Rock & Roll Hall of Famer

Category: Performer

Inducted in: 2006

Inducted by: Shirley Manson

Nominated in: 2006

First Eligible: 2002 Ceremony

Inducted Members: Debbie Harry, Clem Burke, Jimmy Destri, Nigel Harrison, Frank Infante, Chris Stein and Gary Valentine

Inducted into Rock Hall Revisited in 2007 (ranked #106) .

Essential Albums (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3Amazon CD
Parallel Lines (1978)

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Heart Of Glass (1978)
One Way Or Another (1978)
Rapture (1980)
Call Me (1980)
The Tide Is High (1980)

Blondie @ Wikipedia

Blondie Videos


29 comments so far (post your own)

I looked over the list and this is one act I just can't wrap my head around. They had a few singles, a charismatic frontwoman in Deborah Harry, but anyone who has looked into this band knows they were a mediocre punk band in the NYC scene whose cross-over success was largely engineered by the efforts of their producer who completely re-worked several of their songs (Heart of Glass, etc.) into their more radio-friendly versions. Most punk purists consider their new-wave / pop sound as a sell out of their punk roots. Is it just that they had Rapture with supposedly the first use of rap in a cross-over hit? (BTW, it's an awful little rap...) Someone please, enlighten us!

Posted by drbeat on Sunday, 05.13.07 @ 14:58pm

You can hear Blondie's influence in a billion underground acts, that's why there in. Hell, last year gave us well received releases from Love Is All, The Long Blondes and The Sounds....

Also, just looking at the run of singles, well, they had a pretty impressive stretch there. Let's not forget the flawless gem of an album that is Parallel Lines.

Posted by Casper on Sunday, 05.13.07 @ 16:33pm

I agree with drbeat for the most part on this one. I do not see why Blondie should be there over other New Wave acts like The Cars.

Posted by Dezmond on Monday, 05.14.07 @ 07:23am

If Blondie got in,then here comes Justin Timeberlake.ughh

Posted by Billy on Thursday, 05.24.07 @ 22:35pm

Yeah, because punk and N'Sync are so similar right?

Posted by Kit on Thursday, 05.24.07 @ 22:39pm

So what is the story with Blondie - I've never fully understood where they fall? I've heard that they were innovative, part of the punk and/or new wave scene, but all i know is their disco tinged hits "Call Me" and "Heart of Glass" and the very odd "Rapture".
Was their critical high before "Parallel Lines" and the hits, the mid 70's stuff, or are their achievements these popular U.S. tunes?

Do they definitely belong in the Hall? Are The Cars and Devo and Elvis Costello their peers?

Posted by shawn mc on Friday, 05.25.07 @ 00:34am

I've never personally been that impressed by Blondie. I think their influence is often overstated. They were a good New Wave act, nothing more. "Rapture" is just bad. I find The Cars and Devo to be better bands, and more creative. No way in hell Devo ever gets in, although their debut record was as innovative as anything out at the time. I have hope for The Cars, though. Maybe in a thin year.

Posted by Dezmond on Friday, 05.25.07 @ 09:02am

I think Blondie might have gotten in just because the legend of the CBGB scene.

Posted by Kit on Friday, 05.25.07 @ 09:27am

Yeah, but Dezmond, The Cars and Devo can get the f*ck* under New Order, XTC, Joy Division and Depeche Mode.

*I just felt like swearing on the internet. Nothing intended by it.

Posted by Liam on Wednesday, 02.13.08 @ 17:03pm

yo f..k you all!!!! i think blondie deserve to be inducted in to the hall of fame,with their vibrant style of music,the influence debbie harry had on many female artists that came after her(madonna..).all of their hit songs like "heart of glass" "call me" "one way or another" "rapture"
"hangin on the telephone" "tide is high" are considered songs that depict the 70's..
So if you don't like blondie,go f..k your-self....

Posted by mr Rock on Wednesday, 05.21.08 @ 23:40pm

Mr. Rock - if I am not mistaken; Blondie is already in the Hall; so why are you bitchin'.

Posted by Dameon on Thursday, 05.22.08 @ 05:12am

They are in the hall,but obviously he's bitching because many here say they should not be.

