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Blondie: One Way or Another (2006)

A documentary about New York band Blondie, from their early beginnings in Bowery clubs like CBGBs alongside other up and coming bands like The Ramones, Patti Smith & Talking Heads. The ... See full summary »

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Clem Burke ...
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Jimmy Destri ...
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Noel Edmonds ...
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Chris Frantz ...
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Mark Radcliffe ...
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Tina Weymouth ...
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A documentary about New York band Blondie, from their early beginnings in Bowery clubs like CBGBs alongside other up and coming bands like The Ramones, Patti Smith & Talking Heads. The documentary tracks their years of international success, through their internal problems and decline and then to their recovery and re-establishment leading to their being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 - an event that wasn't without its problems. Lots of interviews with band members, past and present, and their friends and contemporaries. Lots of clips of them performing through the years. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

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21 July 2006 (UK)  »

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The road to the Rock "N" Roll hall of fame is never smooth...
11 January 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Who doesn't like Blondie? I mean they may not be your favourite band or anything, but does anybody not find themselves singing or bopping along to a Blondie track? Personally I wouldn't trust anyone who says they hate Blondie. This 2006 documentary is a rare treat for a number of reasons. Running at just under an hour and 15 minutes it manages to not scrimp on details, refusing to be a back patting type of doc, it reveals all and is the better for it.

Trajectory traces the band from their humble New York based beginnings, through the monster hit records and a willingness to conquer various genres of music, to the world fame and their subsequent rebirth in 1999. But that isn't even half the story...

Thankfully we get the full story here. The luck involved as regards the success of the early record "X Offender", the fluke like sound that would form the basis of "Denis", the tetchy years of producer Mike Chapman - the unbelievable tenure overseen by manager Peter Leeds - and oh my, the story behind the "Parallel Lines" album cover. There's the whiff of plagiarism with "Rapture", and then inevitably an implosion involving drugs, money and illness, the latter of which proving to be a spark of love that's a rare ray of light during the band's darkest period because acrimony and bitterness was starting to haunt and consume the band.

The junkie years are most potent, it's refreshing to find one of the world's most famous bands - pinup girl and all - talking about their addiction problems, which is given even more dramatic heft due to the backdrop of financial ruin. The story is often sad, but it needs to be. Sure the old footage (especially the early black and white performances) is a joy for fans, as is all those wonderful videos of their hit singles, but it's the dark half of Blondie - culminating in the bitter appearance at the "Rock "N" Roll Hall Of fame in 2006 - that marks this out as a true nitty gritty music documentary. 9/10


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