Blondie Releases ‘Against the Odds 1974-1982’ Box Set

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Photo of Blondie by Shig Ikeda; used with permission

Blondie, the New York music legends, mark a career milestone with the release of the first ever authorized and in-depth archive in their history, a rarity for a band almost 50 years into their career with 40 million records sold. Blondie: Against The Odds 1974-1982 was released on August 26, 2022, via UMe and The Numero Group. Scroll below for order links, as well as the official unboxing video and several previously unreleased recordings. Listen to plenty of the extras below, including the fabulous 10-minute “Disco Version” of “Rapture.”

From the original June 8 announcement: Remastered from the original analog tapes and cut at Abbey Road Studios, this expansive box set is available on four formats (Super Deluxe Collectors’ Edition, Deluxe 4-LP, Deluxe 8-CD and 3-CD editions). Housed in a foil-wrapped carton, Against The Odds includes extensive liner notes by Erin Osmon, track by track commentary from Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, Clem Burke, Jimmy Destri, Nigel Harrison, Frank Infante, and Gary Valentine, essays by producers Mike Chapman, Richard Gottehrer, and Ken Shipley, a 120-page illustrated discography, and hundreds of period photographs.

Watch the official video for “Die Young Stay Pretty,” released on July 29

This archive box set – the first band-authorized collection in their 50-year history – includes their first six studio albums recorded for Chrysalis; Blondie, Plastic Letters, Parallel Lines, Eat To The Beat, Autoamerican, The Hunter, and in turn their catalogue of era-defining hits “Heart Of Glass,” “Atomic,” “The Tide Is High,” “Sunday Girl,” “Rapture,” and “Call Me.” These six groundbreaking albums have been expanded to include over four dozen demos (including the group’s first-ever recording session), alternate versions, and studio outtakes, creating a near-complete document of Blondie’s studio sessions prior to their 1982 hiatus.

Watch the official unboxing video

Debbie Harry said, “It really is a treat to see how far we have come when I listen to these early attempts to capture our ideas on relatively primitive equipment. Fortunately the essence of being in a band in the early 70’s held some of the anti-social, counter culture energies of the groups that were the influencers of the 60’s. I am excited about this special collection. When I listen to these old tracks, it puts me there like I am a time traveler. As bad as it was sometimes, it was also equally as good. No regrets. More music.”

Blondie (Photo: Norman Seeff; used with permission)

“I am hopeful that this project will provide a glimpse into the ‘process’ and some of the journey that the songs took from idea to final form,” guitarist Chris Stein said. “Some of this stuff is like early sketches; the old tape machines are like primitive notebooks. The trickiest thing for me was always about getting the melodies out of my head into reality and the changes that would happen along the way.”

“I Love You Honey, Give Me a Beer” appears on one of Against The Odds‘ bonus records of rarities, this one named after Autoamerican‘s intended title: Coca-Cola. The previously forgotten, original demo ultimately involved into the country-inflected “Go Through It” which closed Side A of the album.

The concept for Autoamerican centered on themes of American pop culture and Americana, and Chris Stein’s original idea was to adorn the cover with a Coca-Cola logo and nothing else; the art for the bonus LP honors the vision.

“It is amazing that after all this time, and against the odds, our Blondie archival box set will finally be released. It’s been a long time coming and we are all very happy and excited with the final results,” drummer Clem Burke added.

“From the moment I walked into Chris Stein’s barn and saw a wall of tapes I knew we were on the precipice of something extraordinary,” producer Ken Shipley said. “Against The Odds is a treasure chest disguised as a box set.”

One of the previously unreleased tracks is “Mr. Sightseer,” recorded in 1978 on the TEAC TCA-43 four track reel-to-reel in Chris Stein and Debbie Harry’s home.

“Blondie is a group of extraordinary artists,” producer Steve Rosenthal said. “Years of searching, months of mixing, mastering and restoration, days of decisions went into this box set to highlight the unique path they travelled – from CBGB’s to MSG.”

Against The Odds has an unusual beginning; for nearly two decades, the bulk of Blondie’s audio and visual archive sat inside in Chris Stein’s unassuming barn just outside Woodstock, New York. One hundred reel-to-reel tapes, half a dozen cassettes, a few storage tubs crammed with records, bits of promotional flotsam, flyers, a stray Warhol print, and mirrored dressing room signage from four sold-out January 1980 nights at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. All of it lay in wait through twenty humid summers, twenty frigid winters.

Listen to the previously unreleased recording of The Doors’ “Moonlight Drive”

The complete track listing appears below the Amazon links, along with many more clips.

