by Yonah Paley
*Updated on 05/09/2017 to include Pollinator
Blondie has always been punk, but not for the reasons you would expect. While their song structures have always leaned in poppy, synthy directions, it’s the attitude of bandleader and singer Deborah Harry that truly gives Blondie the punk distinction. She gives zero fucks about what anybody else thinks, and carries the music in a charismatic, fun way. Whether bluntly saying “I like this” or “I don’t like this,” or singing about being stalked (“One Way or Another”), Harry brings a sort of charming chutzpah to the music.
Although the band’s second half of their career is pretty weak, the first half (particularly the masterpiece Parallel Lines) is enough to anoint “great artist” status to Blondie. Deborah Harry, aided by an ensemble of talented musicians and producers, is responsible for some timely, catchy hit singles. Whenever “Heart of Glass” comes on the radio, you can bet I’ll be getting off my couch to dance.
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