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£7.99

Rock - Released June 24, 2008 | Capitol Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Blondie turned to British pop producer Mike Chapman for their third album, on which they abandoned any pretensions to new wave legitimacy (just in time, given the decline of the new wave) and emerged as a pure pop band. But it wasn't just Chapman that made Parallel Lines Blondie's best album; it was the band's own songwriting, including Deborah Harry, Chris Stein, and James Destri's "Picture This," and Harry and Stein's "Heart of Glass," and Harry and new bass player Nigel Harrison's "One Way or Another," plus two contributions from nonbandmember Jack Lee, "Will Anything Happen?" and "Hanging on the Telephone." That was enough to give Blondie a number one on both sides of the Atlantic with "Heart of Glass" and three more U.K. hits, but what impresses is the album's depth and consistency -- album tracks like "Fade Away and Radiate" and "Just Go Away" are as impressive as the songs pulled for singles. The result is state-of-the-art pop/rock circa 1978, with Harry's tough-girl glamour setting the pattern that would be exploited over the next decade by a host of successors led by Madonna. ~ William Ruhlmann
£9.49

Rock - Released March 3, 2003 | Parlophone Catalogue

Atomic: The Very Best of Blondie is a two-disc compilation with a spotty best-of on one disc and a collection of remixes on another. Disc one is a satisfactory overview, containing most of the group's biggest and best hits -- "Atomic," "Heart of Glass," "Rapture," "Hanging on the Telephone," "Rip Her to Shreds," "Tide Is High" -- but several other Blondie compilations do a better job, and they don't come with a disc of remixes that aren't of any interest to casual fans. Some of the remixes are alright, though none of them are worth hearing a second time (and who, besides a DJ, needs four remixes of "Atomic '98"?). ~ Andy Kellman
£9.49

Pop - Released September 9, 2011 | Capitol Records

Essential is a single-disc compilation that serves as a satisfactory Blondie overview, containing most of the group's biggest and best hits -- "Atomic," "Heart of Glass," "Rapture," "Hanging on the Telephone," "Rip Her to Shreds," "The Tide Is High" -- but several other compilations, including the stellar Blondie Singles Collection: 1977-1982, do a better job. ~ Andy Kellman
£7.99

Pop - Released March 7, 2006 | Capitol Records

£6.99

Rock - Released August 30, 2001 | Chrysalis\EMI Records (USA)

Blondie turned to British pop producer Mike Chapman for their third album, on which they abandoned any pretensions to new wave legitimacy (just in time, given the decline of the new wave) and emerged as a pure pop band. But it wasn't just Chapman that made Parallel Lines Blondie's best album; it was the band's own songwriting, including Deborah Harry, Chris Stein, and James Destri's "Picture This," and Harry and Stein's "Heart of Glass," and Harry and new bass player Nigel Harrison's "One Way or Another," plus two contributions from nonbandmember Jack Lee, "Will Anything Happen?" and "Hanging on the Telephone." That was enough to give Blondie a number one on both sides of the Atlantic with "Heart of Glass" and three more U.K. hits, but what impresses is the album's depth and consistency -- album tracks like "Fade Away and Radiate" and "Just Go Away" are as impressive as the songs pulled for singles. The result is state-of-the-art pop/rock circa 1978, with Harry's tough-girl glamour setting the pattern that would be exploited over the next decade by a host of successors led by Madonna. ~ William Ruhlmann
£9.49

Rock - Released September 19, 2002 | Chrysalis\EMI Records (USA)

£7.99

Rock - Released August 30, 2001 | Chrysalis\EMI Records (USA)

Just as Blondie's second album, Plastic Letters, was a pale imitation of their self-titled debut, Eat to the Beat, their fourth album, was a secondhand version of their breakthrough third album, Parallel Lines: one step forward, half a step back. There was an attempt, on such songs as "The Hardest Part" and "Atomic," to recreate the rock/disco fusion of the group's one major U.S. hit, "Heart of Glass," without similar success, and, elsewhere, the band just tried to cover too many stylistic bases. "Die Young Stay Pretty," for example, dipped into an island sound complete with modified reggae beat (a foreshadowing of the upcoming hit "The Tide Is High"), and "Sound-a-Sleep" was a lullaby that dragged too much to be a good change of pace. The British, who had long since been converted, made Eat to the Beat another chart-topper, with three major hits, including a number one ranking for "Atomic" and almost the same success for "Dreaming," but in the U.S., which still saw Blondie as a slightly comic one-hit wonder, the album was greeted for what it was -- slick corporate rock without the tangy flavor that had made Parallel Lines such ear candy. ~ William Ruhlmann
£12.99

Pop - Released October 16, 2009 | Parlophone Catalogue

What distinguishes this 2009 double-disc collection from all the previous Blondie compilations is that Blondie Singles Collection: 1977-1982 contains all the A- and B-sides from both the 7" and 12" singles. This means that it does include several B-sides that have never shown up on disc before, primarily longer dance mixes and other alternate takes, all of which make this quite enticing to longtime, hardcore Blondie fans. Those not so dedicated should stick with something that only offers the A-sides, but for those who are either devoted to Blondie or new wave, this is the Blondie singles comp to get. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
£7.99