Super Deluxe Collectors’ Edition Track Listing

The studio albums:
Blondie
Side A
1. X Offender
2. Little Girl Lies
3. In The Flesh
4. Look Good In Blue
5. In The Sun
6. A Shark In Jets Clothing
Side B
1. Man Overboard
2. Rip Her To Shreds
3. Rifle Range
4. Kung Fu Girl
5. The Attack Of The Giant Ants

Plastic Letters

The Super Deluxe Edition

Side A
1. Fan Mail
2. Denis
3. Bermuda Triangle Blues (Flight 45)
4. Youth Nabbed As Sniper
5. Contact In Red Square
6. (I’m Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear
7. I’m On E
Side B
1. I Didn’t Have The Nerve To Say No
2. Love At The Pier
3. No Imagination
4. Kidnapper
5. Detroit 442
6. Cautious Lip

Parallel Lines
Side A
1. Hanging On The Telephone
2. One Way Or Another
3. Picture This
4. Fade Away And Radiate
5. Pretty Baby
6. I Know But I Don’t Know
Side B
1. 11:59
2. Will Anything Happen
3. Sunday Girl
4. Heart Of Glass
5. I’m Gonna Love You Too
6. Just Go Away

Eat To The Beat
Side A
1. Dreaming
2. The Hardest Part
3. Union City Blue
4. Shayla
5. Eat To The Beat
6. Accidents Never Happen
Side B
1. Die Young Stay Pretty
2. Slow Motion
3. Atomic
4. Sound-A-Sleep
5. Victor
6. Living In The Real World

Autoamerican
Side A
1. Europa
2. Live It Up
3. Here’s Looking At You
4. The Tide Is High
5. Angels On The Balcony
6. Go Through It
Side B
1. Do The Dark
2. Rapture
3. Faces
4. T-Birds
5. Walk Like Me
6. Follow Me

The Hunter
Side A
1. Orchid Club
2. Island Of Lost Souls
3. Dragonfly
4. For Your Eyes Only
5. The Beast
Side B
1. War Child
2. Little Caesar
3. Danceway
4. (Can I) Find The Right Words (To Say)
5. English Boys
6. The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game

BONUS TRACKS

7″ 45 rpm
1. Moonlight Drive
2. Mr. Sightseer

10″ LP Out-takes & rarities (‘Out In The Streets’)
Side A (1974 Session)
1. Out In The Streets (1974)
2. The Disco Song
3. Sexy Ida
Side B (Betrock Demo)
1. Platinum Blonde
2. The Thin Line
3. Puerto Rico
4. Once I Had A Love (1975)
5. Out In The Streets (1975)

LP 1 Out-takes & rarities (‘Plaza Sound’)
Side A
1. X Offender (Intro)
2. X Offender (Private Stock Single)
3. In The Sun (Private Stock Single)
4. Little Girl Lies (Private Stock Mix)
5. In The Flesh (Extended Intro)
6. A Shark In Jets Clothing (Take 2)
7. Kung Fu Girls (Take 8)
8. Scenery
Side B
1. Denis (Terry Ellis Mix)
2. Bermuda Triangle Blues – Flight 45 (Take 1)
3. I Didn’t Have The Nerve To Say No (Take 1)
4. I’m On E (Take 2)
5. Kidnapper (Take 2)
6. Detroit 442 (Take 2)
7. Poets Problem

LP 2 Out-takes & rarities (‘Parallel Beats’)
Side A
1. Once I Had A Love (Mike Chapman Demo)
2. Sunday Girl (French Version)
3. I’ll Never Break Away From This Heart Of Mine (Pretty Baby)
4. Hanging On The Telephone (Mike Chapman Demo)
5. Will Anything Happen (Instrumental)
6. Underground Girl
Side B
1. Call Me
2. Spaghetti Song (Atomic Part 2)
3. Die Young Stay Pretty (Take 1)
4. Union City Blue (Instrumental)
5. Llámame

LP 3 Out-takes & rarities (‘Coca Cola’)
Side A
1. I Love You Honey, Give Me A Beer (Go Through It)
2. Live It Up (Giorgio Moroder Demo)
3. Angels on the Balcony (Giorgio Moroder Demo)
4. The Tide Is High (Demo)
5. Susie & Jeffrey
Side B
1. Rapture (Disco Version)
2. Autoamerican Ad
3. Yuletide Throwdown

Listen to the great extended disco version of “Rapture”

And here’s “The Tide Is High” demo…

LP 4 Out-takes & rarities (‘Home Tapes’)
Side A
1. Nameless (Home Tape)
2. Sunday Girl (Home Tape)
3. Theme From Topkapi (Home Tape)
4. The Hardest Part (Home Tape)
5. Ring of Fire (Home Tape)
Side B
1. War Child (Chris Stein Mix)
2. Call Me (Chris Stein Mix)
3. Heart of Glass (Chris Stein Mix)

Related: Our review of a May 2022 Blondie concert

Tickets to see Blondie on tour are available here and here.

Watch a live performance of “Eat To the Beat”

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2 Comments so far

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  1. TyStick
    #1 TyStick 9 June, 2022, 03:46

    About time! Blondie was such an integral part of the 80s and New Wave music. This should be a treat for Blondie fans.

    Reply this comment
  2. 122intheshade
    #2 122intheshade 12 June, 2022, 00:19

    Debbie Harry and Jim Morrison would have been an intriguing couple.

    I was a DJ in the early 80s when Blondie was at their peak popularity. One of the stations I worked at tended to not play songs with “racy” lyrics. For example, Linda Ronstadt’s “How Do I Make You” despite the after words “dream about me” or “feel for me”.

    So it was always a source of amusement when the management missed one. We did play “Brass in Pocket”, “new skank” and all. And Blondie’s “One Way or Another”. The management did not see it all on that one either.

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