Live by Request
contains superb footage taken from the American TV special of the same name, plus four previously unseen songs, which were recorded at the same time but not broadcast. The performances are intersected with exclusive interview footage with band members, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein.
In 1974 Blondie was formed by art student guitarist Chris Stein and Playboy Bunny and platinum-haired beauty Debbie Harry. Blondie defied categorisation because they produced the music they loved, scoring the first major reggae, rock/disco and hip-hop hits, writing great rock hooks and brilliant ironic lyrics. They wore the hippest fashions and with Debbie's striking looks it wasn't long before she and the band were commanding the front covers of the biggest and trendiest magazines. Their thirty year career has included a staggering six UK No. 1's and many huge international smash hits including "Heart of Glass", "Call Me", "Maria" and "The Tide Is High"--all of which are featured on this DVD.
Originally performed and broadcast for A&E on May 7, 2004 from Manhattan's John Jay College, Blondie: Live by Request
finds New York City's cherished punk-popsters older, rounder, and still in possession--if not always in complete control--of the fire needed for credible performances of classics like "Dreaming," "Rapture," "Call Me," and "Heart of Glass." The 2004 Blondie includes founders Deborah Harry, Chris Stein, and Clem Burke solidly backed by Paul Carbonara (guitar), Kevin Topping (keyboards), and Leigh Foxx (bass). The disc's 17 tracks comprise Blondie's biggest hits, with "Atomic" notably absent and four cuts from 2003's Curse of Blondie
(including a touching tribute to Joey Ramone) holding their own against the tried and true. Harry remains her flamboyant self, compensating for a diminishing vocal range with fresh phrasings and boundless pizzazz. Lead guitarist Stein seems lost at times, while drummer Burke plays tighter than ever, cementing the songs with a mix of disco sass and punk fervor. Keep your remote handy: caller requests and the show's vapid emcee get old fast.
DVD sound is timbrally on target but dynamically compressed to within an inch of its life, but the mix breathes better in surround (Dolby or DTS) and it's easier on the ears in DTS. --Michael Mikesell