1978: “Parallel Lines”- Blondie

1978

Surely everyone likes Blondie don’t they? At least some Blondie? Well, apart from my mate Mike who describes them as “lightweight, throwaway and inconsequential!”. He’s obviously got some kind of pleasure receptor malfunction so we’ll discount his deluded babblings on this subject.

Parallel Lines is the moment where Blondie turned into a household name rather than the CBGB spawned underground scenesters playing an offshoot of punk everyone was calling New Wave.This was surely a lot to do with “Heart of Glass”, the third single released from the album which, with it’s disco sound sounded completely different to anything the band had done up to this point. It was such a change that a lot of their contemporaries in the punk scene accused them of “selling out”.

The whole album is packed with “could’ve been singles” though and to be honest a lot of them were. “Picture This”, “Hanging On The Telephone”, “Sunday Girl” and Buddy Holly cover “I’m Gonna Love You Too” (probably the weakest track on the album in my opinion ) were all released as singles. But “Pretty Baby”, “Will Anything Happen” and “Just Go Away” could easily have done well in the singles chart too. It’s also worth saying that 3 of the songs were not actually written by Blondie. Apart from the Buddy Holly cover, “Hanging On The Telephone” and “Will Anything Happen” were written by little known L.A punk band The Nerves.

I recently bought a few albums to add to my vinyl collection and this was one I felt i should have, much to the disbelief of my wife. “Er i thought we were supposed to be SAVING for stuff, like this baby, not buying things you already own”. It’s a fair point but i can assure you it’s all in hand!

I love this album because as well as being just a brilliant collection of songs which are at the same time great catchy pop music AND underground New York cool, it also feels massively nostalgic to me. I obviously don’t remember it’s release. I wasn’t even a year old. But it definitely featured heavily in my childhood. Especially at family parties at Christmas or New Years Eve. I can picture the exact layout of my Auntie’s house, decorated for Christmas with “Sunday Girl” playing on the stereo as us kids ran about the place. I imagine that something like “Manifest” by Friends will be the equivalent for my kids. I can see that getting some hammer at parties.

Martin6months3 (2)

Summer 1978. My dungarees are on point.

 

This was the first Blondie album with the classic 6 piece line up, which would remain for 3 more albums until their split in 1982. It’s definitely the most consistent. I don’t feel like there’s a bad song on there.

I’m going with track 1 again for inclusion on the playlist. Although it’s a cover, this is the version which became definitive. I love it. The drums are ace and so is the verse guitar part. “diddly der ner ner”. I bet thats how they wrote it. “Just go “diddly der ner ner”

Rubbish video though. Future Tip:start filming AFTER you’ve arrived at the studio, tuned up and done your make up.

Playlist so far:

1. “Holidays In The Sun”- Sex Pistols

2. “Hanging On The Telephone”- Blondie

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