Allan Metz, editor,
Blondie, from Punk to the Present
(Musical Legacy, 2002)

This book is a tour-de-force exegesis of the entire Blondie career and the effect lead singer Deborah Harry has had on the role of the blonde female vocalist in pop and rock.

Nearly the first third of the book is given over to the punk milieu from which Blondie sprang and Blondie's role in that scene. This makes the book a fascinating overview of the nascent New York City punk era.

Like the rest of the book, several authors contribute pieces of no more than a few pages. This makes for much redundancy as the same topics are covered, but treat this book as casual reading and reference, and the many points of view coalesce into a detailed and complete if kaleidoscopic view of the territory.

In here are some real nuggets, like the uncensored interview with Harry for High Times and a cross interview with Nina Persson of the Cardigans. There are plenty of photos from all parts of the Blondie/Harry history and some interviews with the photographers. "Part IV: In Retrospect" contains discographies from the U.S. and U.K. perspectives along with many pages of appreciations from various authors.

Metz gives a short synopsis of each article explaining how it fits into the overall picture. The book is a must for the Blondie fan and adds much to those that are interested in the NYC punk landscape she grew out of.

by Tom Schulte

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