Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Tide Is High

Mark Allen emailed me this week to tell me he'd come across that old Showtime movie "Intimate Stranger," in which Debbie Harry plays a haggard phone-sex operator being stalked by one of her customers. Both of us both remember thinking it was low, even sad, moment in Debbie's career -- "Def, Dumb and Blonde" hadn't done any better than "Rockbird," so dreams of solo success had all but died forever -- but looking back we both agree the film isn't half-bad. Debbie's weird way is highly evident -- she's a little overweight, and the chainsmoking makes her sideways mouth all the more evident -- but I started wondering if it was really such a career low seeing as it was one of the few film roles she ever had in which she carried the film. (The two songs her character sang, including a Janis Joplin classic, are pretty damn good, too.) It's nearly 25 years later and my friend Scooter LaForge was just saying that in a lot of ways, Debbie is currently at the highest she's been in her career since her actual heyday. She looks incredible in recent magazine spreads -- these three shots from FLATTmag say it all -- and Blondie's tours and appearances are so beloved. (Dick Clark, GMA, Andy Cohen all want.) What's hilarious, though, is that I haven't even bothered to buy the new album. Everything I've heard from "The Ghosts of Download" is horribly underwhelming, and that disc or re-recorded hits just reeks of unwarranted desperation. Enjoy it, Debbie & the gang. You deserve it.


Blobby said...

I'm pretty disappointed in the redux and new disks. A re-imaging of the old songs would have been better than straight out re-recordings. Clem Burke has been totally marginalized as a drummer on the new songs - his forceful beat just isn't there.

Ken DeBlock said... a hardcore fan of Debbie and Blondie you owe it to yourself to purchase and listen to the new music (Ghosts of Download). I LOVE the new music and I think there is a few gems that you will love. Skip the re-recorded hits (bad karaoke). I am curious to get your thoughts on GOD...let me know please!
P.S. LOVE your Boblo post today!

Anonymous said...

I've found over the years that I'm often underwhelmed by new Blondie discs but they slowly grow on me and this one's no different. There's one song I still skip but the rest have really taken hold. I agree with Blobby's comment that Clem is marginalized in the production, but the sound, themes, and fun of the disc are pretty unadulterated Debbie/Blondie

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