Heart Of Glass
Blondie was formed in 1974 by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein. The pair had met and struck up a relationship while with New York-based band The Stilettos a year earlier. After a few personnel changes and the renaming of the band from Angel and the Snake to Blondie in 1975, Blondie consisted of Harry, Stein, keyboardist Jimmy Destri, bassist Gary Valentine and drummer Clem Burke.
Blondie first real success came in 1977, mainly due to a mistake. The Australian music show Countdown was meant to show the video for Blondie’s first single from their self-titled debut album, “X-Offender”, but instead showed the B-side, “In The Flesh”. The song was received well by the Australian audience, and a positive article in Rolling Stone’s August issue helped Blondie gain some recognition. Their next album, Plastic Letters, reached #10 in the UK music charts.
Blondie third album was their most successful. Parallel Lines reached #1 in the UK and #6 in the US, mostly due to the popularity of the singles, “Picture This”, “Hanging On The Telephone” and the disco-infused “Heart Of Glass”. Heart Of Glass, in particular, propelled the band to commercial success, reaching out from Blondie’s perceived underground status to the heights of pop accessibility. The result was a chart-topping single in eight countries, including the US, with over a million copies sold.
Blondie went on hiatus in 1981. The 1982 comeback album, “The Hunter” was something of a disappointment, reaching only #9 and #33 in the UK and US charts respectively. Following this decline in sales, and in part due to Stein being diagnosed with the potentially life-threatening illness pemphigus, Blondie disbanded. The band reformed between 1997 and 2004, releasing another two studio albums and again reaching top spot in the UK charts in 1999 with the single “Maria”.
For The Record:
Members included Clem Burke (born November 24, 1955, in New York; joined group c. 1975), drums ; Jimmy Destri (born Aprill 3, 1954), keyboards ; Nigel Harrison (joined group 1978), bass; Deborah Harry (born July 1, c. 1945, in Miami, FL), vocals; Frank Infante (joined group 1977), guitar, bass; Billy O'Connor (left group 1975), drums; Fred Smith (left group 1975), bass;Chris Stein (born January 5, 1950, in Brooklyn, NY), guitar, vocals; Gary Valentine (band-member 1975-77), bass.
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