BLONDIE are set to return to the UK, announcing a new tour amidst a landmark year for these music icons. Their already legendary 11th studio album, POLLINATOR, soared to #4 in the UK album charts in May, making it the band’s first Top 5 entry in over 18 years.
Furthermore, the band are proving that the BLONDIE live show is still an experience in itself, with classic hits such as HEART OF GLASS, ATOMIC, THE TIDE IS HIGH, SUNDAY GIRL, RAPTURE and CALL ME blending naturally with the new album’s treasure trove of new songs, including the singles TOO MUCH, LONG TIME and FUN.
In celebration of the release of POLLINATOR on 5 May, the band returned to the iconic London Roundhouse to play a celebratory, sold out show, receiving an ecstatic reception from fans and critics alike. The Guardian noted that the band, “combined classics with compelling new material”; while the Daily Telegraph applauded, “a voice and melodies untouched by time”.
BLONDIE also brought audiences a taste of POLLINATOR with stunning live performances on Later with Jools Holland [BBC 2] The One Show [BBC 1] The Chris Evans Breakfast Show [BBC Radio 2] and Tonight at The London Palladium [ITV].
BLONDIE also toured Australia and New Zealand in April of this year; then toured the US and Canada with Garbage in May; and headlined The Eden Project in Cornwall and played British Summer Time in London Hyde Park in June.
11th studio album, POLLINATOR, released by BMG on 5 May.
BLONDIE continue to claim 2017 as their own with the release of their new single, LONG TIME, taken from their eleventh studio album, POLLINATOR, released by BMG on 5 May.
LONG TIME is the third offering from this remarkable new album, once again perfectly demonstrating the record’s blend of BLONDIE’s pioneering past with new influences from modern music’s great innovators.
The track also reignites the winning formula of DEBBIE HARRY and collaborator DEV HYNES [aka BLOOD ORANGE]; in 2016, Debbie sang on the RAPTURE-inspired EVP on Hyne’s third album, Freetown Sound. Now Hynes is returning the favour by collaborating with the band on LONG TIME, a song that pays tribute to BLONDIE’s 20th Century trailblazing whilst sounding thrillingly at home in the 21st Century pop landscape.
From the first note, the track channels a deliberate echo of their 1979 anthem HEART OF GLASS, before lifting off with a swirling mix of CLEM BURKE’s intense drumming, glorious 80s synth, CHRIS STEIN’s intense guitar riffs and the thumping bass line of LEIGH FOXX; all bound together by the bittersweet vocals of DEBBIE HARRY.
The single follows the first two releases from POLLINATOR: the upbeat Studio 54-esque FUN single, written with DAVE SITEK [TV ON THE RADIO]; and the dark, alluring MY MONSTER, written for the band by JOHNNY MARR. Like its two predecessors, LONG TIME showcases an album made with an enviable series of collaborators, elegantly moulding their love of BLONDIE with their own sound.
The video for LONG TIME was shot in New York and is directed by DIKAYL RIMMASCH, who worked with BEYONCE on her Lemonade album videos and World Formation Tour. The video will be released shortly.
BLONDIE recently announced their return to the iconic London Roundhouse on Wednesday 3 May to celebrate the release two days later of POLLINATOR. Tickets for the show sold out in under 30 minutes.
BLONDIE recently announced their eleventh studio album, POLLINATOR, scheduled for release by BMG on 5 May; an incredible new record and a modern take on the classic, vintage sound of one of the world’s most influential and legendary bands.
BLONDIE have also now announced a return to the iconic LONDON ROUNDHOUSE, scene of past triumphs and something of a spiritual home for the UK’s favourite New Yorkers, to play a special show on WEDNESDAY 3 MAY celebrating the release two days later of their new album.
The band last appeared at the Roundhouse for a rapturous Apple Music Festival performance in 2014 but their iconic 1978 concert there is remembered as one of the shows that helped catapult the band into the mainstream.
BLONDIE have now also debuted a new track, MY MONSTER, the second taken from POLLINATOR, and a different animal to the celebratory first single, FUN, which took the band back to their Studio 54 disco days. Written for BLONDIE by legendary Smiths guitarist JOHNNY MARR, it’s a song about the beast in all of us, and sees the band on vintage form, hitting that unique BLONDIE sweet spot between rock, pop and electronica that made classics like Atomic such a blast. It also highlights how BLONDIE and their famous POLLINATOR collaborators have channelled the band’s past into a shimmering future.
They also unveiled the first single from the album, FUN, universally embraced as an uplifting disco classic. Now the video for FUN is launched with the band going intergalactic, escaping the confines of an unsteady Earth for the party planet of Mars – where everyone is welcomed, accepted and celebrated. And BLONDIE are the house band.
