What You're Not Listening To

What You're Not Listening To

The New Wave Tsunami

October 30, 2021

For our third show for Rocktober 2021, a band that seemed to do something only The Beatles did a decade prior: absorb all of their influences so well as to create their unique but highly recognizable sound that proved the leading light of a new form of Rock and Roll in the late 70's and early 80's, American band Blondie. #blondie #newwave #debbieharry #altrock #CBGB

Blondie are an American rock and roll group that formed in 1974, taking their name from the catcalling truck drivers would yell at the band's frontwoman. Centered around the core of vocalist Debbie Harry and her husband, Chris Stein, Blondie were originally a cult band and one of the many critical favorites of the CBGB’s music scene. They eventually became one of the biggest bands in the world by 1980, and easily the biggest success story ever to come out of the 1970’s club scene in New York City. 

Blondie in 1977. Left to right: Gary Valentine, Clem Burke, Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, and Jimmy Destri. Photo courtesy of Private Stock Records.

Their first album was on indie Private Stock records. Harry would go on to state that being on an independent didn't hold the cache it does today; it simply meant you didn't get paid. The band had saved up enough money to buy back their masters, and then signed with Chrysalis Records and were paired with one of the biggest producers of the decade, Mike Chapman, who was responsible for a slew of hits by British glam rock act Sweet. With the bands third album, Parallel Lines in late 1978, they would start a series of platinum recordings, including four #1 hits on the Billboard chart.

Cover to the Hardest Part single, 1979. Norman Seeff – photography and design, Billy Bass – art direction and John Van Hamersveld – typography and design. Courtesy of Chrysalis Records.

Their sound was a mix of 60’s pop, rock and roll, island music, the then emerging New Wave and American punk. Most of all, it reminded people why they loved Rock and Roll since the 1950’s: It was fun, and you could dance to it. They eventually also included disco and hip hop into the mix, and their unique, anything goes attitude still makes them sound fresh today. After 1982, the band broke up for over a decade and a half due to infighting, drug use, tax problems and poor ticket sales and declining album performances with The Hunter LP. Debbie Harry had an on-again, off-again solo career that took a back seat to her caring for her ill partner.

First Part

* The Hardest Part, 1979, Eat To The Beat* One Way Or Another, 1978, Parallel Lines* Rip Her To Shreds, 1976, Blondie* The Thin Line (demo), 1975, The Platinum Collection* The Tide is High, 1980, Autoamerican* Atomic, 1979, Eat To The Beat* Here's Looking At You, 1980, Autoamerican

Second Part

* Call Me, 1980, American Gigolo soundtrack* Heart Of Glass (remix), 1978, 12" single A-side* X Offender (single mix), 1976, "In The Flesh" B-side* Island of Lost Souls, 1982, The Hunter* Detroit 442, 1977, Plastic Letters* The Attack of the Giant Ants, 1976, Blondie


* Rapture, 1980, Autoamerican

Love to you all.

Ben “Daddy Ben Bear” Brown Jr. Host, Show Producer, Webmaster, Audio Engineer, Researcher, Videographer and Writer

Instagram: brownjr.benTwitter: @BenBrownJuniorLinkedIn: benbrownjuniorDesign Site: