Thursday, July 3, 2008

Debbie Harry vs. Chrissie Hynde vs. Pat Benatar

For the final match-up of this little experimentation called Fight Week (yeah, I’m in college, the weekend begins on Friday) we have three 80’s queens: Debbie Harry of Blondie, Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, and Pat Benatar of Pat Benatar.

History: Blondie was one of the key components to the New York punk scene of the late 70’s. With the MTV era, and "punk" turning into "new wave," Blondie embraced the video era allowing them to rise to a stardom unparalleled by their peers at CBGB’s. Chrissie Hynde also drifted through the punk scene (she was in The Damned before they were The Damned! And apparently wanted to call the band Mike Cunt’s Honorable Discharge) before starting The Pretenders. Pretenders and Pretenders II are punk rock classics and the band would continue to score plenty of pop hits. Pat Benatar was one of MTV and New Wave’s first stars. Her early albums charted very well, and songs like “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” stand as 80’s favorites.

Why they fight: One of the classic 80’s questions (I'm told) is "Who was hotter? Debbie Harry or Pat Benatar?" I always thought that answer to the question was Chrissie Hynde, but because of the impacts Harry and Benatar brought to new wave fashion and the MTV-generation, Chrissie is always left out of the conversation. I still don’t understand. She was way hotter. Rush Limbaugh agrees.


Who wins: Well, as objective as I’ve tried to be here, I don’t see anyway around the fact that Pat Benatar is the first to go. Chrissie Hynde and Debbie Harry are quick to single out Pat for her lack of punk credibility. “She’d probably have been doing disco if she was five younger,” Debby says to Chrissie. “Yeah, but Blondie did that disco song…what the fuck was that?” But the point is well made. Pat Benatar does not hold up with these two. Seeing as though Chrissie Hynde has about three feet on Pat—she stomps her out. And so there are two, and I have to question Debbie’s chances here. That first Pretenders album is so tough, and Blondie, despite their early surroundings, was never anywhere near the Pretenders. I’ve got my money on Chrissie. Hell, I’d have my money on Chrissie vs. Ray Davies. And so comes the onslaught. I’d make a “Brass in Pocket” reference, but we already saw brass knuckles make their way into a fight this week. While it’s not a completely one-sided affair, it’s hard for Deb to get any licks in with that wing span Hynde has. Debbie Harry has no chance. Chrissie Hynde wins and while the “Debbie or Pat?” debate will continue as long as VH1 airs I Love The 80’s, there’s no debating who kicks the shit out of both of them.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

This seems to be all about hotness and height. What about vocal ability? I agree Pat never had (or cared about) the whole punk movement and moved away from it as early as her 2nd album. She was more a straightforward rock'n'roller...as Newsweek once said, she was "Wonder Woman backed by ZZ Top." And unlike the other two, she had the vocal chops to at least SOUND like she kicked ass. Debbie coos and Chrissie mumbles...Pat Benatar can sound like either of them, if she chooses, or completely devastate you with a soaring four+ octave vocal attack. And guess which one of them STILL sounds amazing live? Being a veteran of many Pretenders and Benatar concerts, I'd choose a Benatar show every time.

Kapellmeister said...

Stop that 4 octaves shit. Not even Marai Callas had four octaves in her voice, and Pat Benatar is just poopy shit compared to her (vocally speaking). Now, I doubt Pat would have had the ability to sound like Debbie on many of Blondie songs, because Benatar is a clearly a soprano (a soprano, ok? the 4 octaves thing is bogus). Debbie is a low mezzo, a bit like Chrissie, but with a more extended and powerful voice. It's just like asking Debbie or Chrissie to sound like Alison Moyet, who's probably one of the only real contraltos of pop music : How could they possibly reach the sames notes with the same sound ?

Anonymous said...

Go and listen on you youtube type Debbie Harry A cappella and listen to the high notes she can what a voice.

Anonymous said...

You're just an idiot. Debbie Harry is the most perfect woman that ever lived and every single album from the very start was brilliant. Blondie was overlooked by idiots like you who should just shut the fuck up because you know absolutely nothing!

Anonymous said...

Well, now we know what all the kids out there think but....growing up in the middle of the greatest age music has ever seen, I can tell all of you kids that Pat blew them both away in concert with Chrissie in a close second. Bottom line is none of the artist today can deliver the combination of vocal talent and plane "babe factor" (yes, my age shows) that these three goddesses of rock had. These three stands heads and shoulders above the rest.

Anonymous said...

Im a child of the 80's and i remember debbie was known for her good looks.she had a cute voice and a few nice songs..but pat..she might look a little butch but she had a powerful voice..she could really sing her ass off

Anonymous said...

Im a child of the 80's and i remember debbie was known for her good looks.she had a cute voice and a few nice songs..but pat..she might look a little butch but she had a powerful voice..she could really sing her ass off