Cast your minds back to the early days of Skank Blog, all the way back to… May, when we looked at the abrasive beginnings of Blondie’s number 1 hit The Tide Is High.
The TV Party footage might come across like Debbie Harry getting to grips with reggae for the first time but in fact there are earlier skankings in the Blondie back catalogue, one of which can be found on Eat To The Beat, released the year before Tide topped the charts in 1980.
The organ led mechanical skank of Die Young Stay Pretty almost preempts their Paragons cover, yet stands alone as a shining example of angular rock-steady given a jerky new wave twist. That familiar nod to doo wop and 50’s RnB reminds us that the rock-meets-reggae lineage goes way back before the days of punk.
It’s worth noting that despite the song title, Harry was well into her 30’s when Die Young was produced. Obviously this is by no means old in layman’s terms but by rock n roll’s “hope I die before I get old” declaration, it’s positively ancient, and well into Logan’s Run territories. Of course one look at the the promo for Die Young Stay Pretty instantly dispels this myth, and as Harry’s continued her ever evolving career, still touring with the remaining members of Blondie to this day, she’s held two fingers high to the notion.
If the video isn’t quite enough for you then check out this live footage featuring a fair few Blondie classics and drummer Clem Burke in a fetching gold number. Die Young Stay Pretty starts at the 3:30 mark…