As CHRIS STEIN puts it: “Quoting Emma Goldman, ‘If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution’. In these trying times we need some fun. We’re very serious about fun.”
DEBBIE HARRY adds: “This is music as it’s supposed to be; filled with spirit, fun and soul.”
Directed by DIKAYL RIMMASCH, the New York based photographer and director who most recently worked on BEYONCE’s Lemonade and her Formation World Tour, the film is as literal escape from the current tension and division gripping the USA and beyond. It uses imagery inspired by BLONDIE songwriter and guitarist Chris Stein’s remarkable photography that spans their experience of New York’s music and club culture from the 1970s onwards. Many of the extras are current New York club scene regulars and friends of BLONDIE guitarist MATT KATZ-BOHEN, including Project Runway favourite and make up artist RAJA.
Says DIKAYL RIMMASCH: “The band were really welcoming and open. Debbie is beautiful and beautifully enigmatic. It was amazing to be on the other side of the glass from her; when those ‘Debbie moments’ happened, it felt like I had stepped into a parallel dimension.
“Chris was great because he’s generated so much of the band’s strong iconography. Such a great photographer.
“Matt connected with us at Raja – the Queen of Mars – and others who showed up at the bar to film the party sequence. Raja embraced the whole thing, including getting onto a very large horse for the first time, and creating her own costume. It all felt like a family affair; the Blondie universe is a beautiful place. I’m very glad I could visit.”
FUN is available to stream and download now, with a highly collectible 7” vinyl pressing available only from independent retailers, and limited to 1000 copies.
BLONDIE have also announced their 2017 RAGE AND RAPTURE tour of the USA, a joint headliner with GARBAGE, running across the country in July and August. UK dates will be announced soon.
“If I was looking for a great show to go to,” says DEBBIE HARRY ahead of the two bands joining forces, “it would be to the Blondie | Garbage show. It’s going to be a great, full-on rock show.”
BLONDIE light up 2017 with the release of their eleventh studio album, POLLINATOR, on BMG on 5 May, 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 alongside one by Lou Reed, was a particularly fitting setting to inspire BLONDIE’s musical creativity. The last album to be recorded at The Magic Shop prior to its closure, POLLINATOR is a riot of sound and musical colour; its eleven tracks representing the continuation of a 40+ year musical adventure.
Taken from the new album, the lead single FUN is available to stream and download now, with a highly collectible 7” vinyl pressing available only from independent retailers, and limited to 1000 copies. FUN co-writer DAVE SITEK of TV ON THE RADIO is a direct descendent of BLONDIE’s New York post-punk legacy. With DEBBIE HARRY and the band sounding as good as ever, the euphoric track plays like the best party ever thrown, capturing 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 the album’s creation on DOOM OR DESTINY and LOVE LEVEL; while keyboard player MATT KATZ-BOHEN’s two tracks, ALREADY NAKED and TOO MUCH, prove the band continue to evolve almost song by song with founding drummer CLEM BURKE providing the unmistakably thrilling propulsion throughout. CHRIS STEIN’s fascination with modern culture sees him mine FRAGMENTS, a song from ADAM JOHNSTON aka AN UNKINDNESS, 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 a band at the very beginning and the very heart of punk rock, a genre that defined his life.
Pop’s uber writers and chart queens CHARLI XCX [with the digital, bubblegum punk of GRAVITY] and SIA [with the shimmering synth-led BEST DAY EVER] are fans of the band invited to contribute to the album by an admiring DEBBIE HARRY.
The Smiths’ JOHNNY MARR, an old friend and admirer, writes MY MONSTER and joins the band on guitar; while DEV HYNES [Lightspeed Champion] cements an enduring partnership with BLONDIE by channelling shards of Heart of Glass into the irresistible LONG TIME.
Along the way, JOAN JETT and LAURIE ANDERSON both made studio appearances on DOOM OR DESTINY, along with THE GREGORY BROTHERS on WHEN I GAVE UP ON YOU.
“Their material is part of us and we are part of them,” says 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 as vital and essential as ever, POLLINATOR is a BLONDIE record for 2017 that stands alongside anything else in their extraordinary career.
World-renowned artist SHEPARD FAIREY designed the POLLINATOR artwork which, as well being available on CD, Digital and Heavy Weight Vinyl, will also be available as a limited edition 7” Box Set. Fans will also be able to order a limited Red Heavy Weight Vinyl from the artist store, and an exclusive White Heavy Weight Vinyl from independent retailers only.
BLONDIE have already announced April dates in Australia and New Zealand, which will soon be followed by the announcement of dates in the USA and Canada in the summer, then UK and Europe dates in the autumn. Full details to follow soon.