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Maria - Blondie

Not many groups look and sound as fresh as they did first time round, 20 years later, but in 1999, Blondie carried it off in style. The main reason is the seemingly timelessness of Debbie Harry herself. No longer the slender "punky girl with attitude", she's now the fully signed-up "woman with experience of life".

What gives the song its magic is the sense that Ms Harry is looking back at herself, that "Maria" is her those twenty years ago, full of the confidence of youth:

She moves like she don't care smooth as silk, cool as air ooh it makes you wanna cry she doesn't know your name and your heart beats like a subway train ooh it makes you wanna die

ooh, don't you wanna take her? ooh, wanna make her all your own?

I can remember the excitement among hot-blooded males when Blondie first hit the charts - and so can keyboardist and songwriter Jimmy Destri who quotes the best line from his song "Walk like Me" from their 1980 album "Autoamerican"

"(she's) like a millionaire walkin' on imported air....."

when Harry was revered as the queen of post-punk. The band evokes the old days with a pure punk intro which zestfully drives the song from start to finish, and Debbie Harry is note perfect and radiating ultra-vivacity as ever she did, delivering those great lines as carelessly and precisely as the subject of the song

"....she walks like she don't care.."

For "Ave Maria" read "hail Debbie".

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