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 their well received debut Blondie (1976), varied sophomore effort Plastic Letters (1978) and the breakout smash Parallel Lines (1978).
With big shoes to fill, the band re-enlisted British hit-making producer Mike Chapman for their fourth album and Parallel Lines follow-up, 1979's upbeat and stylistically diverse Eat to the Beat which went platinum in the U.S. and mirrored its predecessor's success in the U.K. with another #1 showing and a trio of hits that included "Dreaming," "Union City Blue" and "Atomic."