After writing their names in the legendary ledger of New York City’s most cherished rock acts, Blondie were determined to take the love they found in the Big Apple all across the globe. They do it by creating music that straddled both worlds and made each one their own.
The band’s hit 1978 record, Parallel Lines, would do most of the heavy lifting in that regard, driving up hits and still powerfully punk—it proved that Blondie were on the warpath, as the band drew from their punk beginnings to deliver a new wave of sound. The album would hit the number one spot in the United Kingdom and be the band’s breakthrough commercial success in the US.
Much of that was down to a couple of unstoppably brilliant singles, which grabbed the attention of the wider public. First up was the band’s ladder to the big time, ‘Heart of Glass’, which was a pop song of old but now explicitly charged with Debbie Harry’s magnetism.
Following that song needed to be something equally as punch-heavy—no mean feat. It was left to Chris Stein, Debbie Harry, Clem Burke and Nigel Harrison to pull together a new release which would add the perfect follow-up uppercut and confirm their knock out status. They dreamt up ‘One Way Or Another’.
The single may not have reached the same dizzy heights as ‘Heart of Glass’ but with the song’s effortless cool and undeniable shimmy, it was becoming hard to ignore Blondie now. ‘One Way Or Another’ was written by Harry and Nigel Harrison in response to some unwanted attention from some unwanted people.
Singer, Harry told Entertainment Weekly, “I was actually stalked by a nutjob so it came out of a not-so-friendly personal event. But I tried to inject a little bit of levity into it to make it more lighthearted.
“I think in a way that’s a normal kind of survival mechanism,” she added. “You know, just shake it off, say one way or another, and get on with your life. Everyone can relate to that and I think that’s the beauty of it.”
One of the many reasons Blondie were on the charge was Debbie Harry’s enigmatic vocal delivery. At times it was an ethereal otherworldly sound and it others it came from the bowels of New York. On the isolated vocal track for ‘One Way Or Another’ Harry empowers both of these strings to her bow to unleash an almighty dart that slammed straight into the bullseye, splitting anything in its way. This was the moment Blondie truly announced themselves.
Listen below to Debbie Harry’s impeccable vocal on Blondie’s ‘One Way Or Another’.