Before Blondie, punk and disco were enemies, pop and reggae were strangers and rock and hip-hop were at war. Through groundbreaking songs, Blondie changed all that and the band's influence on generations of artists that followed is undeniable. They were the first group to emerge from New York's new wave/punk renaissance with an album (1976's Blondie), the first to chart a #1 single, a revolutionary blend of punk and disco ("Heart of Glass") and the first to top the charts with both a rap song (1981's "Rapture") and a reggae tune ("The Tide is High").
The original Blondie was formed in 1974 by art student/guitarist Chris Stein and ex-folkie and ex-Max's Kansas City waitress, vocalist/songwriter Deborah Harry. Drummer Clem Burke and keyboard player Jimmy Destri joined in 1975. The band played the fabled New York downtown circuit of CBGB's, Max's Kansas City and Mothers, amassing a major following before recording a series of stylistic well received albums including Blondie (1976), Plastic Letters (1978), Parallel Lines (1978), Eat to the Beat (1979) and Autoamerican (1980).
Blondie offered up their first concept album with 1982's The Hunter, based on the theme of searching, hunting and pursuing one's own Mt. Everest. Splitting up six months after its release, The Hunter would be the band's last album until their 1999 reunion relesae No Exit and features the calypso oriented "Island of Lost Souls" and dance-rock call back "War Child." In the album's liner notes longtime producer Mike Chapman expressed, "I knew that we were in a different and far less accessible artistic space. And that worried me. I could tell that things were different now, and I knew that this would be the last Blondie album."