To say Blondie‘s first album in three years, Blondie 4(0) Ever, is wildly eclectic is a pretty huge understatement. The LP — a two-disc set featuring an album of new tracks called Ghosts of Download and a set of rerecorded versions of the group’s hits titled Greatest Hits: Deluxe Redux — features big-room dance tracks like “Rave” and “Mile High,” Beth Ditto rocker “A Rose By Any Name,” a cameo by Colombian supergroup Systema Solar and a cover of “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. But the group’s legendary singer Debbie Harry doesn’t find this odd: “Being from New York, Blondie albums have always been a montage or collage of things that we’re into,” she explains over the phone.
“I Screwed Up,” a smooth dem bow apology supplemented by Spanish-language rapping from Oakland duo Los Rakas, is of the most striking and unexpected tracks on the record. According to Harry, though, the song’s genesis was surprisingly mundane: “We were in the studio just talking about it. I don’t know if [producer] Jeff Saltzman knew them, but we had already done something with Systema Solar, which has a different kind of feel, and I think turned out really well.”
Regarding the 11 classic tracks the group reimagined for Greatest Hits: Deluxe Redux, Harry explains, “The live versions changed over the years, so it was interesting to go back and listen to the originals. I was sort of impressed by some of them, the musicality of them. I was proud that they didn’t sound like ancient history – just history.”