Skip to main content

Blondie's Against All Odds box celebrates one of the last century's finest bodies of work

NY punk's most dazzling supernova Blondie gets overdue consummate box set, Against All Odds 1974-1982

Blondie: Against All Odds 1974-1982 cover art
(Image: © Numero Group)

Nearly half a century after Blondie manifested as the ultimate embodiment of mid-70s New York’s anarchic downtown revolution, playfully fronted by rock’s soon-to-be-greatest female rock icon, this most gloriously chaotic band finally gets its definitive box set. 

Years in the making, their cryptically titled motherlode chronicles the band’s golden run from derided CBGB support act (“Blondie will never be a star simply because she ain’t good enough,” squeaked NME) to global chart toppers, with remastered albums joined by juicy bonus tracks (36 previously unreleased) spread across 10 LPs or eight CDs in Super Deluxe formats. 

For many, those extras will be the main attraction, along with two books covering Blondie’s astonishing journey to 1982’s doom-sealing The Hunter, with rare photos. 

First pleasure-shock comes with previously unknown 1974 demos of the Shangri-La’s Out In The Streets, The Disco Song (Heart Of Glass) and Labelle-like Sexy Ida, predating the familiar batch produced by first manager Alan Betrock. 

Getting to the albums, In The Flesh, swooningly extended, spearheads a trove of backing tracks, alternative takes and outtakes including fuzz-punked Underground Girl and a riotous cover of The DoorsMoonlight Drive performed on 1977’s tours. 

First impression on hearing this much remastered Blondie is how perfectly Harry unleashed beautifully nuanced sexualised dynamite over the band’s tightly crafted power-pop bombs and genre diversions on what remains one of the last century’s finest bodies of work. Best of all, she’s still out there demolishing the world’s arenas. Not bad for a band least likely to.

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!