* The Curse of Blondie is the band's eighth studio album and eleventh album including "best of" and live discs. * Enhanced with video for the first single, "Good Boys," directed by Jonas Ackerlund (Madonna?s "Ray Of Light... more »" and "Music," The Cardigans "My Favorite Game").« less
* The Curse of Blondie is the band's eighth studio album and eleventh album including "best of" and live discs. * Enhanced with video for the first single, "Good Boys," directed by Jonas Ackerlund (Madonna?s "Ray Of Light" and "Music," The Cardigans "My Favorite Game").
"If there's a curse on reformed punk band Blondie, then their second reunion album sure doesn't suffer from it. "Curse of Blondie" manages the unique quality that most reunion albums lack: It makes us think of their older stuff, while still having fresh, new material. "Curse" opens on a shaky note, with Harry attempting again to rap in the vaguely sexy "Shakedown." It's not bad, merely silly. Then Blondie gets its footing again with irresistable new wave dance rock (the cool, smooth "Good Boys," "Golden Rod"), a bit of jazzy pop (the sensual closers to the album, "Desire Brings Me Back" and "Songs of Love") and solid ballads ("Magic (Asadoya Yunta) "). A particular high point is "Hello Joe," an ode to Joey Ramone ("I know the sight and sound of you/won't be erased").When older bands get back together, usually they just play their older songs, or new ones that nobody likes. Blondie kicks that tradition on its head. This collection of songs has that old New York spirit of the 70s. It has the right amount of color and cool, while also being more cohesive than the first comeback album, "No Exit."Rough basslines, strong guitar and quirky lyrics are what really rule this album. "Curse of Blondie" is blessed with unique lyrics like "We lit up fireflies/we kissed on New Year's Night/We changed the century," and a bunch of stuff like magnetic seas, sparks, insane gods and "I feel your pull like the moon." Time hasn't really changed Harry's voice -- still throaty, still flexible. But now her voice has a new maturity and assurance, tinged with humor.It has the spirit of older Blondie material, and the polish of a veteran band who still has what counts. Whatever the "Curse of Blondie" is, it doesn't appear to have hit the second comeback album. Vivid, sharp and very together."
Wild About Harry...Debbie, That Is
Steven Housman | West Hollywood, CA & Miami, FL | 09/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm just wild about Debbie Harry. I was thrilled that her band Blondie reunited in 1999, for their critically acclaimed album, No Exit and their Top 10 Rock Single, "Maria." I'm even more ecstatic that it wasn't a one time reunion and tour. Five years have passed, and come April 6, Blondie returns with a new CD, The Curse of Blondie, on Sanctuary Records.
The Curse of Blondie is the band's eighth studio album and the most musically adventurous of their long and phenomenal career. The 14 tracks are a virtual potpourri, ranging from pop, hard rock, new wave, jazz and reggae. At 58, Harry's vocals have never been better, and the band sounds as healthy, if not better, than most of the up-and-coming "new" bands of today. "Good Boys," the first single released to radio and clubs, carries that unmistakable Blondie "sound" and the upcoming remixes will undoubtedly be a club favorite.
Other highlights on Curse include "Shakedown," a perfect blend of R&B and hip-hop that carries the weight of Blondie's older material while easily keeping up with the new millennium. "Undone" and "Golden Rod," are the hardest rock tracks on the disc, and a flashback to their roots when they were considered the new "new wave" band. The reggae influenced "Rules For Living" and "Background Melody (The Only One)" are two welcomed back-to-back tracks midway through the album. "Hello Joe" is an infectious pop song tribute to friend Joey Ramone, who died of cancer in 2001 at the age of 49. Joey's group, The Ramones, often played the same bill at New York's famed CBGB's, among several other New York underground clubs back in the mid-seventies. The two closing tracks, "Desire Brings Me Back" and "Songs of Love" are jazz-tinged ballads that are among the best songs ever written and performed by Blondie. They showcase their amazing versatility and depth at this "jazz" sound, which has only been hinted at in the past. They are gorgeous, lush, rich numbers that makes one yearn for an entire album of this material. Debbie can you hear me?
How did they come up with the album title The Curse of Blondie? `It's been a standing joke for years," says Debbie Harry, "Every time something weird would happen we would say, `It's the Curse of Blondie.' A lot of people take it seriously, but it's silly. It's sort of a Vincent Price, horror movie type title. I think it's lucky."
In 1982, just four years after Blondie first hit the charts with the album Plastic Letters and finished four studio albums later with The Hunter, Blondie called it quits. Harry had several offers for film roles, and she took advantage of a few gems, including a role in the John Waters 1988 hit Hairspray. She also appeared several episodes of the TV series Wiseguy. Overall, Harry has appeared in close to 40 films over the past 28 years. Madonna wasn't the first bleached blonde superstar. Many remember Debbie Harry leading the pack, and she still has a loyal fan base to that dares you to tell them differently.
