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on 29 May 2010
Finally, in 1989, Deborah Harry released an album that was not only produced by Blondie's main producer, Mike Chapman, but was every bit as strong as `Parallel Lines', `Eat to the Beat' and `Autoamerican'. `Def, Dumb and Blonde' is Harry at the peak of her enigmatic powers, tapping punk, new wave, dance, pop and 60s girl bands to create a delectably assured whole.

Curiously, the weakest song on the album is the opening single, `I Want That Man' (written by Tom Bailey and Alannah Currie from The Thompson Twins), which was a huge hit in a number of countries outside the US. In comparison to the rest of the album, it is overly frivolous and frothy, plus it suffers from piano-heavy production that dates it rather badly. While it is certainly not bad, the rest of the record is much better.

This set of 15 songs features no less than eight first rate Harry/ Chris Stein (Blondie guitarist and former long time partner) compositions. The album could have comprised only these and the first two singles and it would still have been brilliant. `Maybe for Sure' and `He Is So' are dreamy, haunting new wave pop partners. `Get Your Way' is an awesome dance rocker with a quirky, attitude-heavy rap break. `Bike Boy' is a screeching mid-70s punk rocker and `Brite Side' is an almost-ballad, full of the beautifully poetic turns of phrase that are uniquely Deborah Harry (though the mix featured in the closing credits of the 80s/90s TV series, `Wiseguy' was better). But the pièce de résistance is the stunning, epic closing track, `End of the Run', a spoken word reminiscence on a time of leather jackets, guitars and cars - Harry has never been heard in finer voice than this.

The remaining tracks, by other writers, are all very fine. `Comic Books' (a cover of a song by 70s New York punk rockers, The Fast) and `Forced to Live' are punk companion pieces to `Bike Boy', while `Calmarie', a slow bossa nova styled piece co-written by Brazillian jazz percussionist, Naná Vasconcelos, sports Harry in an utterly virtuosic vocal performance.

`Def, Dumb and Blonde' is one of the very best things Deborah Harry has ever recorded, with and without Blondie. It is clear evidence of the benefits of working with a producer that `gets' the artist - which her previous solo project producers evidently did not. It might have been a relative commercial flop, but it is an absolute must for any rock collection.
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on 21 September 2002
Among most Blondie fans Def Dumb & Blonde is Deborah Harry's most appreciated solo album. Most likely because this is her solo album which comes closest to Debbie's work with Blondie.
I want that man, Lovelight, Get your way and the pure punkrock: Bikeboy, Bugeye,Comic books and Forced to live could easily be recaptured under the Blondie name. This album contains three beautiful ballads: Calmarie, Briteside and End of the run which are breathtaking! The only song which is a mistake is the annoying I'll never fall in love.
Great album especcially if you love Blondie !
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on 24 February 2004
Without a doubt, Debbie's best solo album, and definately a worthy addition to any Blondie lover.
A good mix of pop / rock / punk and ballads.
This cd spawned some strong singles, the pop genius of "I want that man", the gorgeous 'Brite Side', and the brilliant 'Sweet and Low'.
Its filled with great songs, 'Kiss It Better', the beautiful 'maybe for sure' and 'Calmarie', 'He is so' (check out the violins on this pop gem), the sweet jamaican lilt of 'I'll never fall in love again' and the final track 'End of the run', which is one of her strongest moments, and a truly emotional track.
A great album, worthy of a space in any pop collection.
Track listing as follows:
1. I Want That Man
2. Lovelight
3. Kiss It Better
4. Bike Boy (CD only)
5. Get Your Way
6. Maybe For Sure
7. I'll Never Fall In Love (CD only)
8. Calmarie
9. Sweet And Low
10. He Is So
11. Bugeye
12. Comic Books (CD only)
13. Forced To Live (CD only)
14. Brite Side
15. End Of The Run
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on 16 January 2008
The previous reviewer from South Africa must have been listening to a different Deborah Harry. I bought this album the first time it was released in 1989 on cassette, then I ended up buying the CD, then the remastered CD. She was the first proper pin-up, her picture adorned every schoolboy's bedroom wall in the late 70s/early 80s and the UK charts during this time was dominated by her band Blondie.

Def Dumb & Blonde is a masterpiece - some of the finest material ever written and recorded by Deborah Harry. "Get Your Way", "Bike Boy" and the brilliant "Maybe For Sure" are my personal favourites but the whole album when I first bought it got played to death!

It is great to see that, despite being nearly 63 years of age, she is STILL writting and recording material that would put artists more than half her age to shame.

Great album and great price and an ESSENTIAL purchase for anyone with even a remote interest in her work.
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on 30 December 2009
Debbie Harry changed styles for this album, making a dance album of the style of Rapture. While not classic Debbie Harry Rock fare this is still a good album which has stood the test of time, some tracks are a bit dated but the music is still good today.
Having fallen under the spell of Miss Harry from 1977 I have enjoyed every phase of her career to date and look forward to the next incarnation she comes up with. Whatever it is will be enjoyable. Out of sight is definitely not out of mind to her fans.
DB
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on 25 August 2009
MANY YEARS AGO A VERY SPECIAL FRIEND, WENT TO AMERICA FOR A HOLIDAY, ON HER RETURN SHE PRESENTED ME WITH A CASSETTE CALLED DEF DUMB&BLONDE. THE MUSIC ON IT IS EXCELLENT! I HAVE TRIED FOR YEARS TO FIND THE ALBUM ON CD SO I COULD LISTEN TO IT IN THE CAR. RECENTLY I PURCHASED A LAPTOP AND DID A GOOGLE SEARCH AND FOUND THE CD, IT WAS GREAT VALUE AND DELIVERED VERY QUICKLY. RESULT ONE HAPPY BUNNY.ME!
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on 6 April 2013
I love blondie,always have,love all the songs on this dvd,anyone who loves blondie,,and deborah harry its a must to buy.Regards,Lorraine.
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on 11 February 2013
This lady is up there with the best singers of her time and this CD i think is one of her best
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on 29 October 2014
Great Thank you.
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This album offers little of the Blondie magic. There are very few catchy hooks with the pop spark that made the band's songs so special. Most of the tracks are mid tempo ballads but the songs don't really stay with the listener.

Sweet and Low is loosely based on the lyrics of the hymn Swing Low Sweet Chariot, He Is So is a mildly pleasant pop ballad as is Brite Side. Bugeye starts out promising a rock approach but then goes nowhere in its tunelessness.

The long track End Of The Run consists mostly of spoken word parts alternating with some singing. I Want That Man is a welcome exception, a tuneful guitar-driven interlude with some poetic lyrics approaching Blondie at its best whilst Lovelight, another rock number, offers a certain atmospheric charm.

There are some nice instrumental flourishes on Kiss It Better. Besides I Want That Man, my other favorites are Maybe For Sure which has some rousing singing and a good melody and Calmarie with its tribal rhythms. This is not by any means a bad album but I have been spoilt by the power pop of Blondie and therefore expected better.
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