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Blondie, 'Moonlight Drive'

The Doors suck. "But, wait, what about—," you say. No, no, no... The Doors suck. But then Blondie, possibly the coolest band to come out of New York's 1970s punk and new wave scene, covers The Doors, LA's most pompous rock band.

The story goes that Jim Morrison mumbled the opening lines of "Moonlight Drive" to Ray Manzarek in 1965 and a band was born. In the original, Morrison's slurred monotone turns into his trademark howl over an off-kilter blues. For decades, live bootlegs of Blondie's cover floated around, but there was never a studio version until Against the Odds: 1974-1982, a forthcoming box set with loads of previously vaulted tracks, including Blondie's "Moonlight Drive" pressed to 7-inch vinyl. But where John Densmore shuffled the beat, Clem Burke pedals a punked-up disco groove under barroom piano, power chords and Debbie Harry's wild-eyed seduction. With dramatic pauses and a climax pounded like the very tides swum to the moon, the arrangement teases and romps. While very little can dissuade me to reconsider The Doors, there's a reckless glamor to this version that can't be denied.

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