BLONDIE – ” Blondie At The BBC “

Posted: January 16, 2023 in MUSIC

New Years Eve 1979, Blondie performed live for the “Old Grey Whistle Test” BBC 2 tv show, at the Apollo Theatre in Glasgow. marking the turn of a new decade performing from december 1979 to january 1980, Blondie wowed their live audience with fan favourites such as ‘Heart Of Glass’, ‘Hanging On The Telephone’, ‘Denis Denis plus many many more! the Old Grey Whistle Test, was an influential BBC2 tv show which ran from 1971 – 1987. the concept of the show was devised by BBC producer Rowan Ayers.

Blondie were made in the punk/new wave scene of New York’s legendary punk club CBGB’s in the mid to late ’70s. Up until their third album “Parallel Lines”, they were fairly underground in the States, albeit growing in popularity in the United Kingdom and across Europe. It was this popularity that saw the band gain a coveted place performing on the famed “Old Grey Whistle Test” on New Year’s Eve, 1979.

It seemed as if Blondie were a few steps ahead at the time, and they knew exactly what they were doing when many accused Blondie of being “uncool” by going disco. They proved it too, with performances like this one. Harry is a demon on the mic, possessed and in charge simultaneously; an act that has been finely curated over the years. Meanwhile, the rest of the band are as sharp as a highly-polished pin, Clem Burke embodying Keith Moon and Chris Stein providing some searing solos, making it one of their finer shows. Put together, it provides not only the perfect moment the band crossed from a punk band into pop icons 

The show hosted many acts of the era including the first British tv performance of Bob Marley and the Wailers. as well as the performances from artists such as Billy Joel and Heart, who at the time were considered to be little known, but who’s footage now is considered precious. this is a fantastic collection for any Blondie fan with the entire live BBC Radio 1 recordings of the 1979 concert on cd.

One of Blondie’s definitive songs, ‘Heart of Glass’ has often been seen as the moment the band transcended their punk roots and turned their attention to pop. There’s perhaps no greater showing of this musical evolution than in their performance for The Old Grey Whistle Test back in 1979. The BBC show was famed for casting some of the most searing punk bands into mainstream TV but when Blondie arrived they were teetering on pop-stardom 

As well as spectacular live footage of the Glasgow gig on Dvd, plus 3 Top Of The Pops performances (‘Denis’ / ‘Picture This’ / ‘Sunday Girl’).

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