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Ghosts of Download is Blondie's tenth studio album, and is available in two configurations - both feature a disc of re-recorded greatest hits, whilst the deluxe edition also has a live DVD, featuring a concert recorded in 1977. The fact that the new album has been relegated to disc two on both releases (with the greatest hits featuring on disc one) might indicate a lack of faith in the new material - as has the fact that Ghosts of Download was originally announced for release at the end of 2013, with several release dates in early 2014 also missed.

This concern is largely misplaced, as Ghosts of Download is a bracing listen with a heavy electronic element and a number of guest performers such as Systema Solar, Miss Guy, Beth Ditto and Los Rakas who all add something new. But this is still very much a Blondie album, and Deborah Harry's unmistakable vocals are very much to the fore.

Stand-out tracks include the rocking "A Rose By Any Name" and "Mile High", whilst the driving beat of "Take It Back" is another highlight. Along the way they also throw in a cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Relax" for good measure.

An eclectic mix then, but it's never dull and whilst the singles are unlikely to trouble the top end of the charts, there's much to enjoy here.

There's no particular surprises with the new recordings of the greatest hits - they are very efficient xeroxes of the originals. Presumably this has been done so that they can licence these recordings (for advertising, etc) in the future - as like many bands they no longer have control over their back catalogue. Whatever the reason, it's a good CD which highlights the fact that Harry's vocals haven't really changed that much over the last four decades. And whilst they are unlikely to supplant the originals in anyone's affection, unlike some other artist's re-recordings of their greatest hits at least they aren't embarrassing.

Overall then, Blondie 4(0)-Ever is a solid collection of new and old songs that is well worth a listen.
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on 26 May 2014
Brave move from the band to try and reclaim their Greatest Hits by re-recording the tracks with the current band and bundling this release with their new 'Ghosts of Download' album, utilmately the new songs are great and the re-recordings fall just a little short, I dont believe I would opt to listen to any of the re-recordings over their original recordings, but.... the new album is great, so many stand out tracks such as 'Rave', 'Winter', 'Sugar On The Side', 'Take Me In The Night', 'Backroom', 'A Rose By Any Name' and 'I Want To Drag You Around'. Even the cover of the classic Frankie track 'Relax' to which I had some misgivings is carried off. A great collection with a '77 live DVD thrown in!. Plus if you buy from Amazon you get the MP3 download of all the tracks plus the three bonus tracks that are availbale on iTunes, a nice final touch from a fantastic collection, well done Blondie, a real treat......
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on 13 May 2014
It's been frustrating for Blondie fans with the last album 'Panic of Girls' having a deluxe UK edition with 2 bonus songs not on the standard album and a German edition with 2 different bonus songs. In both cases the bonus songs were better than some of the standard tracks on the album!

This time around the question is 'How do you get all 16 songs originally slated for the CD release of Ghosts of Download when the CD only has 13 of them on it?' The answer is the free autorip version of the album available through Amazon. A free version of the full album can be downloaded through Cloud Player into your itunes so you get the bonus tracks for free through your computer. I have never used Cloud Player before but it is really easy!

Well done Blondie for getting out another great album and 5 stars to Amazon for autorip!
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on 14 May 2014
Those always unpredictable punksters are at it again. After spending most of their post-1999 career cementing the fact that they are indeed a rock and roll band with pretty much rock and roll albums (complete with their trademark forays into every other genre imaginable), BLONDIE return with a full fledged pop/dance album! Basically spitting on those who view anything less than rock as uncool... And seriously what could be more punk than that?

In one of their most cohesive collections since Parallel Lines, BLONDIE trade in their world tracks, and rock anthems for a fun, catchy, summery collection of songs that not only sound great driving in your car with the windows down but also fit in quite well with their back catalogue. All you "Tide is High/Heart of Glass/Atomic" fans who felt neglected by their previous 3 albums .... This one's especially for you! ... The "redux" versions of the classics? No updates could possibly hold a snowballs' chance in Hawaii against the power, energy and nostalgia that the originals carry - Just think of those as a bonus! Concentrate instead on those new fizzy pop delicacies that BLONDIE are well known for.

