This album has been played many times.
I never get tired listening to any of the tracks. Without doubt in my top five records of all time. A mixture of punk elements, rock, pop and their first move into a synth disco song. 12 tracks produced solely by Australian Mike Chapman, known as a writer and producer with Nicky Chinn and at the forefront of British pop with a distinctive sound called Chinnichap in the 1970’s.
This was Blondie‘s third album release and from gigging in the punk clubs of New York, 1978 saw them with 2 top ten singles and a top ten album in the UK and when Parallel Lines hit the shops,
it took them on an almighty global pop experience. The album opens with what was the albums 2nd single release “Hanging on the telephone” which peaked at #5 on a 12 week run on the UK single chart, and top 20 in 3 European territories. “One Way Or Another” written by Debbie Harry and Nigel Harrison, rasps it way along as if in a hurry. Track 3, which was the lead single from the album is “Picture This” a piece of rock / pop about what appears to be lost love which reached #12 for an 11 week run on the UK chart. It also made the top 20 in Ireland and Sweden. “Fade Away And Radiate” is one of my favourite tracks. It’s a slower rock ballad, with a reggae beat ending. Guitar on this was played by Robert Fripp, husband of British Punk Rock singer and actress Toyah Willcox. “Pretty Baby” is an uplifting pop song, and includes a spoken word passage by Debbie Harry , with the other band members vocals over the top. Side A finishes with
“I know But I Don’t Know” written by Frank Infante and sees the use of the bass and drums which are clearly heard.
Side B starts with “11:59” written by Jimmy Destri. The lyrics evoke a dark place and time. “Will Anything Happen” total commercial punk rock at its best. Moving on to “Sunday Girl” written by Chris Stein was the 4th and final single release from the album, a big pop hit across the world reaching #1 in the UK for 3 weeks in a 13 week chart run, at the time a second #1 in a row. I have a 12 inch version with the B-side duplicated by being sung completely in French.
“Heart of Glass” is the track that gave Blondie their first taste of US chart success, ironically with a synth pop song, peaking at #1. It also made number one in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, several European territories and for the first time the UK with 4 weeks at the top in its 15 weeks on the chart. The album version contains the word “ass” in one line when
part repeating it from earlier in the song, which was edited in the UK single version thus passing the unhappy BBC Radio censors. “I’m Gonna Love You Too”, is a Buddy Holly cover version. “Just Go Away” closes the record another rock/pop song.
The British public took Debbie Harry (Vocals), Chris Stein (Guitars), Nigel Harrison (Bass Guitar), Frank Infante (Guitar), Jimmy Destri (Keyboards) and Clem Burke (Drums) to their hearts.
The album reached #1, was certified platinum and stayed at the top for 4 weeks enjoying an incredible 114 weeks on the UK chart. In the US Billboard Album chart sales took it to #6. It also hit the top ten in several countries peaking at #2 in Australia.
The album was recorded in New York and mixed in Kentucky, and the cover art attributed to Edo. As of 2008 sales worldwide have reached 20 million copies and recently I saw a brand new vinyl pressing on sale in my home town.