What’s the connection between Blondie and William Shakespeare? In 1598, in Act III of Henry V, The Bard wrote the famous lines “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,” referring to the gap in the wall of the city of Harfleur. A mere 390 years later, on 17 December 1988, Blondie entered the UK chart with a remix album nodding both to that quotation, and to Debbie Harry’s image, in its title, Once More Into The Bleach.
That slightly painful pun introduced an album that was designed by Chrysalis Records at the time to keep the name of the then-dormant New York band in the hearts and minds of their fans. Blondie had split after the 1982 album The Hunter, and were still some nine years away from the reunion that continues to this day. In the absence of any new material, the label offered a collection of new and existing mixes, of seven Blondie hits and six more solo tracks by Debbie Harry.
The album was introduced by the first-ever remix of a Blondie hit, known on the single as ‘Denis ’88,’ on which their debut UK hit of a decade earlier was reshaped by Dancin’ Danny D. It struggled to No. 50 on the British chart, while the album entered at an even more modest No. 85. The following February a second single, a remix of ‘Call Me’ by Dutch DJ Ben Liebrand, helped the album back into the chart for a new No. 50 peak.
Other in-demand mixers of the day such as Shep Pettibone and the teams of Teddy Riley & Gene Griffin and Bruce Forrest & Frank Heller all made contributions; so too did Ms. Harry and band/lifemate Chris Stein, with their own mix of her solo track ‘The Jam Was Moving.’
Once More Into The Bleach can be bought here.
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