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blondie vivirenlahabana
Artist: Blondie
Title: Vivir En La Habana
Genre: Rock
Release Date: 16th July 2021
Label: BMG

Album Review

Legendary US Rock band BLONDIE were invited by the Cuban Ministry of Culture to play in Cuba as a part of a cultural exchange back in 2019. The band decided to team up with Rob Roth who made sure that this unique event was filmed and properly edited. The result was an app. eighteen minutes long movie that was screened at various festivals this year and of course BLONDIE made sure that the soundtrack consisted of some of the songs they played with local musicians during their two live shows in Cuba. The soundtrack will be released on July 16th and the six tracks have total running time of app. 40 minutes which is due to some solo parts and jamming intervals during the live performance of the songs.

BLONDIE were in Cuba only for a few days but strived to interact with the locals and so guests like Carlos Alfonso, Ele Valdés or María del Carmen Ávila of the Cuban band Síntesis joined them live on stage. ‘The Tide Is High’ is the opener of the soundtrack album and the playtime of over eight minutes indicate, that something special is waiting for you. The long version of ‘The Tide Is High’ is amazing, the percussion and vocalists give the song a fantastic Latin American touch, that might take long-time fans back to the roots of the band’s music. Slowly the song takes up a groovy bridge part to lead over to a Jazz prone version of ‘Groove Is In the Heart’ and back to ‘The Tide Is High’ with fantastic solo parts for the orchestra’s musicians. WOW!

Some fans claim that ‘Long Time’ is a kind of copy of BLONDIE’s hit ‘Heart Of Glass’ but this live version prove, that both songs can sound very different and still like BLONDIE. Something that I really like is that you can hear the audience’s reaction in the beginning and at the end of the songs, but the audience is not audible during the main parts of the songs, a perfectly mix and mastered record. A rare gem is this version ‘Wipe Off My Sweat’, that comes with some vocals in Spanish and a focus on Latin music’s instrumentation that build an amazing platform for a long and dedicated guitar solo.

‘Heart of Glass’ sounds more or less like the regular live version, while ‘Rapture’ was turned into a fireworks of guitar solos that are only interrupted by Debbie Harry’s perfectly delivered vocals, that sound so cool and a bit psychedelic so they build a sharp contrast to the hot music. A short bridge that has a focus on the keyboard and the drums leave you in the dark for a moment, until you marvel at a short cover of ‘Fight For Your Right To Party’. ‘Dreaming’ sounds more or less like the regular live version but the focus is on Debbie’s vocals that are perfectly underlined by the chorus.

Given the fact that BLONDIE had only one rehearsal with their local fellow musicians, the music must be rated as excellent and it shows that the musicians from both countries are very dedicated to their music. The album is a fireworks of BLONDIE music and sound wise it’s a masterpiece how they lead one song over into another in tracks one and five. BLONDIE’s best songs sound different from their regular live versions and very much alive. It would be great to see BLONDIE with all the musicians involved in the recording, play live on stage all over the world.


01. The Tide Is High
02. Long Time
03. Wipe Off My Sweat
04. Heart of Glass
05. Rapture
06. Dreaming


Debbie Harry – Vocals
Chris Stein – Guitar
Clem Burke – Drums
Leigh Foxx – Bass
Tommy Kessler – Guitar
Matt Katz-Bohen – Keyboards


Cover Picture

blondie vivirenlahabana


Music: 10
Sound: 10
Total: 10 / 10

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