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Music

Watch rare footage of Debbie Harry covering Ramones song 'Pet Sematary'

@notmyyaztattoo

It’s no secret that Blondie blended into the pop radio territory more and more as the years passed. Debbie Harry has worn a lot of hats over the years, from her hippie days to her involvement in the punk scene, which ultimately combined to help Blondie find their true identity as a band.

However, in the early days of the band, Debbie Harry – and Blondie in general – were soaked in the roots of the punk scene. Debbie Harry stuck out there, especially as a woman fronting a band, and it helped establish her as a punk icon. During the early-mid 1970s, her beauty, talent, and unique style helped her stand out, putting Blondie on the map.

However, even though Blondie would eventually make it as a pop act, their punk roots would not evade them. In fact, even by 1989, it seems that they still had some punk spirit leftover—enough to whip out a live Ramones cover of ‘Pet Sematary’.

Although this Ramones track might seem like an odd choice for the Debbie Harry of today – or even of the late ’70s, by the time Blondie started to introduce more new wave and pop elements into their sound – it actually fits rather perfectly with Debbie Harry’s voice. The Ramones can go hard, but their music never grates to the point of obstructing vocal quality. Just as you can hear Joey Ramone‘s vocal quality on the original track, you can hear Debbie Harry’s in her cover version.

Both Blondie and The Ramones were bands that allowed for a bit more creative license with punk convention. They introduced cleaner, more melodic elements. ‘Pet Sematary’ almost sounds like it could be a Blondie song all on its own, with its slight electronic edge. But here’s the thing: in Debbie Harry’s cover version, she actually speeds it up and strips it down.

This change could simply be due to the live nature of the song, but it comes off as an intentional stylistic choice. Of course, the keyboards are still in there, but the guitars come much more front and centre. It feels more alternative, almost even more than the original version, which isn’t all that surprising when you give it a listen.

All this is to prove that punk can come in many forms, shapes, and sizes. And there’s nothing quite like one punk icon paying tribute to another. Debbie Harry has an incredible voice, and hearing it over a Ramones track isn’t just fun and interesting, showing just how much capability there is there.

Although a studio version of this cover hasn’t been released, we might be able to cross our fingers and hope that Debbie decides to play it live one of these days again. If you want to check out Debbie Harry’s version of this Ramones song, you can listen down below.