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Eat to the Beat

An album by Blondie

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Blondie 'Un-derrated'

  • Jan 12, 2000
Rating:
+3
The illluminati will tell you that Parallel Lines is the greatest Blondie album, and the charts will tell you that Autoamerican is. Eat to the Beat is supposed to be the album where Blondie got too big for its boots, but that's not the way I see it. Blondie rocks harder on this album than their earlier discs, where Debbie Harry tended to sound like a Martha Reeves wannabe. This time round it's hi-octane New York rock - drummer Clem Burke kicks the album off like a man who really should cut down on coffee with 'Dreaming', a cut which updates the Vandellas' sound to late seventies New York. The album has its fair share of classic Blondie tracks: the shadow of disco is thrown across the exquisite 'Atomic' (are they Hank Marvin's guitars we hear in the background, Mr Stein? Has someone been dusting off his Shadows' 20 golden greats collection? I think we should be told) and Union City Blue is another greatest hits staple which is characteristic of the feel of the album. There are some buried treasures here, too - in the slower tempos of 'Shayla' Debbie sings like a reconstructed country Diva, the band rocks out on 'The Hardest Part', a song which is apparently about holding up a security van, and `Die Young, Stay Pretty' is a world-weary take on the subject matter of the earlier, sublime `Picture This'. Eat to the Beat certainly isn't perfect - but neither is Rock 'n' Roll. The silly title track is the weakest link, and while 'The Victor' is a beautifully formed piece of sceaming punk rock it is, alas, totally misplaced on this album, coming as it does immediately after the pedestrian (but similarly out of place) 'Sound Asleep'. Maybe that's the point - it was a bit of pre-post modernism to buttress these to tracks together in the first place - but for my money the album could have done without either. Eat to the Beat ain't perfect - but I don't think any Blondie album is (aside from their 'Best of...', which without question is a 5 star affair). But over a whole album it's as good as they were - attitude without being amateur, sophistication without going through the motions (which they did during Autoamerican). And, in Atomic and Shayla, some classic American music.

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review by . January 06, 2000
Well, the illluminati will tell you that Parallel Lines is the greatest Blondie album, and the charts will tell you that Autoamerican is. Eat to the Beat is supposed to be the album where Blondie got too big for its boots, but that's not the way I see it. Blondie rocks harder on this album than their earlier discs, where Debbie Harry tended to sound like a Martha and the Vandellas wannabe. This time round it's hi-octane New York rock - Clem Burke kicks the album off like a man who really should …
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Olly Buxton ()
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1987 U.K. reissue on Chrysalis of their top 20 1979 album for the label. Out of print in the U.S., it features all 12 original tracks, including the top 30 hit 'Dreaming' and thetop 40 'Atomic'.
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Label: Musicrama, Koch
Artist: Blondie
Release Date: August 3, 1995

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