Blondie 4 0 Ever: Greatest Hits Deluxe Redux / Ghosts of Download
2CD, Box Set
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Blondie 4(0)-Ever: Greatest Hits Deluxe Redux / Ghosts Of Download
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BLONDIE CELEBRATE THEIR 40TH ANNIVERSARY WITH THIS SPECIAL 2 ALBUMS IN 1 PACKAGE!
2014 marks the 40th year since the inception of legendary Rock & Roll Hall of Famers BLONDIE! The band is kicking off the celebration with this very special release. GREATEST HITS: DELUXE REDUX / GHOSTS OF DOWNLOAD is a unique package containing 2 separate albums that salute both Blondie s past and their present. Greatest Hits: Deluxe Redux is a collection of the very best of Blondie revisited and recorded anew by the band over the past couple of years* while they were recording GHOSTS OF DOWNLOAD, a collection of brand new music aided and abetted by the some of the world s most unique artists headed up by BETH DITTO (The Gossip), MISS GUY, and the Columbian turntablists/hip hop collective SYSTEMA SOLAR.
*Except for original 1999 recording of Maria
DELUXE PACKAGE & DVD NEVER BEFORE SEEN FOOTAGE!
The deluxe version of GREATEST HITS: DELUXE REDUX / GHOSTS OF DOWNLOAD features the LIVE AT CBGB 1977 DVD: over 50 minutes of lost footage taken directly from the original videotapes the set was filmed on. Despite the raw nature of the sounds and vision given the age of the tapes, you get the same contagious joy and energy the crowd at CBGB that night experienced as the band blasts through most of their first album and some choice covers!
The deluxe package also features:
- 2 DIGIPAKS, one for each of the 2 albums
- 10-panel folder & 28-page CD booklet
- 4 panel wallet for DVD
- 5 photo prints from Blondie guitarist CHRIS STEIN s archive!
- VINTAGE 1979 GIG POSTER!
- all packed into a SLIPCASE
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The new album was also a lot better than expected. I was nervous that it would be awful, but was pleasantly surprised. Not their best work, but definitely fun to listen to.
Lastly, the DVD of the 77' at CBGB is fantastic. It's like discovering a time capsule. Best part of the whole package.
Ghosts of Download though is something of a leap ahead. It's probably Blondie's best album since Eat to the Beat. The album is full of hooks and many of the songs here would be hits if Blondie were at their commercial height: "A Rose By Any Name", "Sugar On The Side", "Drag Me Around", "Rave", "Winter", "Mile High", and possibly "Take Me in the Night". That's 7 tracks out of 13 that sound like they could have been hits. "Rose" slinks along with a seductive groove; "Rave" and "Mile High" are quality dance tracks; "Sugar" is infectious latin pop; "Winter" sounds like classic Blondie and would have sounded right at home on 'Parallel Lines'; and "Take Me In The Night" is a catchy pure pop song.
Most of the remaining tracks are just as strong even when they don't sound like potential singles: "I Screwed Up", like many of the songs on this album, has a latin pop flavor. It features a rap done in Spanish by Los Rakas. "Euphoria" slinks along with a subtle hook and "Take It Back" revs up the dance floor with lyrics about a fight or a breakup.
To my ears "Make A Way" and "Backroom" don't work as well. I can still hear they're very quality tracks, and others will probably really like these songs. For me "Make A Way" has too dis-jointed of a melody, and "Backroom" is a bit plodding in its pace.
The only real mis-fire - and again I'm sure others will actually like it - is the remake of "Relax". While Blondie clearly does something totally new with it, I think "Prism" (one of the bonus tracks) would have been a better choice for the regular album, with "Relax" as a bonus cut instead.
Over-all though 'Ghosts of Download' is a very, very good album.
Despite anything you may have heard to the contrary, Deluxe Redux's new studio recordings of the "Best of Blondie" is not a disappointment: you can hear the differences in the tracks, improved after 40 years of performance live.