Blondie lights up 2017 with the release of their 11th studio album Pollinator arriving via BMG on May 5th – an incredible new record and a modern take on the classic, vintage sound of one of the world’s most influential and legendary bands.
New York’s famed recording studio, The Magic Shop, notably known for David Bowie’s last two albums as well as one by Lou Reed, was a particularly fitting setting to inspire Blondie’s musical creativity. The last album recorded at The Magic Shop prior to its closure, Pollinator is a riot of sound and musical colour; its 11 tracks represent the continuation of a 40+ year musical conversation that Blondie started.
From the new album Pollinator, the lead single ‘Fun’ is available to stream and download now. Plus a highly collectible 7” vinyl pressing of ‘Fun’ will be available to order from independent retailers on February 1st – with only 1000 copies available.
‘Fun’ co writer and TV On the Radio’s Dave Sitek, perhaps more a descendent of Blondie’s New York post-punk legacy, returns them to a 21st Century Studio 54 with the new single. With Debbie Harry and the band sounding better than ever, Blondie’s euphoric new track plays like the best party ever thrown, and captures that unique combination of their enviable cool and sheer melodic joy.
Blondie’s classic writing duo of Chris Stein and Debbie Harry are at the heart of Pollinator’s creation – with ‘Doom Or Destiny’ and ‘Love Level’, while keyboardist Matt Katz-Bohen’s two tracks (‘Already Naked’ / ‘Too Much’) prove the band continues to evolve almost song by song. Blondie’s founding drummer Clem Burke provides the unmistakably thrilling propulsion throughout.
And Chris Stein’s fascination with modern culture sees him mine a song from Adam Johnson aka An Unkindess (‘Fragments’), first heard as a sample on the Vancouver based indie artist’s YouTube movie reviews.
Producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, John Grant, War On Drugs, David Byrne) brought the band into the studio to record live, capturing the essence of one of the founders of punk rock, a genre that defined his life.
Pop’s uber writers and chart queens Sia (the shimmering synth led ‘Best Day Ever’) and Charli XCX (digital, bubble gum punk of ‘Gravity’) are fans invited by an admiring Blondie to contribute. The Smiths’ Johnny Marr, an old friend and admirer writes ‘My Monster’ and joins the band on guitar, while Dev Hynes (Blood Orange, Lightspeed Champion) cements an enduring partnership with Blondie by channeling shards of ‘Heart Of Glass’ into the irresistible ‘Long Time’. Along the way, Joan Jett and Laurie Anderson make studio appearances (‘Doom or Destiny’) along with The Gregory Brothers (‘When I Gave Up On You’).
“Their material is part of us and we are part of them”, says frontwoman Debbie Harry of their co-writers, all of whom were influenced by her band in the first place, “It’s a celebration of recycling!”
Sounding more vital and essential then ever, Pollinator is a Blondie record for 2017 that stands alongside any in their extraordinary career.
World-renowned artist Shepard Fairey has designed the Pollinator artwork which, as well as CD, digital and heavy weight vinyl, will be available as a limited edition 7” box set. Fans will also be able to order a limited red heavy weight vinyl album from the artist store and an exclusive white heavy weight vinyl from independent retailers. (repeat buy link here)
Blondie have already announced April 2017 Australia and New Zealand dates, which are soon to be followed by the concert dates in the US and Canada (summer 2017), the UK and Europe.
Undeniably one of the most trailblazing and influential bands of our time, Blondie is pioneering frontwoman/songwriter Debbie Harry, guitarist/conceptual mastermind Chris Stein and powerhouse drummer Clem Burke, along with now long standing band mates bassist Leigh Foxx, guitarist Tommy Kessler and keyboardist Matt Katz-Bohen.
Among their hits is 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.’ It’s a thrilling journey back to when Blondie pushed punk onto the dance floor and introduced a wider audience to hip-hop sounds, all the while building a catalogue of enduring hits along the way.
For the last four decades, Blondie has become and still remains a true global icon; one whose influence both shaped and continues to inform the worlds of music, fashion and art. 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. Their chart-topping success, fearless spirit and rare longevity led to an induction into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 and more than 40 million albums sold worldwide to date. As we look back at the band’s storied career, it makes Blondie’s current vibrancy that much more stunning after 40 years of entertaining all of us.