Blondie : Look Good in Blue
In December of 1976 Blondie released its debut album on the Private Stock label, best know at the time for David Soul ("Don't Give Up On Us") and the "Theme from Laverne and Shirley". Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios with "Hang On Sloopy" writer Richard Gottehrer producing, Blondie documented the band's live set, with songs like "X Offender", "In the Flesh" ( a #3 hit in Australia), and the Velvet Underground-inspired "Rip Her to Shreds".
"To tell you the truth, I never even knew if Deborah could sing until we went in to make the record," admits keyboardist Jimmy Destri. "I could never hear her on the equipment we had to use on stage".
Private Stock publicity figured the best way to market the band was to send out photos of Deborah Harry in a see through blouse. It didn't work. The album promptly vanished off the US radar. It would take the UK rock media to open our eyes and ears, a familiar story in the mid-70's.
Blondie played a buzz worthy two week stand at the Whiskey a Go Go in February of 1977, opening for another under-achieving band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and then the Ramones. Australian producer Mike Chapman caught the band several times. "I was in hysterics every night, he said. "Sometime later I saw them again and heard they were looking for a producer, and I really wanted to work with them." He would eventually help Blondie make their breakthrough album Parallel Lines.
Most of 1977 would be spent on the road, first with Iggy Pop and David Bowie then Joan Jett. A UK tour paired Blondie up with Television. They spent December touring Australia. Eventually Blondie's manager raised $1,000,000 from Chrysalis to buy out Blondie's contract from Private Stock but the band got swamped in debt. Blondie would spent much of its career dealing with financial problems.