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Plastic Letters Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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

Blondie's '78 follow-up leaned even heavier on the pop side of the band's sound and their girl group influences were worn proudly on their sleeves (or in Debbie's case, on the hot pink dress she wears on the album's ultra-cool cover). The band had a huge hit in Europe, Australia and the UK with Denis, a reworking of Denise , the 1963 hit by Randy & The Rainbows. That track plus 12 more make up this remastered edition of the original album and four bonus tracks include Once I Had a Love (a.k.a The Disco Song ), an early version of the song that would later become Heart of Glass !
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 11, 2001)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00005MNP9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,010 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Mix on November 7, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Yeah, the band known for its disco hit single and its 'People' magazine cover girl was once a legitimate new wave band. And their trash-camp aesthetic never sounded better than it did on 'Plastic Letters'.

By turns energetic, snotty and cinematic, Blondie tears through their second album with nary a misstep: Deborah Harry mis-pronounces words so they rhyme, sings like your kid sister slash brat one moment and warbles like a thirties movie starlet the next, and the band (especially keyboardist Jimmy Destri) is monsterous, and tears up song after song, managing to sound nimble and ferocious at the same time. (This was also the last time it sounded like they were having fun.)

Special credit must also go to drummer Clem Burke. He was not only one of the best drummers of the new wave, but one of the best drummers ever to grace a rock n' roll record. I can't imagine Blondie (especially 'Plastic Letters' and 'Eat To The Beat') without his propulsive, rock-steady drumming. This guy spent more time 'in the pocket' than a wallet.

And Blondie's Godzilla-meets-the-Shangri-Las kitsch? The song titles tell the story: "Youth Nabbed As Sniper". "I Didn't Have The Nerve To Say No". "Love At The Pier". "Fan Mail". And "Bermuda Triangle Blues". They make 'Plastic Letters' the mutant offspring of 'The Weekly World News' and 'True Confessions'.

And all of this trashy fun has never sounded better, thanks to Kevin Bartley's re-mastering. And kudos to Chrysalis for the re-release package, which includes pictures, a brief essay putting each release in perspective, and bonus tracks.

And as if 'Plastic Letters' needed the boost, its bonus tracks are the cream of the Blondie re-release project crop.
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Format: Audio CD
A true classic; Deborah Harry has never been better, sliding into "Fan Mail" like liquid mercury, she blasts out of it like a siren; breezy pop "Denis," "Love at the Pier" and "I'm On E" presages later work; PL showcases the most clever and inventive group of the last 30 years -- e.g., the beguiling "Cautious Lip," downright scary "Detroit 442" and "Bermuda Triangle Blues," and best of all, Jimmy Destri's amazing, pulsing and enigmatic "Contact In Red Square," Destri's magnificent keyboard, amazing back-up vocals, and Clem Burke's phenomenal rat-a-tat drumming rushes you along this little thriller only to leave you stranded in a dark alley. More mature than their debut, and not quite the uptempo, chrome-polished pop of "Parallel Lines," "Eat to the Beat," or "Autoamerican," "Plastic Letters" highlights Burke's percussion and Destri's keyboards like no other Blondie project. "Plastic Letters" is Blondie's best. A top-ten must have from the 70s that leaves you yearning for more Destri, Destri's solo "Heart on a Wall" on CD.
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Format: Audio CD
Here it is - the best album Blondie ever did.
Every single track - even the bonus tracks on this rerelease - is worth listening to, and every one is great.
And yet it's vastly underrated - a lot of reviews I've read (not all here, though) say that this is a pale imitation of BLONDIE. How?!?!? The production is sharper, the songs have more depth, and are just brilliant in general - but they still have a great punk edge to them, an edge lost with PARALLEL LINES. (Well, it was!)
We have two marveloussly catchy somgs to begin with - "Fan Mail" (sets the trend of stellar keyboard-playing from Jimmy Destri through this album), and of course "Denis" (love that dodgy French!), before moving onto the eerie, haunting "Bermuda Triangle Blues," the incredibly menacing "Youth Nabbed as Sniper" (bravura drumming here from Clem Burke - same goes for the rest of the album), the near power-pop burst of "Contact in Red Square" (less than 2 minutes long!), "(I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear" - well, I don't think I need to add more; the giddily fun "I'm on E" (it's not what you think), the wonderfully pouty "I Didn't Have the Nerve to say No," "Love at the Pier" - the hands down best (not to mention funniest) song Debbie ever wrote, the moodier "No Imagination," the warped rockabilly (I think) of "Kidnapper," the pounding "Detroit 442," and the trippy (you could say bad-trippy), jarring (mainly when Debbie suddenly screams) semi-blues of "Cautious Lip.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Blondie's sophomore effort, "Plastic Letters" is sprinkled with high intensity. It's fast-paced and incredibly quirky. "Plastic Letters" is probably the band's most underrated album. It's so unique. At first listen, you might think this record is choppy and disjointed, but once you keep listening to it - you begin to realize "Plastic Letters" is the real deal. The opener, "Fan Mail" is about an overzealous fan. "Fan Mail" is a genius track full of futuristic synths, cryptic lyrics, (keyboardist Jimmy Destri was a brilliant songwriter) and finishes with a sexy growl courtesy of Debbie Harry. It's the BEST and most innovative track. "Denis" is a good cover but not Blondie's best cover. "Denis" is the weakest track. It's the only misstep you will find on "Plastic Letters". The intensity picks up again on the eerie, "Bermuda Triangle Blues (Flight 45)" which is about a tragic plane crash. "Youth Nabbed As Sniper" and "Contact In Red Square" contain dark elements of pop and punk. The tempo slows down a bit on the charming, "(I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear" written by former bassist, Gary Valentine. Rhythm guitarist, Frank Infante joined the band and he proved what an amazing guitarist he really was (he also plays bass as well). The next 4 tracks are the most energetic and some of my personal favorites, starting with the manic, "I'm On E" and the salty, "No Imagination". Debbie gets to flex her songwriting muscles on the breezy, "Love At The Pier" and the melodic, "I Didn't Have The Nerve To Say No". I like how Debbie can sing any genre of music especially on the bluesy, "Kidnapper". She truly was a force of nature. And I'm sure it wasn't easy being the only female in the band. She was not only beautiful but a charismatic, brave, intelligent, and most importantly, a gifted vocalist.Read more ›
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