We’re not too far from on the 2006 induction Ceremony for the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame. The ceremony will be 3/13/06, held in NYC (rather than Cleveland, where the Hall resides). The class of 2006 will be includes Black Sabbath, Blondie, Miles Davis, Sex Pistols, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Herb Alpert/Jerry Moss. I have an old, beat up record guide from Rolling Stone, circa 1979, and thought it would be interesting to review what these premier rock critics thought of these eventual hall-of-famers back then.
Today's spotlight is Blondie: Debbie Harry and the band ended up with 1 album on Rolling Stone’s Top 500, but that one (Parallel Lines) was released after the Guide was published. All three of the discs reviewed for the guide were given 3 stars (out of 5) by critic (and editor of the guide) David Marsh. His view back then: “Punk rock’s answer to Linda Ronstadt? Blondie’s Deborah Harry does for Patti Smith what Alice Cooper did for Iggy Pop: swipes a minor good idea and beats it to death. But the band can play, in a sort of revivified British Invasion style”.
Yep, 3 whole sentences, one might say dismissive. Dave Marsh, of course, is one of the most famous rock critics out there, started Cream magazine, and was editor of Rolling Stone magazine throughout the mid 70’s.
Full disclosure: I own 3 Blondie records, including the first 2. I saw them in concert at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh in ’79 or so, and was pretty disappointed. I think they went downhill around the time they got really popular. I don’t have any of their stuff in digital format.