Here's how it all began. Deborah Harry was born on July 1, 1945 in Miami, Florida. She was adopted at three months and raised by the Harry family in Hawthorne, New Jersey. In the '60s she worked as a Playboy Bunny and hung out at Max's Kansas City, a famous Warhol-inhabited nightclub. Her professional singing career started in 1968 with a folk band called "Wind In The Willows." She sang backup on their first (and only) album. In 1973, she met Chris Stein who became her long-time boyfriend. They created Blondie in 1974 after they both were in the Stilettos, a theatrical "girl group" band. Blondie struggled for a few years, and then went on to be one of the most successful bands of the late '70s and early '80s. Their hits began with the release of their first single, "Heart of Glass." Not only did "Heart of Glass" shoot straight to #1, it also became one of the all-time disco anthems of the era. The song is still highly recognized and used in several dance reissues, countless films, and television commercials. Other hits include "One Way Or Another," Dreaming," "The Tide Is High," Rapture" and the blockbuster song "Call Me" (which spent close to two months at the pole position) from the blockbuster Richard Gere film American Gigolo. After Blondie broke up in 1982, Deborah released five solo albums, including her first, Koo Koo, and my favorite, Def, Dumb & Blonde. Always considered a stunning woman, she also was asked to be in a few commercials that included Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans and Revlon. She's been a tireless supporter of many Gay Rights Organizations and has done many benefit shows in support of AIDS charities, a Broadway show (Teaneck Tanzai), poetry readings, and been one of the most notorious characters in the New York downtown scene.
At the very beginning of her singing career, the name of her band was originally called "Angel and the Snakes," but she changed the name to "Blondie" after the countless whistles and screams from truck drivers who would yell out the window at her when she was walking down the street, "Hey! Blondie!" She dug it and the name stuck.
At the height of their fame in 1981, Blondie's video for their hit song "Rapture" featured a cameo appearance of New York artist/Andy Warhol disciple Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose life was portrayed in the 1996 film Basquiat. In 1981 "Harper's Bazaar" named her to their 10 Most Beautiful Women in America list.
In a nutshell, this brings us up-to-date on Harry's career. If you're a fan of Harry, you'll love this CD. If you're not familiar with Harry (don't even tell me who you are!) I urge you to give a listen to this pioneer. I can't believe it's exactly 25 years ago this week that "Heart of Glass" hit #1. Do yourself a favor and celebrate Blondie's silver anniversary of their first chart-topper with this magnificent new album. You won't be disappointed. Trust me.
By the way, Debbie Harry has been Ranked #12 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll. Just thought you'd like to know. See you at the record store!
Todd A. Johnson | Lakeland, Florida | 04/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are either a die-hard fan, or just a casual listener, you should have this album. It's a masterpiece! It perfectly balances the commercial side of PARALLEL LINES and the experimental side of EAT TO THE BEAT into their best album ever!
The first single "Good Boys" takes the dance trend that started with "Heart Of Glass" and shows that before Kylie, there was Blondie. It's an earworm that will infect your head and demand replay to soothe the itch.
And if you are wondering what inspired the current wave of Pop-punk, you need look no further than "Undone". It has the macho guitar growl of Good Charlotte, and the lyrical fun of Blink 182. This is not them stealing from today's artists. Blondie has always been eclectic, mixing serious straight-ahead rock and dance with a silly playfulness that clearly reflects their days of working along side The Ramones and Talking Heads back in the days of CBGB's.
Also harking back to their darkside on PLASTIC LETTERS, is "The Last One In The World". After hearing this song, you'll understand why both Shirley Manson of Garbage and Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit express their gratitude for Blondie's influence.
Jimmy Destri again proves that 'Blondie is a group' by providing the incredibly touching ballad "Rules For Living", a song about love that never dies.
They also remind us that no other band truly loves music as much as they do; embracing Jazz ("Desire Brings Me Back"), Rap ("Shakedown"), and now Japanese Folk music ("Magic(Asadoya Yunta)"). Truly, Blondie are the best thing that ever happened to Rock-n-Roll, and with this album, might just have made themselves the best thing that ever happened to music, period."
I "get" this CD.
R. Mogill | 08/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a long time Blondie fan (starting in '79) and I can simply say that a "smart" band will please most ears. The music is as good as ever. Yes, tastes are subjective... However, this isn't mindless pop like we've heard a lot of in the last several years.
I think this CD is well worth the cash. And, the first song is really quite a riot. Hey, it's all about having fun. Read the back "cover" of Blondie's first CD. Listen to some of their music..., and you'll "get" it, too."
Give it a chance.
Mark Lahren | Bismarck, North Dakota USA | 05/01/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, I'll admit it. The first time through this CD was disappointing to say the least. This is partly because I keep expecting them to return to their 1970's style and I thought "It's not here, dammit!" What's strange is that with repeated listenings it becomes very clear that their roots are indeed present here, along with a pleasant evolution of the band. You get the best of both worlds here. So if you listened to it once and are prepared to immediately shelve it after that initial listen, all I can say is be patient. Wait a couple of days and play it again. It only took me twice to appreciate this. Your mileage may vary. It's still not my favorite Blondie album, but my opinion of it has completely turned around since my first listen."