Rock - Released August 30, 2001 | Chrysalis\EMI Records (USA)

The basic Blondie sextet was augmented, or replaced, by numerous session musicians (including lots of uncredited horn and string players) for the group's fifth album, Autoamerican, on which they continued to expand their stylistic range, with greater success, at least on certain tracks, than they had on Eat to the Beat. A cover of Jamaican group the Paragons' "The Tide Is High," released in advance of the album, became a gold-selling number one single, as did the rap pastiche "Rapture," but, despite their presence, the album stalled in the lower half of the Top Ten and spent fewer weeks in the charts than either of its predecessors. One reason for that, admittedly, was that Chrysalis Records pulled promotion of the disc in favor of pushing lead singer Debbie Harry's debut solo album, KooKoo, not even bothering to release a third single after scoring two chart-topping hits. But then, it's hard to imagine what that third single could have been on an album that leads off with a pretentious string-filled instrumental ("Europa"), and also finds Harry crooning ersatz '20s pop on "Here's Looking at You" and tackling Broadway show music in a cover of "Follow Me" from Camelot. Though more characteristic, the rest of the tracks are weak compositions indifferently executed. Thus Autoamerican was memorable only for its hits, which would be better heard when placed on a hits compilation. ~ William Ruhlmann
£2.49

Pop/Rock - Released July 5, 2005 | Chrysalis\EMI Records (USA)

£10.99

Punk / New Wave - Released October 28, 1983 | Chrysalis\EMI Records (USA)

Although Blondie made several first-rate albums, most of their best songs were released as singles, which makes The Best of Blondie an essential collection. The Best of Blondie glosses over their punk roots -- very little from the first album, apart from the vicious "Rip Her to Shreds" and the seductive "In the Flesh" -- but the band's pop hits are among the finest of their era and encapsulate all of the virtues of new wave. Apart from genuine chart hits like "Heart of Glass," "One Way or Another," "Dreaming," "Call Me," "Atomic," "The Tide Is High," and "Rapture," Best of Blondie picks up several of the group's best album tracks, like "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear" and "Hanging on the Telephone." The Best of Blondie isn't all you need to know, but it is an excellent introduction to one of the best new wave bands. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
£9.49

Pop - Released April 20, 1999 | Chrysalis\EMI Records (USA)

Although Blondie made several first-rate albums, most of their best songs were released as singles, which makes The Best of Blondie an essential collection. The Best of Blondie glosses over their punk roots -- very little from the first album, apart from the vicious "Rip Her to Shreds" and the seductive "In the Flesh" -- but the band's pop hits are among the finest of their era and encapsulate all of the virtues of new wave. Apart from genuine chart hits like "Heart of Glass," "One Way or Another," "Dreaming," "Call Me," "Atomic," "The Tide Is High," and "Rapture," Best of Blondie picks up several of the group's best album tracks, like "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear" and "Hanging on the Telephone." The Best of Blondie isn't all you need to know, but it is an excellent introduction to one of the best new wave bands. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
£1.49

Rock - Released July 7, 2009 | Capitol Records

£9.49

Alternative & Indie - Released October 10, 2006 | Capitol Records

£11.99

Pop - Released October 10, 2006 | Capitol Records

The Platinum Collection reigns as Blondie's finest compilation, outshining The Best of Blondie in overall quality and quantity. This fine retrospective covers every U.S. and U.K. A- and B-side on two discs while adding unreleased material and club remixes as bonuses at the finale. Opening with the poppy, yet venomous, first U.K. single, "X Offender," disc one reveals Blondie's liveliest and most ambitious efforts as they merge their punk, reggae, and roots rock influences into what would soon be considered new wave. While Blondie is generally known for their charting singles, the spectacular B-sides/album tracks, including the dazzling space rocker "Fade Away and Radiate" and the punk/synth pop hybrid "Contact in Red Square," are equally essential. Disc two recalls some of the band's most accessible singles including "The Tide Is High," "Call Me," and "Rapture," which became the first Top Ten single to contain a rap vocal. Despite the excellent material represented so far, the second half unfortunately fails to sustain the momentum. Marked by selections from Blondie's 1982 swan song The Hunter, four 1975 demos, and two 1994 remixes, the rest of the disc suffers from poor sequencing and inferior selections. The terrible, unnecessary remixes of "Atomic" and "Rapture" and ho-hum demos would only appeal to collectors. Nonetheless, the demo "Once I Had a Love" would eventually receive a disco makeover and evolve into the international chart-topper "Heart of Glass" three years later. Ultimately, fans may prefer the distinguished single edits for "Heart of Glass" and "The Tide Is High" over the album versions, and yet despite all revealed shortcomings, The Platinum Collection provides more music per dollar spent compared to other Blondie releases. In addition, the compilation's colorful liner notes include insightful song commentary by most of Blondie, single and album information, and a descriptive family tree. ~ Jacob N. Lunders

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Blondie in the magazine
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