Pollinator (album)

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Blondie's "Pollinator" album cover.png
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 5, 2017 (2017-05-05)
StudioThe Magic Shop, New York City
ProducerJohn Congleton
Blondie chronology
Blondie 4(0) Ever
Singles from Pollinator
  1. "Fun"
    Released: February 1, 2017
  2. "Long Time"
    Released: March 24, 2017
  3. "Too Much"
    Released: June 12, 2017
  4. "Doom or Destiny"
    Released: September 19, 2017

Pollinator is the eleventh studio album by the American rock band Blondie, released on May 5, 2017 by BMG Rights Management.[2][3]


The album returns to a more band-oriented sound following the group's experimentation with electronic music for their previous release Ghosts of Download. Many of the songs on the album were collaborations written by outside writers, including songs written by TV on the Radio's David Sitek, Johnny Marr, Sia, Nick Valensi from The Strokes, Charli XCX, Canadian YouTube personality Adam Johnston of YourMovieSucks (who records music under the name An Unkindness), and Dev Hynes. Five of the album's tracks were written or co-written by Blondie bandmembers, with two songs written by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein (Harry also co-wrote one track with Hynes) and another two were written by Blondie keyboardist Matt Katz-Bohen with his wife Laurel. Lead guitarist Chris Stein stated in an interview with Mojo, "We thought to ask people because there's so much good music swirling about", rather than it being a result of running thin on ideas. "We sorted the contributors ourselves, or someone would send us a bunch of songs and we'd pick one" he continued, explaining that Blondie and producer John Congleton had curated the submissions.

The album was officially announced on January 23, 2017, when the band uploaded to their social media a scan of an interview with Mojo magazine which confirmed the album's release date. On January 30, the album's cover and track listing were unveiled.

The album cover was designed by the visual artist Shepard Fairey.[4]


The band's performance at WTTW's Grainger Studio in Chicago, taped on December 10, 2015, aired on the PBS concert series Soundstage on January 26, 2017, containing the new songs "My Monster" and "Gravity".[5][6] "Fun" was released on February 1, 2017, as the album's lead single.[3] On February 8, 2017, it was announced that Blondie will join Garbage on the co-headlining "Rage and Rapture Tour" across the United States, which will kick off on July 5 in Saratoga, California, wrapping up on August 12 in Dallas, Texas.[7] A second track, "My Monster", was released as an iTunes instant grat, and made available to those who had pre-ordered the album, on February 19, 2017. "Fun" became Blondie's most successful single in years, rising to Number 1 on Billboard's Dance Club Songs (Blondie's first appearance on that chart since 1995) and many charts in other countries.[8]

The second single, "Long Time", had its first play on Ken Bruce's show on BBC Radio 2 on March 21, and was released as a single on March 24.[9] It was released on a limited edition 7" vinyl, as was "Fun", backed with non-album track "The Breaks".[10] "Long Time" gave the band another Top 5 hit on the US Billboard Dance chart, their second from this album.

Later in April two more songs were released: "Fragments" and "Tonight". "Fragments", released for streaming only, is a song originally written and performed by Canadian YouTuber and musician Adam Johnston, who releases music under the name An Unkindness, that gained much attention during the Australian tour and was released as a promo track on YouTube.[11] "Tonight" is a Charli XCX penned track, sung in duet with Laurie Anderson. It was released on a limited edition 1000 copies one-sided 7" pressing,[12] sold at Blondie's pop up shop at the Camden Market as a promotional single.[13] This song has also appeared on the CD edition of the album as a hidden-track after "Fragments".

On September 19, "Doom or Destiny" (featuring Joan Jett) was released as the album's fourth single, backed with a politically charged video directed by Rob Roth.

Blondie also toured for the album during 2017 and 2018, visiting several cities in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, France, Ireland, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. A date in Chile was scheduled but later cancelled and rescheduled for 2019 and going sold-out in ten minutes.[14] During July-August, 2017 Blondie co-headlined the "Rage and Rapture Tour" with Garbage, playing 27 shows in the US, Canada and Mexico.

Rage and Rapture Tour[edit]

In summer 2017, Blondie undertook a co-headlining tour of the US with the band Garbage, in which Debbie Harry appeared onstage in full Honey Bee regalia. In keeping with the Pollinator album, the costume was designed as a statement about the dwindling bee population and environmental health. A fledgling beekeeper herself, Harry also wore a full-length cape which declared: "STOP FUCKING THE PLANET" in large block letters.[15]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Entertainment WeeklyB+[17]
The Guardian4/5 stars[19]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[20]
Robert ChristgauA-[21]

At Metacritic, the album has score of 71 out of 100, based on 22 reviews, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.[16]

Commercial performance[edit]

Pollinator has charted higher in most regions than their previous three albums. The album debuted and peaked at number 4 in the United Kingdom, the band's ninth Top 10 album and seventh Top 5 there (and their first since 1999's No Exit). As of July 2017, the album has sold 24,206 copies in the UK.[22] The album also debuted at number 1 in the UK Independent Albums Chart, and remained in the top 50 for 16 consecutive weeks. In the United States, the album debuted and peaked at number 63 on the Billboard 200, also the band's highest charting album in their native country since 1999. The album was more prominent on Billboard's Top Independent Albums Chart where it debuted and peaked at number 4. In Australia, the album peaked at number 29.

Track listing[edit]

1."Doom or Destiny" (featuring Joan Jett)2:54
2."Long Time"4:35
3."Already Naked"4:06
5."My Monster"Johnny Marr3:29
6."Best Day Ever"3:58
8."When I Gave Up on You"4:02
9."Love Level" (featuring John Roberts)
  • Stein
  • Harry
10."Too Much"
11."Fragments"Adam Johnston6:57
CD hidden bonus track
12."Tonight" (featuring Laurie Anderson)
Japanese bonus tracks[29]
12."The Breaks"
  • Stein
  • Harry
13."Fun" (Greg Cohen Spirit of 79 remix)
  • Sitek
  • Ledinsky
  • Hassle
  • Feireiss
14."Fun" (Eric Kupper disco remix)
  • Sitek
  • Ledinsky
  • Hassle
  • Feireiss
15."Fun" (Drew G remix)
  • Sitek
  • Ledinsky
  • Hassle
  • Feireiss



Additional personnel


Chart (2017) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[31] 29
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[32] 27
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[33] 55
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[34] 30
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[35] 26
French Albums (SNEP)[36] 86
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[37] 78
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[38] 21
Irish Albums (IRMA)[39] 57
Italian Albums (FIMI)[40] 62
New Zealand Heatseekers Albums (RMNZ)[41] 3
Scottish Albums (OCC)[42] 4
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[43] 86
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[44] 22
UK Albums (OCC)[45] 4
UK Independent Albums (OCC)[46] 1
US Billboard 200[47] 63
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[48] 4
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[49] 7
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[50] 15
Slovakia Albums (ČNS IFPI)[51] 14


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