Posted by RR HOF judge on Sunday, 06.27.10 @ 02:56am

Alright drbeat, I'll enlighten you. Blondie already had hits before they even worked with Chapman (In the Flesh, Denis, Always Touched By Your Presence) and already did two excellent albums before they even worked with him. Nor is the claim tha Chapman "reworked" Blondie's songs remotely accurate. All successful bands need good production, such as Eno working with the Talking Heads (should he get all the credit too?), but despite your lame efforts to steal credit from the band, Chapman had nothing to do with the composition of Blondie's music. Exactly how did he "rework" basic songs like One Way or Another, Dreaming, Sunday Girl, Hanging on the Telephone, The Tide Is High, etc.? I'm assuming you are trying to refer to HOG, but they wrote that in 1974 and had already demoed it twice and the addition of the electronic elements was really Destri's contribution after Harry and Stein decided to do it as a disco song. But by all means stick to the theme of crediting everyone but the band. And "selling out"? So much for DIY.

Posted by ian on Thursday, 09.9.10 @ 03:13am

Oh, and I guess Call Me was all Moroder too. And who produced Maria? As to the people that are not personally "impressed", excuse me if I'm not impressed by your not being impressed. Such a collection of brilliant music critics. LOL.

Posted by ian on Thursday, 09.9.10 @ 03:25am

Sorry for the multiple posts but I'm having too much fun. Speaking of production, someone mentioned the Cars. Well their albums were produced by the mega-successful Roy Thomas Baker (he also produced Queen among others). And someone mentioned Devo-their first album was produced by Eno. Yet no one ever claims that the Cars success is due to Baker or Devo's due to Eno. Newsflash-good albums need good production. But apparently only Blondie is deserving of snide inferences. Haters will hate. I'm done.

Posted by ian on Thursday, 09.9.10 @ 04:00am

Actually one more (promise). As a preliminary, I also don't like the idea of a RRHF or all these inane lists of "greatest" artists. How do you possibly judge? But like it or not, people take it seriously. So let's compare Blondie to a near contemporary someone claimed is allegedly more deserving of the RRHF, The Cars. Now I like the Cars, but still someone mentioned it:

-Blondie had four US No. 1s, including the biggest hit of 1980. The Cars: zero. Blondie had six UK No. 1s (and two No. 2s). The Cars: zero.

-But wait you say, hits aren't everything. Fair enough. How about historical significance? Blondie was a first wave punk band, playing CBGB in 1974 at the same time as the Ramones. (Debbie Harry and Chris Stein in the Stillettos were the second band to play CBGB after Television when CBGB began its new band policy; Stein even told Tommy Ramone, who he knew from the NY Doll's scene, about CBGB). They were one of the formative bands of the NY punk scene. The Cars?-Obviously not. Instead they were seen as corporately sanitized New Wave. If you think being at the ground floor of punk is important, that's a massive advantage.

-But maybe you don't think that's a big deal. OK. Moving on, Heart of Glass was the first major New Wave hit in the US, breaking a radio boycott against punk/new wave bands and preceeding My Sharona by months. (David Byrne has stated that until HOG he didn't believe that a band out of the punk scene would ever break through). And it was recognized as such; Rolling Stone put Blondie on its cover in March, 1979 with the title, Riding the Crest of the New Wave. HOG, a huge hit in the US and the UK, also contributed to the development of early 80s synth pop. And the Cars? Nice songs but really nothing analogous.

-And what about that Rapture song? Let's stipulate for argument's sake that it's the worst song ever (actually I think its one of the best songs of the 80s, but whatever). This doesn't change the fact that this was the first major rap hit (No. 1 for 2 weeks) in the US (Rapper's Delight peaked in the 30s in 79), a Rap hit by the best selling rock band of the time. That this song was the first exposure mainstream audiences had to rap was even noted in a 20/20 report in July, 1981, so its impact is not some fan-based revision. So Blondie is also on the ground floor of the global hip/hop phenomenon. The Cars?-No.

-This is already a formidable list, but what about Debbie Harry? In not being inhibited by restrictions the industry placed om female performers and in becoming a major sex symbol in rock music, Harry helped to break down some of the barriers that women had to confront. But maybe that is more of an individual accolade (or demerit).

Of course people are still free to insist that the Cars are "better" or more deserving of recognition. That is ultimately subjective, although I don't think so. Nevertheless, as to which of the two "deserves" to be in the RRHF (assuming it should even exist), Blondie has a very strong case. Point is, if the Cars belong (maybe they do), then you justify Blondie's inclusion.

Posted by ian on Thursday, 09.9.10 @ 21:32pm

IMO, Blondie was better than The Cars. Not alot better, but better.

Posted by Paul in KY on Friday, 09.10.10 @ 06:06am

I love Blondie; I spent many nights at CBGB watching them when they were totally obscure. But this does seem like a rather questionable Hall of Fame pick: they had some hits and their music is still enjoyable, but they aren't really all that great. They do come in handy as the minimum standard for a Hall of Famer: if you aren't at least as good and/or popular as Blondie, you don't deserve to be considered for induction. Debbie Harry was in any case the inspiration for several generations of female rock divas, from Madonna to Lady GaGa.

