Parallel Lines is the album that paved the way for the Blondie’s acceptance into mainstream, thanks to the irreverently catchy hooks that are evident through the lyrics and instrumentation.
In tribute to Ms.Debbie Harry , who celebrated her birthday earlier this week, our handpicked album for this week’s Weekend Album Review is none other than Blondie’s third studio album, Parallel Lines.
We all have to admit that Ms. Harry’s star quality and smothering sex appeal were all instrumental in boosting the new wave post-punk pop rock band’s popularity, so it comes as a surprise that Blondie’s scowling yet gorgeous vocalist stands out in a strapped white dress while the guys wear goofy grins, matching black suits, and whatever footwear was available.
The black and white outfits against the black and white stripes create the illusion that the band’s members are fading in and out of the background.
THE TRACK LIST
1. Hanging on the Telephone
2. One Way or Another
3. Picture This
4. Fade Away and Radiate
5. Pretty Baby
6. I Know But I Don’t Know
8. Will Anything Happen
9. Sunday Girl
10. Heart of Glass
11. I’m Gonna Love You Too
12. Just Go Away
13. Brick Red
Blondie was founded by Debbie Harry and guitarist Christ Stein in 1974. With Clem Burke on drums, Jimmiy Destri on keyboards and bassist Gary Valentine, they started out as a new wave and punk band in the mid-1970’s. Due to their strong punk and new wave musical influences which manifested in their music, Blondie was considered an underground band in the United States up until the release of Parallel Lines.
Parallel Lines was released in 1978 and is considered as the band’s biggest commercial breakthrough. It is also the album that paved the way for the band’s acceptance into mainstream, thanks to the irreverently catchy hooks that are evident through the lyrics and instrumentation.
The album starts on the right note with a cover of a Jack Lee song. ”Hanging on the Telephone” is the type of song that pumps up your adrenaline and makes you hanker for more. _”One Way or Another” is the perfect follow up and both punk-driven tunes can produce enough energy and aggression and to make you stomp while humming them for days.
It slows down with ”Fade Away and Radiate,” and then ”Pretty Baby” stirs a bit of excitement once again with touching lyrics personally written by Debbie Harry.
If I were to say that Blondie is sweeter the third album around, I would say that only upon listening to ”Sunday Girl.” The lyrics are sugary alright and for the first time, Harry deploys more cuteness instead of that edgy sexiness of hers. Don’t think they’d just melt to Carpenters mode though, because the guitar riffs will remind you that you are still listening to a rock ‘n roll band.
And then there’s “Heart of Glass,” the only disco track in the album that will make you——yes, believe it or not——dance. Well don’t expect to do the rhumba but do expect those hips and shoulders to sway from side to side.
Parallel Lines is a brave and very successful attempt at becoming a better sounding band. So yeah, the band doesn’t sound as angry or forceful as usual, but so what, the songs are pretty damn good anyway. It is a bundle of timeless tunes that even listeners of this generation would easily appreciate.
Trust me, this is an album worth listening to. Till next week’s Weekend Music Review!