Blondie (12) Faces Off Against Run-DMC (5) In SOTC's March Madness Tournament

Categories: Run-DMC

​The Round of 64 for Sound of the City's own version of March Madness—in which you, the Sound of the City voting public, help determine the quintessential New York musician—finishes up this week, with the Round of 32 scheduled to kick off Monday. (The schedule and results so far are here; the full, updated bracket is here.) Taking a cue from our neighbors at the Curbed Network, we're going to have a power hour—new polls every 15 minutes until 4 p.m., at which point we'll reveal more results. This time out, we're pitting Blondie against Run-DMC—check out the arguments in favor of each below, and vote at Facebook for your favorite.

The great irony of punk was that a movement meant to tear down the rules quickly built up it's own set of rules about what was and what wasn't allowed. But the only rules Debbie Harry and Chris Stein followed were Entertain Thyself. Though no one would confuse her with Big Daddy Kane, Harry's rap on "Rapture" was many people's first exposure to then percolating sub-culture, and an early indication of how good punk's primal attitude could fit with slinky, minimal dance beats. That's a hell of a way to spend 1981. No style was off-limits to Blondie, but even more than their stylistic breadth, their greatest accomplishment was Harry giving voice to their inner lives of the bad-ass rock chicks and downtown scene women that until then were usually consigned to being little more than the object of desire in some dude's song.
Michael Tedder

Run-DMC.'s list of firsts is hip-hop sacrosanct at this point. First Rap Group On The Cover Of Rolling Stone. First Rap Group To Take Rap To The Suburbs. First Rap Group To Have A Platinum Album And MTV Hit. First Rap Group To Make Adidas Look Totally Boss. (This last part might be apocryphal.) They owe their success to a number of factors, from smart marketing and Rick Rubin's insistence that they focus on pop-rock structure and massive choruses; it also helped that they were the most accessible foot soldiers for a genre most white people were still struggling to understand. But the real reason these guys became the kings of rock is that that they sharpened every element of their attack, from the Reverend and DMC's still-peerless back and forth interplay to Jam Master Jay's cuts, into a percussive clap that slapped the listener upside the head until they paid attention and realized they were in the presence of royalty. Boom-boom-boom, there is none higher.
Michael Tedder

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How is Blondie, one of the formative bands of the NY City punk scene, one of the first new wave bands to record and to have major hits, a band that spread the style and music of NYC (punk, disco, hip hop) all over the world at a time when it wasn't all that easy (no MTV; very rigid radio formats), a band that had the first major new wave hit in the US (Heart of Glass), a band that helped to create dance rock, the post-disco dance music of the 1980s, a band that pretty much introduced mainstream audiences to rap, one of the few bands that can be legitimately said to have stylistically influenced mainstream music on multiple levels (without even taking into account the extraordinary impact they had in the UK which came reverberating back to the US with the 2nd British Invasion of the early 80s), whose influence is still strongly seen in music today, only be ranked 12th? I don't actually care who wins, but talk about being underrated in comparison to their accomplishments. Come to think of it, they never did get much home town appreciation, so I guess it's par for the course.      


Amen!!! Blondie is more NY than some of the other acts on this list. Madonna? NOT! But yes they are such an influental band and you see them and Debbie is acts still- Gaga!!!! Anyone that can influence Madonna and Gaga is better than most acts hands down!

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