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For the last four decades, Blondie has become and still remains a true national treasure; a punk band from New York City whose influence both shaped and continues to inform the worlds of music, fashion and art. Debbie Harry and Chris Stein have kept their ears to the ground, creating trends, never following them. They helped push punk onto the dance floor at the dawn of the new wave era and introduced a wider audience to hip-hop sounds, all the while building a catalog of enduring pop hits along the way.
Their instincts, attitude and style are just as sharp today. To celebrate its 40th Anniversary in 2013, Blondie not only looked back but continued to move forward, with a new two-disc package of music. Blondie 4(0) Ever, which included a greatest hits album and a brand new album. The band salutes its storied past with an album of their timeless classics. On the brand new Ghosts Of Download, the group brings their journey right up to date with 12 incredible tracks.
Ghosts Of Download, Blondie’s 10th studio album, was recorded almost immediately following the completion of its acclaimed 2011 album, Panic Of Girls. It’s an exhilarating mix of dance-floor-ready sounds, with more than a little pop radio flavor stirred into it and a few surprises along the way.
Among the tracks they revisit on the greatest hits disc are the groundbreaking rock-disco hybrid “Heart of Glass,” the equally influential hip-hop fantasia “Rapture,” the stalker-love song “One Way Or Another” and the lilting calypso “The Tide Is High,” all part of a catalog that has generated sales of more than 40 million records worldwide and led to the group’s 2006 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.
Front-woman and songwriter Harry and guitarist/conceptual mastermind Stein have been with Blondie since the beginning, as has drummer Clem Burke, whose powerhouse playing has always distinguished Blondie’s sound. Joining them on tour and in the studio are Leigh Fox (bass) Tommy Kessler (guitar) and Matt Katz-Bohen (keyboardist and songwriter on Blondie’s last two discs).
Blondie’s impact is greater than the sum of its record sales: Harry’s persona, and the band’s boundary-pushing pop, has shaped the look and sound of many chart-topping female artists who followed in the last three decades.
Where Blondie is right now? Taking along pieces of its (and our) past while pushing steadily into the future, 40 years and counting. From an irreverent Lower East Side punk outfit to bona fide international ambassadors of New York cool, Blondie will forever be synonymous with that punk spirit that lives somewhere in all of us.