Parallel Lines Original recording reissued
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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.
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".
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So this is a review for the 2015 import Back To Black vinyl release of this record.
first the warning. this has the longer 'disco version' of Heart of Glass. Read more
Just fantastic. I won't go on with great detail as so many reviews already say all that I would. This is Blondie in near perfect form. Read morePublished 1 month ago by damnisthistaken
a friend borrowed my copy of this cd/dvd& liked it so much he wanted a copy for himself this remaster withbonus tracks& a dvd with top of the pops clips is sure a must have for any... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jimmy A.
Badly remastered. Ear bleeder, couldn't make it through a whole song.Published 2 months ago by Gary Craig
Their best one but who's listening when you're remembering the most beautiful woman in the universe, Debby Harry...Published 2 months ago by J. Kendrick
One of a handful of albums ever created with every song a major hit!Published 4 months ago by M. Suriani