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H.R. Giger: Debbie Harry Metamorphosis: Creating the Visual Concept for KooKoo

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Their fifth album, Autoamerican (1980), afforded Harry and the band further attention, spawning such hits as a cover of "The Tide Is High", and "Rapture", the latter of which is considered the first rap song to chart at number one in the United States. It is a curious project, where beauty combines with pain and life with death, just like in all visionary pieces made by Giger. Dismissed for decades by the mainstream art scene for Giger’s popular status in Hollywood, Alien indeed made Giger famous just as Giger made Alien famous. In contrast, some of the most striking are the colourful, outdoor photos of Debbie nonchalantly hanging out in the neighbourhood while looking a bit like the robot woman in Metropolis. They were appar­ent­ly excit­ed about my work and asked me whether I would be pre­pared to design the cov­er of the new Deb­bie Har­ry album.

For his part, Edwards had been a New Yorker since the age of ten, and had honed his musical awareness in the city’s array of small clubs. Yet, the outcome was absolutely glorious; the cover art sees Harry’s face pierced by several spikes whilst retaining her striking beauty. The fantastical videos for two of the tracks on the album, 'Backfired' and 'Now I Know you Know,' featured Giger himself piercing an Egyptian sarcophagus and a newly brunette Harry reimagined as a xenomorphic Giger creature.Of all the poster-image icons of the 20th Century, perhaps few are as recognisable as Blondie’s Debbie Harry. It’s in that role that he has worked on this book, documenting the project to create an album cover and two videos in the studio of the famous Swiss artist. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. You can see how Harry’s album fit into the history of the marriage between rock and sci-fi, especially seeing its legacy a few years later when Anjelica Huston would dress as another Frankensteinian, beautiful cybernetic being in Michael Jackson’s 3D rock movie Captain EO. The poster is artistic,” snapped Debbie, “Giger was having acupuncture treatment when I asked him to design the poster.

There I was intro­duced to a very beau­ti­ful woman, Deb­bie Har­ry, the singer of the group Blondie, and her boyfriend, Chris Stein,” Giger said in an inter­view. As such, perhaps it was a strange and conflicting choice to select Giger for the promotional material design.With Blondie, she released the group's ninth studio album, Panic of Girls, in 2011, followed by Ghosts of Download (2014). Blondie enjoyed tremendous success in the charts, which was unusual at the time for an outfit from a predominantly punk background. Her spectacular voice drips with a sophisticated elegance rarely heard in pop music and she continues to infuse her work with an exquisite artistic sensibility.

Debbie Harry picked up on the personal interpretation theme when asked to describe the album, explaining, “the words simply mean what they say. Har­ry wrote about this in Heavy Met­al mag­a­zine, which often fea­tured the artist, say­ing “Giger’s work has a sub­con­scious effect: it engen­ders the fear of being turned into met­al.A new book, Giger: Debbie Harry Species – Creating the Visual Concept for KooKoo , will document the early Eighties collaboration between the Blondie frontwoman and artist H. Titan Books will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. After KooKoo , Blondie regrouped and recorded 1982’s The Hunter , which would be the last album of their initial run. When they decided to go on hiatus in 1981, Harry embarked on a detour into the world of acting, culminating in her finest acting performance in David Cronenberg’s 1983 film Videodrome. In an arresting mix of visceral storytelling and stunning visuals including never-before-seen photographs, bespoke illustrations and fan art installations, FACE IT upended the standard musical memoir while delivering a truly intimate portrait of an iconoclast.

KooKoo was produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of Chic and marked Harry’s first foray into the music industry without the rest of Blondie.

This shock picture of Blondie star Debbie Harry has been banned from Britain’s high streets,” continued the Mirror, “The picture - which is also on the cover of Debbie’s first solo album, Koo Koo - has upset Britain’s advertising bosses. The fantastical music videos for two of the tracks on the album, “Backfired” and “Now I Know You Know,” co-star Giger himself as a sci-fi wizard/magician–something straight out of Logan’s Run, The Black Hole, or Planet of the Apes–piercing an Egyptian sarcophagus. Harry quickly became a punk icon in the New York new wave scene of the 1970s; her bleach-blonde hair and exuberant sense of fashion set her apart from her contemporaries, and even Andy Warhol got in on the act, taking several now-classic photographs of the legendary singer. Stein and Harry became friends, lovers and bandmates, but he also became something of a personal photographer, capturing her every move.

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