Blondie Live By Request

Not unlike all of the instalments of Live By Request, Blondie’s contribution to the series was supposed to be a greatest hits live collection. While LBR may contain many of Blondie’s greatest hits however, they are far from their greatest performances. Blondie foolishly pour themselves into the songs they chose from their latest record, The Curse of Blondie, but expend exactly no energy on the audience’s requests. Staples like "Heart of Glass”, "One Way Or Another” and "Call Me” all get glossed over and generally given abysmal treatment, giving the impression that the band and Deborah Harry in particular, are disgusted with their back catalogue and have no desire to relive past glories. Furthermore, Harry removes all doubts that her voice hasn’t improved with age and she’s either not capable of or not willing to give even a decent performance of the band’s hits, with only "Rapture” showing some signs of life. Blondie has consistently proven that, since their early ’80s hey day, they’ve been incapable of capturing the popular attention of listeners save for a handful of sporadic singles. With that in mind it has been contended that the only reason their career isn’t dead yet is because no one’s told them it is. Still, at the top of their game, Blondie left a pretty impressive legacy and it’s incredible that they’ve managed to stretch a downward spiral for 20 years. It’s a shame that, given their back catalogue is really all they’ve got left, Blondie has set its sights on destroying that as well. (Sanctuary)