I recently acquired the Best Of CD for this band, and didn't realize how much I liked the band...when I was too young to understand who the hell they were.
Nevermind, it's still fun. I love the Tide is High and all of that. It's odd when a band that was out in the late 70's sounds less dated than the hair metal bands that became the next trend just a few years later.
Now, you may wonder what leads me to my conclusion of Blondie being like No Doubt. No, this is not the obvious shake and bake recipe of blond chick fronting a band. What concerns me more is what they were spawned out of.
To be fair, Green Day can be counted in this group.
Like the Talking Heads, Blondie was part of the whole CBGB group of punk rock, and it's spawn, new wave. As good as these bands were, they were obviously culled out from the pack by big record labels to make pop albums and accessible and non-threatening records for the masses. I remember something on TV talking about how the guy who discovered them saw the lead singer and thought she had star potential.
That's the first rule of culling out your pack: find the "star potential."
Of course, there is the usual nuttiness of finding amongst those bands the ones with the hooky songs. And amongst those, the ones that aren't too political or offensive.
They may have played nothing but punk, ska, or whatever genre they were originally before their first album...but like with Hair Metal, they find out they have to branch out a bit to gain that universal appeal: power ballads. Here is Green Day playing it's 2nd rate knockoff of the Sex Pistols: apolitical suburban boy angst one minute, by the 2nd album, we now have an acoustic ballad. One of the silliest things I've ever seen is Billy Joe Shaver himself, in his zippered sweat top and bleach blond hair, going on the tonight show, solo with an acoustic guitar, and singing "I hope you had the time of your life."
But this ballad was not the first release from their 2nd album....it might have been from their 3rd. I can't remember. But that one song, completely different in nature than the rest of their work, kept their 15 minutes going a little bit longer. Like the powerballad powerhouses of Firehouse and such, they went from getting the metal thrashers sucked in, who got bored of them and went on somewhere else, to getting the Homecoming Dance crowd of 15 year olds, falling prey to the wiles of their hormones, to proclaim "Love of a Lifetime" as their "couple" song.
But there is one slight difference of Blondie vs No Doubt and Green Day. Blondie actually has some good songs....but I am biased in that assesment. No Doubt had a few decent ones, but upon hearing the entire CD as thrust upon me unfortunatly one night....ugh. But you know what I mean: new wave that is new wave but not really. Ska that is ska, but not really ska....