Following the release of Blondie’s ninth studio album earlier this year, lead singer Debbie Harry claimed in an interview, “Computers and the internet and downloading songs completely ruined the music industry and everything artists used to work for.”
The album, “Panic of Girls,” was the new wave band’s first since 2003’s “The Curse Of Blondie,” both of which were met with mixed reviews and very little fanfare in the US. In conflict with Harry’s complaint, “Panic of Girls” was first released as a digital download earlier this summer followed by record (ahem, album) sales exclusively through Amazon.com.
While there’s no doubt the singer displays a huskier, more mature version of her vocal qualities on this new album, her disdain for modern technology as it affects her industry is what really dates her image.
She added, “I remember when vinyl was corrupted by cassettes and the whole industry went crazy thinking nobody would sell any records, so it’s really been heading this way for quite some time.”
“Corrupted” is a pretty strong word, considering the two mediums existed in harmony, with records actually outlasting their progressors thanks to the rise of turntablism as an art form. Is it possible to remember something that never actually happened?
It’s true, digital sales are consistently rising, along with illegal downloads. Should Debbie Harry be worried about this? Probably not. Should the record executives who represent her? Maybe, but it looks like their time to cash in on Blondie’s sound has long since passed. There will always be fans tuning in for nostalgia’s sake, but most of them are still buying hardcopy media anyway.
As with many aging stars, Debbie Harry seems to be attempting to cash in on her previous fame and blaming others when she can’t. The internet is an easy scapegoat, being large, omniscient, and difficult for old people to understand.
It’s probably time to bury the hatchet and move on. That’s what we did after Blondie’s early attempt at rap with the 1981 single, “Rapture.” It took Won-G and KRS-One to make that sound better. Please Debbie, don’t hurt ’em.