Before they became the property of big business, Blondie earned a reputation as one of the pioneers of the new wave. Deborah Harry had apparently once clicked finger cymbals with an obscure hippy band, but Blondie started as a fun, no-nonsense pop band with a dirty undercurrent. These three-minute, uptempo, beaty songs recall girl groups such as The Shangri-Las and garage bands, with their multi-tracked female vocals and James Destri's dated organ flourishes. Yet the titles of the best-known songs here, 'X Offender', 'In The Flesh' and 'Rip Her To Shreds', betray the darker themes of a later era.
Clem Burke's drumming shouldn't be underestimated either. His retro-oriented style gives the music a freshness that's rare for 1976. Other highlights include 'A Shark In Jets Clothing' and 'Rifle Range'. The former starts out like The Stranglers at their most mischievous, the latter is a fast number that featured as a bonus on the 12" of 'Heart Of Glass'. This album is one you play over again straight away after hearing it and is well worth buying.