Spin - 11/01, p.137
"...Their inauspicious 1976 sock-hop debut..."
Entertainment Weekly - 9/21/01, p.85
"...Lays the pulpy melodrama on thick, with Debbie Harry coming on like a harried femme fatale..." - Rating: B+
Q - 5/02 SE, p.1344 stars out of 5
- Included in Q's "100 Best Punk Albums".
Q - 10/94, p.1354 Stars
- Excellent - "...Winking at their generation's fondness for trash culture, Blondie's pastiches of Brill Building pop swaggered with conviction..."All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Blondie: Deborah Harry (vocals); Chris Stein, Gary Valentine (guitar, bass); James Destri (piano, organ, synthesizer); Clement Burke (drums).
Additional personnel: Ellie Greenwich, Micki Harris, Hilda Harris (background vocals).
Producer: Richard Gottehrer.
Reissue producer: Kevin Flaherty.
Recorded at Plaza Sound Stuidos, New York, New York in August & September 1976. Originally released on Private Stock (2023) in January 1977, reissued on Chrysalis (1165) in September 1977. Includes liner notes by Mike Chapman.
All tracks have been digitally remastered using 24-bit technology.
Composer: Marty Thau.
Personnel: Debbie Harry (vocals); Gary Valentine (guitar, bass guitar); Chris Stein (guitar); Jimmy Destri (piano, grand piano, Farfisa); Clem Burke (drums); Ellie Greenwich, Micki Harris, Hilda Harris (background vocals).
Audio Remixer: Craig Leon.
Liner Note Author: Richard Gottehrer.
Recording information: Plaza Sound Studios, New York, NY (08/1976-09/1976).
Photographers: Jonathan Postal; Ray Stevenson; Bob Gruen.
Recorded in 1976, Blondie's self-titled debut was part of the New York City/CBGB's crowd's initial salvo of punk/new wave, radically different from anything in the American mainstream at the time. While other CBGB scenemakers strove for either artiness (Television) or primitivism (Ramones), Blondie was always about pure pop, served with a healthy dose of irony. Its early-'60s rock & roll/girl-group roots were never so apparent as on this album--"In the Sun" sounds like a classic slice of sunny '60s West Coast pop, while "In the Flesh" reaches even further back for a '50s ballad feel.
The sly lyrics, Debbie Harry's knowing delivery, and especially Jimmy Destri's gloriously cheesy organ riffs make it apparent that revivalism was never Blondie's intention; the band simply used the past to hijack the punk present and lay claim to a new wave future. Over the next few years, countless groups would adopt the template laid down on the first couple of Blondie albums, with varying degrees of success, but, as this recording makes plain, Blondie did it first and best.