Posted by Timothy Horrigan on Monday, 09.20.10 @ 18:40pm

Timothy-Then who was great in your esteemed opinion? Sounds very subjective. Blondie has a lot of credentials even if some people refuse to give them any credit. Those same people tend to be the pseudo-intellectual types who are just clever enough to appreciate music as art but not quite profound enough to differentiate between art and artiness. But who cares: the people that matter didn't share you conception of greatness, whatever that may be.

Posted by ian on Monday, 10.4.10 @ 14:15pm

I said: "Debbie Harry was in any case the inspiration for several generations of female rock divas, from Madonna to Lady GaGa." That is probably enough reason right there to put her in the Hall, and she did do her best work as a member of Blondie. She may not be the greatest singer or the greatest songwriter ever, but she was certainly massively influential. I wasn't saying Blondie was a bad band; but they aren't quite in the league of the Rolling Stones or the Ramones.

Posted by Timothy Horrigan on Thursday, 10.7.10 @ 09:38am

Back again. Hopefully this is my valediction. I became a Blondie fan a year ago totally through chance because I happened to click on a video of a performance from 1979. And look how much I defend them. Blondie is a band everyone (including me before I paid attention) thinks they know all about yet no one seems to know that much. Fact is they are complicated, contradictory even. Crazy as it sounds they are probably the most intellectually complex band of their time because of the contradictions. They make you think. And you have to cut through layers of preconceptions. It may have been inevitable, a band out of the gritty NYC underground rock scene with the super-glamorous Debbie Harry as the lead singer. Hard to wrap the mind around the two images. And rock critics were geniunely befuddled. Blondie, as one of the better rock critics put it, was always accused of not being...something. Here is a band that did something remarkable, reaching the musical apex from the NYC punk scene, writing wonderful songs. And what did they get for their hard work? Just distain from intellectually limited rock critics who poured praise on bands like the Ramones and Television and Patti Smith and the Talking Heads and the Clash and Elvis Costello and the Pretenders while Blondie was again the last in their class to win accolades. Critics who lacked the energy or brains to figure out that "punk" was just a media created label imposed on a diverse musical scene decided that Blondie having the talent to compose a song like HOG that could actually break through a very resistant US radio environment was "selling out". What exactly this term is supposed to mean given the intense commercial aspirations of every one of the bands I have mentioned (just check out who produced the Ramones second album), the eclecticism of the scene as well as the inherent ecleticism of Blondie (they played "I Feel Love" at the Blitz Benefit for crying out loud and had written an early version of HOG, aka the Disco Song, in 1974), I'll never know. I'm happy they have received some long overdue recognition. Too bad people who actually don't have a clue will continue to throw stones at them, endlessly claiming that they are not...something til the end of days. But it brings to mind an observation: the things that a really worth something are often the things we too quickly overlook. Peace.

Posted by ian on Thursday, 12.23.10 @ 20:19pm

Blondie did have four number one hits in the US, but those were the band's only top 10 hits here. The Cars didn't have number 1's (though they did have a few in radio airplay charts), but hey also had four top 10 hits. To take it a bit further, The Cars had 13 top 40 songs and Blondie had 8. One step further, The Cars hit the Hot 100 18 times while Blondie charted 11.

You can argue that Blondie was in on the ground floor of new wave/punk, but The Cars were there too. They just had a sound that was a little more receptive to radio listeners at the beginning. So many Cars songs that weren't even hits are still in rotation on rock radio stations I think their staying power is remarkable.

Blondie definitely had the edge outside of America with a few exceptions. That I cannot argue.

I like both bands quite a bit actually.

Posted by Mike on Thursday, 06.23.11 @ 21:40pm

I was thinking back to this past Grammy awards show. You had Arcade Fire, Muse and Lady Gaga all with very strong links to Blondie. Not a bad list. This is an induction that keeps getting stronger as time goes on. Music shifts. For a long time the dominate journalistic view was the music of the early 80s was wanting in comparison to the "punk", whatever that is. I think the Simon Reynold's view is better. Today the early 80s music that Blondie played such a strong role in helping to form is dominate and dance-rock is definitely in fashion. Come to think of it, the entire orthodox view of the punk era needs a second look. The conventional view was formed in the 90s in the wake of grunge. But music isn't static and our view of it shouldn't be either. It is weird how a cool musical experiment like Heart of Glass sometimes gets flake. Too much of how "punk" is understood seems backward. It was the experiments, the crossing over, the variation of styles that was so vital in the punk era, not three cords and a cloud of dust.
I like the Cars too. Good band.

