Blondie Is Back

Blondie will be releasing their first new album in 16 years this fall and the band will be launching an extensive tour to support the record, including appearances at Lilith Fair, as previously reported by MTV news.

The album is tentatively titled "No Exit," and is to be released on the Beyond Music label, owned by the Left Bank entertainment group who manage Blondie. Spokesperson Ed Thomas says that a major distributor for the label will be announced on Friday.

The reformed Blondie is anchored by longtime creative partners Deborah Harry and Chris Stein backed by the original group including Jimmy Destri (keyboards) and Clem Burke (drums). They had a revolving door of bass players, most notably Gary Valentine, who, says Thomas, has other personal commitments and is unlikely to re-join. Co- producer Craig Leon, the man at the console for the band's self-titled debut release on independent label Private Stock,

is at the knobs again.

The band was formed in 1974 and released their first album in 1976 and followed it with early success stories including "Plastic Letters," "Parallel Lines," "Eat to the Beat" and "Autoamerican." They had four No. 1 hit singles including "Heart of Glass," "Call Me," "The Tide is High" and "Rapture."

They disbanded late in 1982 when Stein became seriously ill with a rare genetic disease called pemphigus, which usually causes lesions and skin blisters. Harry cared for Stein, who recovered a few years later. She launched a solo singing career and an acting career.

Insiders say Harry, who turns 53 this year, is singing better than ever and now has an appealing 'smokey' quality to her voice. The last few years have seen her also performing with the Jazz Passengers.