A Blondie’s Dozen
“X Offender” (from Blondie, 1976)
The tale of a hooker who falls for the cop who books her, the band’s very first single (originally titled “Sex Offender”) is a jingly update of 1960s girl group pop—if all the girls were sluts.
“Rip Her to Shreds” (from Blondie, 1976)
A decade before anyone began “throwing shade,” Harry was trash-talking some boring scene queen with bad shoes and a crappy nose job. We don’t know her, but we know her.
“Hanging on the Telephone” (from Parallel Lines, 1978)
Over yearning guitars and a propulsive double backbeat, a randy, love-starved Harry rings up her man and begs for a fix. You can practically see the phone booth steaming up.
“Heart of Glass” (from Parallel Lines, 1978)
Once we had a love, and it was a gas. Soon turned out... to be the most enduring, ecstatic, irresistible fusion of disco and rock ever recorded.
“One Way or Another” (from Parallel Lines, 1978)
From Harry’s snarling vocals to its crunchy rhythm section, this song about an ex-boyfriend– turned-stalker will win ya, getcha, and—when those ominous sirens kick in at the end—sorta disturb ya.
“Atomic” (from Eat to the Beat, 1979)
Start with a “Three Blind Mice” sample, throw in a little spaghetti western twang, add some sizzling hi-hats, finish with the deadpan thud of Harry delivering the title lyric. The bomb, indeed.
“Dreaming” (from Eat to the Beat, 1979)
Because the only thing brighter, bolder, and more fabulous than this rousing ode to woolgathering and empowerment is the hot blue Stephen Sprouse unitard Harry wore in its video.
“Call Me” (theme From American Gigolo, 1980)
A sultry, explosive marriage of two great minds — Harry wrote the song with disco producer Giorgio Moroder — the group’s biggest hit was also the No. 1 single of the year.
“The Tide Is High” (from Autoamerican, 1980)
Blondie’s ongoing fascination with reggae began here, with this infectious, sun-speckled cover of a hidden gem by Jamaican trio the Paragons.
“Susie and Jeffrey” (from “The Tide is High” B-side, 1980)
One of their more obscure cuts, this twisted, wickedly funny riff on “Chapel of Love” follows a couple planning to wed—until they get into a car accident.
“Rapture” (from Autoamerican, 1980)
A daffy, horn-filled mix of disco and hip-hop (note the punny title), this No. 1 about a people-eating “Man from Mars” is still the only real proof we have that white chicks can rap.
“Maria” (from No Exit, 1999)
After a 17-year hiatus, the group returned with this fiery tribute to a head-turning, untouchable, icy cool diva who might as well have been Harry herself.
“A Rose by Any Name” [ft. Beth Ditto] (from Ghosts of Download, 2014)
Harry’s been toying with sex and feminism for decades, so it’s only fitting that she’d team up with another punk-pop outlaw for this dance-floor stomper about genderless love.