When Blondie arrived on the punk scene in the late seventies they had something no other band did. They had Debbie Harry. The enigmatic leader of the band and the face of the bubbling new wave scene, her good looks and effortless style made her a poster child for the mainstream media desperate to put a face to the name of punk.
But what everyone seems to forget is that above all else, Harry was an unstoppable singer. In the clip below we explore Harry’s incredible command of the mic.
Blondie released ‘Heart of Glass’ in 1979 and featured on the band’s third studio album, Parallel Lines from 1978 and came out early the following year. The track was Blondie’s more successful tracks, reaching number one on the charts in several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.
Away from the single’s energy, it was the expertly polished sound that generated so much fandom for the band. With such a smooth sound blended with the new-wave punk of Blondie’s output, it is very easy to become distracted by the shining strut of the band’s tracks.
From the shimmying disco-tinge of ‘Call Me’ to the classic rock sound of ‘One Way Or Another’, the band were the sum of their individual parts and because of that, the singular talent of each member can be somewhat overlooked. None more so than Debbie Harry’s unstoppable vocal.
There’s no better way to truly appreciate this vocal than to hear it as an isolated track. With it, you can hear the crystalline tone of Debbie’s New York cool, as she emanates that nonchalant power of her internal and mental strut. It’s a stunning sound which puts her in the upper echelons of rock singers.
While others may rely on the whisky-soaked grit of their vocal tone or indeed the guttural banshee shriek, Harry shimmers and shakes with the knowing confidence of a heavenly punk. This is Debbie Harry at her best.
Listen below to Debbie Harry’s isolated vocal on Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’