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There's A Lot To Listen To With BLONDIE: AGAINST THE ODDS 1974-1982

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The Musical Group Called Blondie

There are musical groups that encapsulate the times that they lived in. A strong example is Blondie, but we do need to note that the guiding force — or at least the front faced in the spotlight — was Deborah (Debby) Harry. Before she and others formed the band, Harry was known for and yes Known as the frontwoman for “Blondie” as was the group’s name, and her vocals (she also wrote songs) stood out for their etherial sound (think “The Tide is High”) — she was less a powerhouse akin to a Tina Turner or Joan Jett and more of a haunting moderated volume that always managed to slip into the ears regardless of whether one was actively listening or not. The other members were equally talented, if not as well known, and consisted of guitarist Chris Stein, drummer Clem Burke, bassist Leigh Foxx, guitarist Tommy Kessler and keyboardist Matt Katz-Bohen

The group’s sound could be considerd a rock/disco hybrid, intermixed with hip-hop and punk elements. And yep they made it into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 and sold over 40 million records so there’s that. Others have done a better job at classifiying this better, so let’s get to this definitive and first band-authorized collection entitled Blondie: Against The Odds 1974-1982 The Official Box Set.

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The Studio Albums

Blondie: Against The Odds 1974-1982 The Official Box Set is a remastering delight as far as quality of sound goes (since we’re talking about 50 years) and was done from the original analog recordings (meaning tape) at Abbey Road Studios (yeah that place). Now we’re not talking about just those tunes you know and hear just being a bit pumped up from what was once on cassette/8-track/CD and being played on the radio — although for sure it has their first six studio albums, being Blondie, Plastic Letters, Parallel Lines, Eat To The Beat, Autoamerican and The Hunter— but also expanded to include more than four dozen demos (the group’s first ever recording sesssion is here), along with alternate version and studio outtakes (often the most enduring from the point of view of seeing how the band’s evolution of a song and its “sound” developed. This being prior to the band’s 1982 hiatus, so one can revel in what has been rescued from obscurity. Although some might find a pause in the title “I Love You Honey, Give Me A Beer (Go Through It).

As Harry put it, “It really is a treat to see how far we have come when I listen to these early attempts to capture our ideas on relatively primitive equipment. Fortunately the essence of being in a band in the early 70's held some of the anti-social, counter culture energies of the groups that were the influencers of the 60's. I am excited about this special collection. When I listen to these old tracks, it puts me there like I am a time traveler. As bad as it was sometimes, it was also equally as good. No regrets. More music."

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Pick the Way You Want To Hear Blondie

Now do you have a choice in what you can get? For sure you do. Because there are four choices here: a Super Deluxe Collectors' Edition that’s vinyl-lishes (10xLP, 1x7", 1x10" in Red, White, and Black vinyl formats), a Deluxe Vinyl edition (4LP), a Deluxe CD edition (8CD) and a 3 CD edition. Obviously the vinyl editions feature much larger imaging and the joy of blowing dust off side one before placing it on the platter (don’t do that, use a non-static brush instead). Not that CDs are bad, because compared to those all digital editions, you’ve got nothing to hold in your hands. Making looking at liner notes as a PDF not anywhere as cool as on paper. Speaking of which, there’s liner notes and track by track commentary from all seven of the original band members, plus essays from the producers, a 120-page illustrated discography, and hundreds of period photographs. Pretty nifty.

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To find out more about Blondie and all this, go to https://www.blondie.net/

start-listening-to-blondie-against-the-odds-1974-1982

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