A much-loved band of the 1970s who are still going strong will be the stars of the latest Vinyl Sessions event in Harrogate next week.
Taking place at Starling Bar Café Kitchen on Oxford Street on Wednesday, October 16, there will be a complete playback on glorious vinyl of Blondie’s classic Parallel Lines to raise funds for Harrogate Hospital.
The band was made up of Deborah Harry (vocals), Chris Stein (guitar), Frank Infante (guitar), Nigel Harrison (bass), Jimmy Destri (keyboards) and Clem Burke (drums) and actually released its debut album in 1977.
But it was Parallel Lines which was the big breakthrough.
First released in February 1979, it reached number one in the UK at the height of the New Wave and punk era and proved to be the band’s commercial breakthrough in the United States, where it reached number six in April 1979.
It made lead singer and songwriter Debbie Harry an international star and, to use the outdated language of those times, a "sex symbol."
But Blondie were no one man's band (or woman's) and very far from one hit wonders, going on to record a string of hit singles before splitting up in 1982 then reforming in triumph in 1997.
As of 2008, the Parallel Lines album had already sold over 20 million copies worldwide thanks to hit singles such as Heart of Glass, Sunday Girl, Picture This, Hanging on the Telephone and One Way Or Another.
Forty years on, Debbie Harry’s tough vocal style still really punches through with attitude and even Chris Stein’s guitar work seems subdued by comparison.
From an audio point of view this album is album is a tricky one to work with due to the production techniques that in many ways make everything but the vocals sound a little thin – one of the most interesting challenges for Colin but he’s keeping a lid on the audio menu for now.
In a retrospective of 1970s post-punk albums, US music magazine Spin’s Sasha Frere-Jones said Parallel Lines may have been “the perfect pop-rock record” and Blondie’s best album.
In Britain, the album was so successful it helped make Debbie Harry a household name.
The event starts at 7.30pm with a guest speaker Graham Chalmers of the Harrogate Advertiser, then the playback on vinyl will take place at around 8pm.
Tickets are free to reserve but a suggested donation of £5 to the charity on admission is be appreciated.
Every penny raised goes to Friends of Harrogate Hospital Community Charity.
For full details and tickets for Vinyl Session at www.vinylsessions.org