Review Summary: A Wonderful album by one of the greatest new wave bands of the 70s
When 'Parallel Lines' was released it gave Blondie the success that they deserved. With singles 'Heart of Glass' and 'One Way or Another' it showed that Blondie wasn't the same band that played at the CBGB. Before listening to 'Eat to the Beat' I didn't know what to expect. If they were going to play it safe and put out another album like 'Parallel Lines' or if they were going to go in a new direction. For sure this album is not like Blondie's previous albums. It is Blondie's most diverse and experimental album that I've heard and it has some of their best work.
The introduction to the album 'Dreaming' is a upbeat colorful song that sets up the theme of the rest of the songs. It's a highlight of the album for sure with it's catchy irresistible vocals and fantastic instrumentation. The flow throughout the whole album is consistent with no filler songs, you can argue about that but the songs naturally and effortlessly blend great together. My favorite song on 'Eat to the Beat' has got to be 'Union City Blue' with it's beautiful vocals that soar with the guitars, keyboards and drums which gives it a dreamy feel to it. Debbie Harry's singing is better than ever here with Debbie showing her vocal range that can go from smooth lullaby singing on 'Sound-A-Sleep' to raw vocals on a song such as 'Victor' which shows how wonderful she is as a singer. The keyboard gives the album a colorful and bright feel throughout the album. The guitar and bass mesh well together and the drums sound excellent. What I think is great about 'Eat to the Beat' is how their is elements of other genres in the songs. 'Die Young Stay Pretty' has a reggae feel to it and there are also elements of post punk throughout the album.
The flow of 'Eat to the Beat' is consistent with one great song after another. Blondie was brave to release this album that was different than their previous albums. If you haven't heard this album I recommend that you give it a listen if you are into new wave or if you just want to listen to great music. While 'Parallel Lines' may be better overall, 'Eat to the Beat' shows a side of Blondie that is unlike what they've done before. The experimentation they did as a band shows that they didn't want to stick to a formula of making music and I really admire them for that. It's interested to see how bands like Blondie that played at the CBGB evolve into what they are known for now. I really want to thank the CBGB for helping many bands get the success that they probably wouldn't have had without the founder of the CBGB, Hilly Kristal.