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The Romantics and Blondie (Read 1628 times)
Ken_Cheng
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The Romantics and Blondie
Mar 20th, 2005 at 6:10am
 
The Romantics and Blondie have many things in common.  Both bands got their start in the late 1970s playing energetic music that was associated with punk rock, but both bands went on to greater fame and success in the early 1980s playing a more pop-oriented reinterpretation of punk rock called New Wave.  Both bands hit their commercial and popular peaks during the early 1980s, then retreated from the spotlight by mid-decade as various personal issues and the public's changing musical tastes came to the fore.  Both bands were out of the spotlight during the late 1980s and early 1990s, although their songs remained popular.  Both bands re-emerged with successful new albums in recent years (Blondie with NO EXIT in 1999 and the Romantics with 61/49 in 2003).  Both bands have earned a status among younger musicians and music critics as respected veterans of an earlier period of pop music history.  Both bands even shared a drummer:  Clem Burke. 

That's where the similarities end.

Last week, I played The Romantics' WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU (AND OTHER ROMANTIC HITS) and Blondie's GREATEST HITS back-to-back.  Both groups were/are great, but both had very difference approaches and dynamics to their music.

The Romantics basically played one style of music (British Invasion-inspired power pop with a punkish energy), but played it better than just about all of their contemporaries.  There wasn't a single weak track on WILAY (AORH).  Any of the songs from the compilation could have been a monster hit with the right promotion.  All the songs were also, however, more or less in the same style.  The Romantics were among the very best practitioners of their style, but it was a singular style; the Romantics were not pop eclectics.

Blondie seemed to have a multitude of different sounds (indeed, I can only think of the Beatles as another act capable of so many different styles):  there's the throwback early 60s girl group sound of "In The Flesh", the disco of "Heart of Glass", the Romantics-like guitar power pop of "Call Me", the reggae of "The Tide Is High", and even the early rap of "Rapture".  Blondie was far more versatile than the Romantics were, but this versatility sometimes made Blondie inconsistent.  Whereas the Romantics WILAY (AORH) was solid all the way through, I thought Blondie's GREATEST HITS actually had quite a few misses to go along with the hits.  It didn't play as well from end-to-end as the Romantics' compilation did. 

That being said, Blondie had four or five huge hits (a few of which reached # 1) during the 1980s to the Romantics' one big chart hit ("Talking In Your Sleep" got to # 3, but "What I Like About You" and "One In A Million" just barely hit either side of the lower Top 40).

The two bands seem to have quite a bit in common.  The Romantics didn't quite capture the public consciousness the way Blondie did (probably because Blondie had Debbie Harry).



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mymeka
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Re: The Romantics and Blondie
Reply #1 - Mar 25th, 2005 at 11:22pm
 
Yeah...........BUT The Romantics are WAY cuter in those tight leather pants - ha!   Grin

Lori
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pinkbubelz
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Re: The Romantics and Blondie
Reply #2 - Mar 30th, 2005 at 4:22am
 
Eww... Blondie in tight leather pants... couldn't even compare to the guys... back in the day! Smiley
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Ken_Cheng
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Re: The Romantics and Blondie
Reply #3 - Mar 30th, 2005 at 11:45am
 
Quote:
Eww... Blondie in tight leather pants... couldn't even compare to the guys... back in the day! Smiley


Between the Romantics and Blondie, I guess you get the best of both worlds.  The Romantics supplied the eye candy for the ladies, and Debbie Harry of Blondie supplied the eye candy for the guys.  Smiley

Both bands delivered great music, however.

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