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Parallel Lines Import, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

140 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording reissued, September 11, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Blondie's songs and sultry swagger hit the tipping point in '78 and they leapt from hip new-wave band to full-fledged pop stars. Along with their all-time classics Heart of Glass and One Way or Another and the rest of the LP, this set includes a booklet with the album's photo session and a DVD with Heart of Glass; Picture This, and Hanging on the Telephone promo videos plus Sunday Girl from Top of the Pops !

Until 1978, Blondie was perceived mostly as a '60s-referencing, British-Invasion-meets-girl-groups band. With veteran producer Mike Chapman at the helm for their third album, though, everything changed for this group bred from the New York punk scene. Honing in on Blondie's strongest points--Deborah Harry's come-hither vocals and Clem Burke's powerhouse drumming--Chapman helped recast the band to the power pop side of new wave, and with impressive results. Driven by the punk-meets-disco chart-topping hit, "Heart of Glass," and the herky-jerky "One Way or Another," as well as a muscular cover of the Nerves' "Hanging on the Telephone," Parallel Lines established Blondie as major stars. --Billy Altman

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Hanging On The Telephone
  2. One Way Or Another
  3. Picture This
  4. Fade Away And Radiate
  5. Pretty Baby
  6. I Know But I Don't Know
  7. 11:59
  8. Will Anything Happen?
  9. Sunday Girl
  10. Heart Of Glass
  11. I'm Gonna Love You Too
  12. , Just Go Away
  13. Once I Had A Love (The Disco Song 1976)
  14. Bang A Gong (Get It On; live)
  15. I Know But I Don't Know (live)
  16. Hanging On The Telephone (live)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 11, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 1979
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B00005MNP8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,065 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 25, 2002
Format: Audio CD
BLONDIE kicked around for several years and released a couple of albums without developing more than a very localized New York following, where the band was generally considered a sort of punk-pop fusion--and then in the late 1970s came PARALLEL LINES, which vaulted them to a superstardom seldom seen even in the high profile music world. And listening to the recording today it is easy to understand why: absolutely everything about the album is perfect.
As a whole, PARALLEL LINES manages to walk a fine line between several different musical styles. Most of the tracks have a bouncy, almost bubble-gum feel: catchy and memorable with driving rhythms. But the arrangements are anything but bubble-gum: they rely on a mix of synthesizers and traditional drums-bass-guitar in a way that essentially defines the entire "new wave" sound of the late 1970s. And the lyrics, often savage, frequently satircal, and always memorable, are edgy and witty and sharp and about as far from pop as one can get.
All of that would have been enough to make a hit album--but BLONDIE also had the front singer to end all front singers: Debbie Harry, who mixed tough and sexy and pretty and naughty to tremendous effect--and whose full-throated voice actually contrived to SOUND blonde. Whether we're talking about the sleek, disco-like "Heart of Glass" or the punk-edged "Just Go Away" or the new wave "Fade Away and Radiate," the music here suits her unique voice perfectly--and the result is a truly flawless group of recordings that set the standard for the next decade. Blondie would do several more recordings before the band collapsed, and some of them would be very good--but PARALLEL LINES is IT, a landmark in the pop music lexicon. This remastered release, which includes a couple of live recordings for good measure, is an essential in any pop music library. Strongly recommended.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Ashley Blair on February 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Parallel Lines is nothing less than a Masterpiece. Constantly ranked in the Top 100 best albums of all time, not to mention sellers of all time, some 21 million copies internationally by 2003. Blondie soared to superstar status not only on the music charts 1978-1979 with this album, but forever placed them as POP ICONS. Blondie are truly among rock music's elite. If ever there was a perfect POP/ROCK Album, Parallel Lines is it. In a time where 6 singles off 1 album was unheard of, Blondie did the unthinkable and rode the International charts. Deborah Harry is simply sweet as honey, on songs like "Pretty Baby" and "Sunday Girl" a UK #1 in 79. Although "Sunday Girl" was the 5th biggest sellling single in the UK in 1979, it was never released in the USA, but recieved a fair amount of FM airplay. Parallel Lines is not without it's edgy moments, as evident on songs like "11:59", "One way or another" and "Hanging on the Telephone", we see Deborah Harry singing with frantic release. The world would forever be changed with the release of the Mega Smash "Heart of Glass", without a doubt one of the 50 biggest rock songs of all time. The techno beat of "Heart of Glass" sold millions of copies worldwide, hit #1 in the US/UK/CAN and some 19 other countries. The number #2 song of the year in the UK, Heart of Glass is still as vibrant a song today, as it was in 1979, fresh and still ultra cool. The technobeat of "Heart of Glass" inspires Dance music even today. Parallel lines rode the charts for 2 years and was the #9 USA and #1 UK best selling album of the year in 1979. Parallel Lines was produced by legendary producer "Mike Chapman", who produced 3 other all time classics, all from 1979.Read more ›
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By KSG on January 5, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Hearing that opening line from Parallel Line's Pretty Baby I'm reminded of why I love Blondie so much: they represent pop music at it's most unique and intelligent. Debbie Harry and Chris Stein were pushing 40 back in the glory days of Parallel Lines. They were old enough to have established points of view and pretty much stuck to them. They were slightly retro, girl group and sci-fi obsessed New Yorkers. Their success came when they teamed up with L.A. based producer Mike Chapman (who also produced most of Pat Benatar's best work). In his new and enlightening liner notes Chapman explains how he tamed Blondie.
This album is full of high energy, hook filled, infectious pop. It includes the now classic Heart of Glass in it's hit version as well as in an earlier less polished version. Other highlights include Fade Away and Radiate, a sci-fi pop dirge (by this time a Blondie staple) with an incredible guitar solo by Robert Fripp and Debbie's James Cagney inspired vocals on One Way Or The Other, where she states that she's "gonna getcha getcha getcha".
My only complaint is that this reissue does not include the lyrics as the original album did. The remastering is brilliant and brings out the wonderful arrangements enabling you to hear the strong contributions by all the band members, especially the keyboard playing of Jimmy Destri.
By the way, the CD's opener is a cover version of The Nails' "Hanging On The Telephone".
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Scott Coblio on November 28, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Let's face it--there are a thousand versions of "Parallel Lines" available on CD by now--and almost all of the songs from it are on the more comprehensive compilations as well. This oddity has its pros and cons--I'll start from the outside in.

The original cover artwork has been kind of mangled, not quite sure what they were going for here. The album title is Parallel Lines and they removed the parallel lines. The lyrics for Debbie's unfinished poem from which the title came show the first three lines out of order (it should read, "the lines on the pages, the lines on the screen, the lines I have written that you read between...")

There are only 2 or 3 photos from the outtakes for the cover picture--aside from these the opportunities for an exciting booklet appear to have been wasted. The back cover picture by Roberta Bayley is a live shot from 1979--when Debbie was playing the shaggy-haired rock goddess, as opposed to the more retro and vampy pop siren of "Parallel Lines". Can't we keep the eras straight?

Lest I sound nitpicky, I'll get to some of the good aspects of this disc. The sound quality is great, just as good as (but no better than) the 2001 remaster. There are some good bonus tracks, most notably the all-French "Sunday Girl", although I have to say the mix on this song is vastly inferior to the one available on "Once More Into the Bleach", which boasts much higher fidelity coupled with a brighter vocal mix on Debbie. When the song fades with Debbie's forlorn "I got the blu-u-u-u-u-u-es...." you can really hear it on "Bleach"--here, its all but lost. Still, as they say in the video editing biz, "they won't miss what they never saw..." and it's still nice to have the song included.
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