Watch Blondie play One Way Or Another while dancers in see-thru plastic trousers pretend to fight

Debbie Harry stares at the camera on The Midnight Special
(Image credit: The Midnight Special)

Footage of three Blondie performances from 1979 episodes of The Midnight Special have emerged online as the show's recently launched YouTube channel continues to share high-quality versions of rarely seen clips. 

The latest footage finds the band lip-syncing to two singles – The Hardest Part from the Eat To The Beat album, released in September 1979, and Heart Of Glass from 1978's Plastic Letters – but the jewel in the crown is a live performance of One Way Or Another from the same album, which finds the band in spiky form as the show's professional dancers writhe and gyrate and appear to engage in some half-hearted choreographed fighting, one of them dressed in the most extraordinary pair of plastic trousers you'll find this side of Buzz Lightyear.   

One Way Or Another and Heart Of Glass both come from the episode broadcast on January 19, 1979 – when they also played Hanging On The Telephone and Sunday Girl live – which also featured live music from soul singer Sarah Dash and disco duo Peaches And Herb. The Hardest Part, meanwhile, comes from the show broadcast on October 9 the same year, when they also performed Dreaming, Slow Motion and Heart of Glass live. Other acts appearing on that episode included Robert Fripp, Robert Palmer, Rick James and Bram Tchaikovsky.

Many credit the January performance as the event that kick-started Blondie's rise to popularity in the U.S,. with Parallel Lines rising from outside the Top 100 into the Top 30 after the band's performance as their songs started to be picked up by disco stations in addition to rock radio. Conversely, the lip-synch of Heart of Glass saw Debbie Harry targeted by accusations of betrayal and sell-out by the more chauvinistic elements within the punk community.  

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.