Saturday, 2 June 2018

Blondie - Blondie At The BBC (1979)


Recorded live on New Year's Eve 1979 in Glasgow

A live album catching "power pop" favourites Blondie at the height of their chart success in 1979. Unlike many of the At The BBC releases, this is not a collection of "recorded live in studio sessions" recordings, but a full live gig, from Glasgow's Apollo Theatre. The sound quality is not 100% perfect, but it is perfectly acceptable.

Blondie were never the greatest live band around at the time, a little bit messy at times (maybe it's just me though), but this is an enjoyable New Year's Eve romp. I remember watching it live on the TV that very evening (remember live gigs were extremely rare back then).

Although the set list concentrates a lot on their latest release, Eat To The Beat, (actually every track except for Sound Asleep), all the hits are played (a disappointing, slowed-down, lazy opener in Denis, Atomic, Dreaming, Hanging On The Telephone, Heart Of Glass and Sunday Girl) plus some of my favourites in X Offender, Pretty Baby, Die Young Stay Pretty and a surprisingly good cover of The Four Tops' Seven Rooms Of Gloom. Some searing lead guitar on The Hardest Part that also sees Debbie Harry at her sneering punky vocal best. Accidents Never Happen is also well delivered too, another piece of outstanding guitar/organ interplay. The cacophonous, discordant Victor is actually more tolerable on here than on the original Eat To The Beat album.

There is a strange bit at the end of Atomic when the band launch straight into Eat To The Beat (which has already been played) and it ends abruptly and they go straight into Picture This which is a bit confusing. Should Atomic have come before Eat To The Beat? But the earlier Eat To The Beat starts differently, so who knows!

Good memories. Every now and again I put it on and it's New Years' Eve 1979 again.

Below is a clip of the group performing Heart Of Glass from the concert.