Posted by astrodog on Wednesday, 08.10.11 @ 15:03pm

astrodog, also have to consider that she & Chris Stein basically retired the band while she nursed him thru that disease he had. Had he been healthy, I think they would have rocked on.

Posted by Paul in KY on Wednesday, 08.10.11 @ 15:28pm

Although I would contend that Blondie is Hall-worthy, I lost a lot of respect for Deborah Harry during their induction ceremony. For those that didn't hear about it, former members of Blondie--also inducted--asked to perform during the induction ceremony; Harry refused, saying she had her band onstage already. (The videotape is easily viewable on YouTube.) She was acting as if she alone--and not Blondie--was being inducted. I felt the same way about John Fogerty's behavior during CCR's induction.

Anyone who wants to shed some light on this--some reason, perhaps?--to correct or enlighten me is very welcome to. Thanks!

Posted by Joe on Wednesday, 08.17.11 @ 13:42pm

Harry and Stein reasoned that Nigel Harrison and Frank Infante had writing credits on songs that they could easily do a reunion tour without and replaced them with people that could be hired cheaply.They had to stomach inviting Burke because he had co writing credits on a few critical songs such as "heart of glass" Nigel Harrison and Frank Infante sued over being snubbed demanding that they participate.Their has been bad blood since.

Posted by RR HOF Judge on Friday, 06.15.12 @ 03:23am

Stein afterwards tried to defend it all by pointing out the replacement members have worked with them longer at this point,as if the past 15 years is what got them in.The hall of fame handled the Blondie induction as badly as Stein and Harry handled that award. They should have told them that only the old lineup is inducted and must play or no induction. Talking Heads put aside the past for ten minutes, so could Blonde.

Posted by RR HOF Judge on Friday, 06.15.12 @ 13:50pm

This band elicits opinions. The history is pretty simple. Harry and Stein founded the band in 1974 out of an earlier band called the Stillettos. Eventually Clem Burke, Gary Valentine and Jimmy Destri joined in 1975 as the other members (Ivan Kral, Billy O'Connor and Fred Smith) left for seemingly greener pastures. They recorded thir first demo in 1975 and had their first singles and album out in 1976. They were signed based on the Harry/Valentine song X-Offender. In late 1977 they had their first hit (in Australia) with the Harry/Stein song In the Flesh. In July, 1977 Valentine left (he later formed the band The Know) and Infante was brought in to replace him, initially slotted to be the bass player. However he wasn't adept at it and Nigel Harrison (formerly of Silverhead) was brought in to take over the bass duties in November, 1977. Infante was kept on as second guitarist. Anyway the second album launched them to stardom in the UK and Europe and the third album achieved their US breakthrough. The main original hits from then on included Heart of Glass (Harry/Stein), Picture This (Harry/Stein/Destri), One Way Or Another (Harry/Harrison), Atomic (Harry/Destri), Dreaming (Harry/Stein), Call Me (Harry/Moroder), and Rapture (Harry/Stein).
However by 1980 the band started to come apart and stopped touring. Unfortunately, the band members had entered into a partnership agreement in 1979 giving all the members equal rights and revenues. So now they were stuck. Infante objected to the creative direction of the band. The other members (sans Burke) didn't want to work with him, and he wound up suing his bandmates in 1981.
Fast forward 17 years and the band is coming back together. And they still don't want to work with Infante. But they are also technically still partners. End result: Infante sues them again to prevent the reformation, a lawsuit that Harrison, who originally declined involvement, joined. The reunion is delayed for over two years until the lawsuit is finally thrown out.
Anyway the whole episode is overblown and not uncommon. (Credence/GNR/Van Halen, etc.). A Ramones induction with all the living members would have been fascinating. And the Talking Haeds have basically been at each others throats since the mid 80s. Why Blondie is seen differently is a curiosity. I think people just jump to conclusions based on Harry's visibility. But all things being equal, she and Stein founded the band, got it signed, wrote the main hits, brought in the newer members, shared royalties with them based on the misguided partnership agreement, and in return got sued twice by a non-founding, non-writing member they were actually pretty decent to. It would have been nice if they all got along, but some wounds cut pretty deep. But Harry definitely gets a bum rap unfairly. The band history is pretty interesting though.

Posted by astrodog on Friday, 06.15.12 @ 21:30pm

I think Blondie dares to explore more music genres than Ramones. They stucked in, and we love them, but Blondie were punk rock, rock & roll, even pop and somewhat included rap!
Debbie Harry is an inspiration, as has been said.

Posted by BulmaPunkRocker on Sunday, 07.6.14 @ 21:41pm

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