Out in the Streets [*demo version] (Barry/Greenwich) - 2:20
13. The Thin Line [*demo version] (Harry/Stein) - 2:16
14. Platinum Blonde [*demo version] (Harry) - 2:12
15. X Offender [*Private Stock Single Version] (Harry/Valentine) - 3:13
16. In the Sun [Private Stock Single Version] (Stein) - 2:38



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