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Blondie, from Punk to the Present: A Pictorial History (Musical Legacy Series, 1) Paperback – August, 2002

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"BOMP PICK" [The Bomp Bookshelf, part of the famous Bomp! website, recommends this book as a "BOMP PICK"] -- The Bomp Bookshelf (website), Aug. 2002

...a fantastic reference about the band and the era which produced them... -- Matt Mrowicki, Publisher, Chorus and Verse

...a good read for any fan of pop culture. -- Kastle, Coolgrrrls amazing,...vividly written, decade-spanning, informed and informative...chronicle... -- Willis M. Buhle, Midwest Book Review

...every Blondie fan's dream-come-true...a multiple-perspective exploration of the group's music, lifestyle, influence, image, appeal, and overall significance... -- Now Wave Magazine

...insightful writings about punk...Blondie in punk rock context...important...informative tool for the study of punk rock music. -- Jeff Muendel, Associate Editor, Maximum Ink Magazine

...obviously the most comprehensive collection of Blondie material in existence...very well done and professional...should do well... -- Gary Valentine, original Blondie bassist

...recent music books of interest...include...[this book]..., a sort of scrapbook/fan book on steroids... -- Jim DeRogatis, Pop Music Critic, Chicago Sun-Times

...this book captures the band at their best! -- Bob Suehs, Rock N Roll Experience

From the Publisher

Over three years in the making, this is the first new book on Blondie in two decades. The Blondie story in photography and print. Includes many first-time published photos by famous punk music chroniclers. Provides background on the New York City punk music scene from the mid to late 1970s and places Blondie within this context. Plus consideration of Deborah Harry's solo career and Blondie now. More generally, covers society, culture, fashion, and much more. Foreword and other essays by Victor Bockris. Prologue by Chris Stein. Includes many appendices and is fully indexed.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 514 pages
  • Publisher: Musical Legacy Pubns; 1 edition (August 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892477238
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892477231
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 8.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,883,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Scott Coblio on September 13, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If nothing else, this new volume will have to go down in history as the biggest Blondie book ever. At over 500 pages, it's HUGE, which would please any fan. And fans are what "Blondie From Punk To Present" is all about. It's clearly put together by and for people who are gaga for Blondie/Debbie Harry, and has the feeling of a giant fanzine more than anything else. Definitely the focus is on the present reunion (probably because recent pix were easier to come by--especially free ones-- than vintage), and I did find myself wishing that there was more from the band's early days. As a "pictorial history", it's very text heavy--Metz let just about everyone have their say (including myself), and while the voices are diverse, I think I would have preferred more pix and less talk. But it's nice just to have something new on the band, and clearly this project was a labor of love.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shazam! on December 12, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Allan Metz and a wonderful array of sources from all scenes and directions associated with New York's ultimate icon band of all time, "Blondie", create a detailed compilation of insight and imagery from the band's early emergence and impact to their re-emergence and continued success years later. Shockingly beautiful vocalist Debbie Harry is not the sole focus of this project and the fact that "Blondie is a Band" is reinforced continually. What is refreshing about this book as compared to other writings is that the viewpoint of the band's influence and effect on culture is widened. All-inclusive insight from fans to promoters to photographers. Adding color photographs and a hardcover would have made it perfect. "From Punk to the Present", though is absolutely THE official "Blondie Bible".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christopher A. Clark on June 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
A labor of both love and lust, this hanging-on-the-telephone-book sized compilation feels like a fansite that somehow sneaked off the web and onto a printing press. An overemphasis on their 1999 comeback and fuzzy photos gets it docked a star, but it's hard to argue with such woozily wondrous excess, both the author's and the band's.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Heibutzki on January 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
Full disclosure: I have an article reprinted here ("Blondie: Once More Into The Bleach," DISCoveries, 9/99). That said, I'm pleased at how this project turned out. I read it in two subzero vacation days here, and couldn't put it down once.
From Punk To Present works well as a photo essay, scene history, and critical overview (including the band's triumphant '99 comeback). This is a Christmas present for the Blondie/Deborah Harry fan - and long overdue.
The best selections put Blondie in context of its often-turbulent times. Kudos here to Robert Betts's interviews with longtime scene photographer Roberta Bayley (whose nonchalance wins points for charm ); Victor Bockris (whose censored High Times interview elicits some candid admissions about Harry's struggles with drugs); Francois Wintein, for his freewheeling interview with drummer Clem Burke (a great subject, as I can attest); and original bassist Gary Valentine.
Being a collector type myself, I also appreciated the forays into less-obvious terrain, including Harry's work with the Jazz Passengers ("Private Lesson: Debbie Does Jazz"), and the reunited band's bid for radio acceptance ("No Exit In Sight: The Rebirth Of Blondie" -- which reminds us of the skewed promotional logic that prevails in the music business. For anyone writing off Harry's `80s and `90s solo work as chopped liver, Daniel Porter provides a thoughtful, balanced assessment.
I would have liked tighter editing of the academic pieces, and interweaving of photos into the lengthier selections, just to give the reader's eyes a break. (Of course, printing budgets play a role in these decisions, so that's hardly a knock.) That said, this book's sprawling nature is part of its charm; it's not aimed at the attention-span-starved armchair quarterback, but the bug-eyed fan who owns those "New Zealand"-only disco mixes. There's nothing like a fan's book for fans; now let's see an updated version to accompany the new Blondie album!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. A. Diedrich on November 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
It's in this book!! This book is the most thorough documentation on the band Blondie that you can buy. Where some other books are more personal (Gary Valentine's reflections on his years with the band in NEW YORK ROCKER or MAKING TRACKS, Chris Stein's and Deborah Harry's take on band's early days) or opinionated (the classic Lester Bang's book on Blondie which has long been out of print) this new one by Allan Metz is by far the most detailed and up to date.
The book includes essays about various stages of Blondie's and Deborah Harry's career by fans and critics which covers everything from their early punk days in the 1970's all the way up to their 1999 reunion and comeback tour. The book also has rare and previously unavailable magazine/newspaper articles concerning the band (I was very happy to see the Anita Pallenberg interview of Deborah from 2001 which I had heard about but not been able to find) and an extensive collection of photographs which cover all eras of Blondie. I'd say 90-95% of the photographs published in this book are ones that I have never seen before, they are all black and white and very good quality.
If you are a fan of 1970's punk, pop music in general and most especially if you are a fervant fan of Blondie or Deborah Harry then I highly recommend this book for your collection. It's the one book out there that covers Blondie's entire career! Why pass that up?
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