YEAR RELEASED: 1976
CHART ACTION: #75 UK
SINGLES: X Offender, In the Flesh, Rip Her to Shreds
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Man Overboard?
LINEUP: Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, Gary Valentine, Jimmy Destri, Clem Burke
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: First album by NYC CBGB band has some hooks, some very memorable songs, and shows some of what Blondie would become.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Blondie was still kind of finding their way around (after evolving from a girl group parody / tribute way back when) when they dropped this record on the public to yawns and sighs in late 1976. But, if the public would have listened, they would have found a lot of things to like about it.
Jimmy Destri’s organ is the star of the music – full of fun hooks and fills all over the place. Harry is the star of star, of course. You can’t help but listen to her. The songs are about 50/50 hit or miss, though Harry makes most of them decent, and makes songs like “In the Flesh” and “Rip Her to Shreds” stellar. When she coos, “I could give you some head and shoulders to lie on…” you take notice!
About half the record stands up with their best work, and since it’s relatively unknown it’s like bonus Blondie, right?
NOTES & MINUTIAE: This was originally released on Private Stock records. The original single mix for “X Offender” was, well, not good. Then they dumped out of their contract to sign with Chrysalis, and that company re-released it.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, demos and those Private Stock mixes.
GRADE: B+: It’s a fun record with some pretty great songs balancing the mediocre ones.