Blondie came up in the New York punk scene, made the transition to New Wave, brought hip-hop to the pop masses, and even danced with disco for a while.
That constant push for innovation, along with their irrepressible melodies and singer Debbie Harry’s chesty croon, has kept the band cool for over 30 years.
Still foxy at 66, Harry talked to EW about the stories behind some of her band’s most iconic hits, as well as the one behind the current single from the just-released Panic of Girls.
“Rip Her to Shreds” (1976)
“Chris [Stein] and I were big fans of the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed, and that has a very threatening, kind of down and dirty beat to it. ‘Rip Her To Shreds’ is what we all do when we’re getting catty. New York can be a very tough place but with all that toughness there’s also a great deal of affection among the people. It’s like being roasted.”
“Heart of Glass” (1979)
“That was an exciting period because all this new technology was available, and we became more sophisticated about what a song on the radio should be. When we first started recording, we worked with Richard Gottehrer, who was a real purist. He took us as we were and we were very raw, and very inexperienced and very minimal, as far as instrumentation was concerned. Then we got hooked up with Mike Chapman, this hit-meister from Europe who had had hundreds of pop songs and worked with different pop artists. He had a more sophisticated idea of what a song on radio should be and made us sort of understand that. It was like going to school again. It really was an exciting period in that respect, that these sounds became available. It was the overlap between analog and digital. People were upset because it was a disco song, but they were even more upset that I said ‘ass’! We got banned a few places because of it.” READ FULL STORY