Buddy Iahn | May 20, 2021 | Notable Releases, Pop
BLONDIE: VIVIR EN LA HABANA TO BE RELEASED JULY 16TH ON LIMITED EDITION BLUE VINYL Legendary New York rock band Blondie has announced the July 16th release of the official soundtrack to Blondie: Vivir En La Habana, a new short film capturing the band’s 2019 live debut performance in Havana, Cuba. The film is set for its North American premiere at the Tribeca Festival and UK premiere at the Sheffield Doc/Fest, both in June.
A 40 year dream come true, the iconic band was invited to perform as part of a cultural exchange through the Cuban Ministry of Culture. The four day event dubbed “Blondie in Havana” was a one-of-a-kind experience that included two career-spanning sets and brought the band’s prolific catalogue to Cuba for the very first time.
This seminal experience and career highlight was documented in the new short film, Blondie: Vivir En La Habana, created by artist and director Rob Roth. The official soundtrack of the same title is to be released via BMG as a six track EP on limited edition blue vinyl, and will feature some of Blondie’s most iconic hits performed live, including “The Tide is High” and “Wipe Off My Sweat” which are available digitally now, as well as “Heart of Glass,” “Rapture,” “Dreaming” and “Long Time,” taken from their last album UK Top 5 album Pollinator (2017). These shows were performed live with special guests including Carlos Alfonso, Ele Valdés and María del Carmen Ávila of Cuban group, Síntesis.
“We had wonderful Cuban musicians join us for the performances – vocalists, percussionists, horn players – they added a terrific level of excitement to our songs. On ‘The Tide Is High’, Síntesis vocalists Ele Valdés and Maria del Carmen Avila sang with me and did the original harmonies that John Holt had put on the song, it was incredibly beautiful. Latin music has always been part of the feel of New York, so it was amazing to finally be able to put a very personal touch on the heartbeat of Cuba. VIVA!” notes Debbie Harry.
“This was a great opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of Cuba. It is such a beautiful and friendly country. There is so much appreciation for art, music and nature. The Cuban people have a joy for life, and it was amazing to experience that first hand,” adds Clem Burke.
Blondie: Vivir En La Habana, due to be released later this year, touches on subjects ranging from the influence of Cuban artists, the crossover from Havana to New York City, politics and the last minute surprise and disappointment that Chris Stein unexpectedly wasn’t able to attend. Under Roth’s direction, the film, which features narration from Debbie, Chris, and Clem, presents a meditation on this formative trip, showcasing highlights from the two-night live musical performances, as well as unique, intimate behind-the-scenes moments captured throughout their time in Cuba. It is a dream-like portrait of this legendary band’s first experience in Havana and of the magical exchange between musicians from the two cities each call home and their intertwined influence.
“When this opportunity came up I could not imagine not documenting it. I knew it was going to be special somehow,” explains Director Rob Roth. “We were there for a short period of time but we managed to pack in some really beautiful moments, and authentic interactions with people think that is what the title of the film is all about: being ALIVE in Havana, not just living there. So for me the music, the live performances, watching all the Cuban people enjoy life, and the expressions on their faces… that is being ALIVE.”
In addition to its North American debut at Tribeca Festival from June 9-20, Blondie: Vivir En La Habana has also been confirmed to premiere in the UK at the Sheffield Doc/Fest June 4-13, and has already garnered praise at the Rizoma Film Festival on May 12th, and at SeeYouSound International Music Film Festival which took place in February of this year.
Blondie: Vivir En La Habana will also be available on limited edition blue vinyl via its webstore.
1. The Tide Is High
2. Long Time
3. Wipe Off My Sweat
4. Heart of Glass