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Blondie open archive of unheard demos for box-set release

The 124-track set features their first six albums plus fan-pleasing curios such as the band’s first-ever recording session

theguardian.com – 8th June 2022

By Ben Beaumont-Thomas

Blondie in 1976 – the band are releasing their first box-set

Blondie are opening their archive to create their first box-set release, featuring 36 tracks that have never been previously heard.

Drawn from a hoard of master tapes and ephemera that lay in a barn belonging to the band’s Chris Stein in Woodstock, New York, the set – entitled Blondie: Against the Odds 1974-1982 – totals 124 tracks. Their first six studio albums are included, appended with demos, outtakes, alternate versions and rarities.

These include a recording of the band’s first-ever recording session in 1974, featuring an early version of Out in the Streets; The Disco Song, soon retitled Once I Had a Love, and then Heart of Glass; and a cover of the Ike and Tina Turner song Sexy Ida.

The box set also features early versions of future hits like Hanging on the Telephone and Denis, and previously unreleased demos of Live It Up and Angels on the Balcony recorded with Giorgio Moroder, who produced their hit Call Me.

Released today is a previously unheard version of their cover of Moonlight Drive by the Doors.

Frontwoman Debbie Harry said: “It really is a treat to see how far we have come when I listen to these early attempts to capture our ideas on relatively primitive equipment … When I listen to these old tracks, it puts me there like I am a time traveller. As bad as it was sometimes, it was also equally as good. No regrets.”

Stein said: “I am hopeful that this project will provide a glimpse into the process, and some of the journey that the songs took from idea to final form. Some of this stuff is like early sketches; the old tape machines are like primitive notebooks. The trickiest thing for me was always about getting the melodies out of my head into reality and the changes that would happen along the way.”

In the liner notes, the band provide a track-by-track commentary alongside dozens of previously unpublished photos. The box set, released on 26 August in a collaboration with acclaimed archival label Numero Group, comes in 10LP, 4LP, 8CD and 3CD formats.

Blondie went on hiatus in 1982, the last year documented by the box set, but reformed in 1997. They have continued to tour ever since – including a critically acclaimed run of UK arenas earlier this year – and have released five further albums.


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