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Happy 70th birthday Debbie Harry! 10 of her very best

By Nick Bond

It’s hard to believe rock icon Deborah Harry turns 70 years old today – along with her bandmates, the Blondie frontwoman is stilling touring the world and releasing new music (the band’s most recent album, Ghosts of Download, came out just a year ago).


In honour of Harry’s big birthday, we thought we’d take a look back at her incredible discography – both in Blondie and solo – and pick out 10 of her very best songs. Be warned, there’s no Heart of Glass here, no Rapture – after all, we all know and love the big hits. Instead, here are ten moments perhaps lesser known by casual fans that show why Harry is still going strong after almost 45 years in the music industry.

In the Flesh (1976)

Blondie’s second single did nothing on the charts – except in Australia, where it was a surprise number two hit. A perfect homage to 60s girl groups, it shows just how much Harry has always worn her influences on her sleeve.

Will Anything Happen? (1978)

We all know the big singles from Parallel Lines – Heart of Glass, Sunday Girl, One Way Or Another – but it’s stinking album tracks like this that make it, to this day, one of the most perfectly-formed albums of all time.

Shayla (1979)

From that heartbreaking first line onwards – “Shayla worked in a factory, she wasn’t history, she’s just a number” – this is Blondie at their storytelling best.

Backfired (1981)

Harry making her debut solo album with the dream team of Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards from Chic sounded like a surefire recipe for success – that wasn’t to be the case. The resulting album, Koo Koo, was a hell of a lot weirder than anyone expected, but it’s hard to deny the appeal of tracks like this single.

For Your Eyes Only (1982)

Blondie’s final album before an 18-year hiatus, 1982’s The Hunter gets a bad rap. Sure, behind the scenes the group were sick, drugged, tired and falling apart – but you wouldn’t know it on tracks like this, which was actually turned down as the theme song from the Bond film of the same name.

Rush, Rush (1993)

Deborah Harry + Giorgio Moroder = an early 80s pure pop sugar rush that’s so silly it’s wonderful. All together: “Rush rush, got the yeyo!

Strike Me Pink (1993)

Possibly the most beautiful song Harry’s ever sung, this shows her vulnerable side perfectly and demonstrates that, while she’s best known for traversing pop, punk and disco, she also knows her way around a gorgeously understated ballad.

Good Boys (2003)

The last time Blondie troubled the charts was with this thumping disco-rock lead single from their Curse of Blondie album. How ’bout that bridge: The return of rapping Debbie Harry!

Two Times Blue (2007)

The lead single from Harry’s most recent solo album, Necessary Evil, this is just an A-grade pop song. ‘Nuff said.

A Rose By Any Name (2013)

The most recent song on this list, this very cool electro duet with The Gossip’s Beth Ditto comes with an addictive, queer-friendly chorus (“If you’re a boy or if you’re a girl, I’d love you just the same”). If she were 40 years younger you would’ve heard it all over the radio.

Happy birthday, Deborah Harry!