When Debbie Met Music Stardom – Blondie Make Their Mark

So it’s now been 38 years since Blondie signed their first major record label deal with Chrysalis Records, on the 1st September 1977.

It all started for the group when Debbie Harry and Chris Stein founded the band in 1974. Considered one of the pioneers of American New Wave and Punk of the mid-late 70’s, they remained a somewhat “underground” group until the release of their third album, Parallel Lines, in 1978. It featured many massive hits for the group, including Call MeAtomic and the group’s best-selling single, Heart of Glass – one of (to date) only 161 singles in UK chart history to sell over one million copies.

Heart of Glass would become the band’s first UK #1 single in 1979, with five more that would follow: Sunday GirlCall MeAtomic, a cover of The Tide Is High and finally finishing with Maria in 1999, following the band’s reformation two years prior. Maria actually reached #1 exactly 20 years after Heart of Glass did it in ’79.

In 1982, the group split following numerous issues. Debbie Harry would attempt to continue a solo career; however two singles were released and met with little success – but she continued nonetheless and eventually gained some moderate success. This would lead to a new generation of fans and artists getting to know and hear of Blondie – which was helped further by Chrysalis Records, who released remixes of the group’s songs.

Eventually in 1997, Blondie were back – and in 1999, their seventh studio album was released, entitled No Exit. From it, the first single was Maria, giving Blondie the sixth and final #1 single they achieved in the UK charts, which made them only the second American artists to score a number one in three consecutive decades: 70’s, 80’s and 90’s (the other being Michael Jackson as a solo artist/part of the Jackson 5). To this day, with changes to the line-up along the way, Blondie are still going strong today – even releasing their 10th studio album, Ghosts of Download, early last year.

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Check out TShirtGrill’s selection of Blondie t-shirts and hoodies here.

 

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In 2002, Atomic Kitten reached #1 with “The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling)” – 25 years to the day Blondie signed their record label deal with Chrysalis Records.

But wait! It doesn’t end there…

Blondie scored number 1’s in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s – but did you know there’s a run of singles by Blondie reaching number 1 in the UK charts that actually extends in to the 00’s and 10’s, too?

25 years to the day since Blondie signed that record label deal with Chrysalis Records, Atomic Kitten would reach number 1 with their own cover version of The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling) in 2002 (thus, 13 years ago today). It was the girl group’s final number 1, and they added their own bridge to the single (hence the subtitle). Their version spent four weeks at number 1 – twice the length that Blondie’s did.

 

 

 

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In 2013, it was One Direction’s turn to take a Blondie song to #1 – the music video even featured Prime Minister David Cameron!

…and it continues in to this decade, too!

In 2010, thanks to the X-Factor – five young solo singers were put together by Simon Cowell to create One Direction, who have gone on to become global superstars in their own right. They would ultimately finish 3rd in that year’s competition, behind eventual winner Matt Cardle and runner up Rebecca Ferguson.

For Comic Relief in 2013, the group covered Blondie’s One Way Or Another, which hadn’t actually been released as a single (instead, it was elected to release Sunday Girl instead, which in itself reached #1) – only following One Direction’s cover did the original even make the top 100 in the UK Charts, and only just – at 98.

For One Direction’s version, they mashed it up with The Undertones’ Teenage Kicks too – the track reached #1, spending a week there. Despite that, it still means that a Blondie-influenced single has reached number 1 in the UK charts in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 00’s and 10’s.

 

 

Safe to say, Blondie has been a major influence on the music industry and will remain so for decades to come.

Ashley Redman
One Way Or Another I’m Gonna Blog This

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