Within minutes of listening, I found myself singing and humming these, only till recently, unknown songs. Then craving them! Debbie Harry, who is single handedly changing what it means to be 68 years old, purrs, coos and woos her way through the tracks, sounding as icy cool as ever and proving there's no need to fade away and radiate just because you're well into your 7th decade. She may not have died young, but she certainly stayed pretty and cool and groundbreaking and awesome!
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on 9 February 2015
Double Album release:

Disc 1 - Pink vinyl, greatest hits. All the songs, except 'The Tide is High', are as strong as the original versions. Contains a DVD of 77 era Blondie at GBGB's which is interesting, demonstrates their lack of strong material at the this juncture though the 'best version' of the band is still 'tight', even at this early stage. Debbie Harry has stage presence, even though the quality of the DVD is average, although I don't think the venue seemed good 'acoustically'. As well as this there is a good early flyer of the band and a pamphlet with nice photos, including Warhol preparing her for a photo shoot.

Disc 1 - Blue vinyl, their latest songs. Whilst the songs are good and I would listen to them again, something of a shock to hear such a different sound. Sorta modern euro disco. I would say there are several potential hits here, not that this matters anymore as this is more of a primer to prove to people they still have what it takes to go see! And they do still have it incidentally. Nice to see a pamphlet with song lyrics as well.

There should be a rule that ALL vinyl packages are like this!!!
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on 3 August 2014
I have to admit I was not impressed at this being released with a redux greatest hits although have yet to listen to that part of the set the packaging is top knotch.
I bought this purely to own Ghosts of Download, I loved A Rose By Any Name the second I heard it last June and was eager to see what the rest of the album would sound like and I was very pleasantly surprised.
I had bought Curse of Blondie and Panic of Girls on their release dates Curse of Blondie only had only a few songs that stood out to me but still those songs made it a worthwhile purchase in my eyes. Panic of Girls the first 6 tracks I adored the rest I will listen to now and then but not on a regular basis. So with that In mind I was some what wary of spending £15 on this new album which was marked up purely for redux hits and a dvd which in all honesty probably wont watch, however much to my surprise Ghosts of Download was pure gold for content. The second I got home I put it in to play and not once could I find a song I would consider to be filler, all the songs have great pace and were sung wonderfully. Blondie's rendition of Relax was completely gob smacking. This is by far the best Blondie album I have heard In a very long time and I believe it is worth the money just for the album and the presentation for the rest of the items it comes with.
I only hope Blondie keep up the quality of this album in future ones it felt like they had put so much time, care and love into this album. This has made it jnto my top 2 albums of the year so far accompanied by Sophie Ellis-Bextor's Wanderlust.
I cant recommend this album highly enough for any Blondie fan and if you're not a fan yet what better way to get to know Blondie than to get this set with a Greatest Hits? My only low point is that no newer songs were included on the Greatest Hits there were definately some gems on Curse of Blondie and Panic of Girls and it would have made the Greatest Hits look a bit more unique than the other 20 odd released already but thats not a massive issue anyway.
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on 18 March 2015
Ghost of Download proves that Debbie Harry and Chris Stein still have the ability to write a killer hook with clever, insightful lyrics that say something that's been said countless times before, in a way that's never been said. The production is a little tinny and the album sounds like it was recorded and mixed on a laptop which is a shame: a lot of the tracks sound like they could be up there with the Blondie classics had they been recorded in a studio with the right producer at the helm. Speaking of Blondie classics, the reason for rerecording their GH is unfathomable: why fix something that isn't broken? They sound like a tribute act on their own record and even if someone who had never heard a Blondie classic heard these first and then the originals, they'd undoubtedly prefer the songs in their original glory. If you're a Blondie fan then Ghosts is a worthy addition to your collection but if you're into their classics - skip it and go for one of numerous GH albums available that contain the original, pristine versions of some of the most quintessential pop songs of all time.
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on 19 June 2014
Having listened to this 'Ghosts Of Download' almost every day for the last 3 weeks I felt I had to post a review to say how good it is. I didn't think the reformed Blondie would ever be able to produce an album with as much appeal as those early ones, but their more recent albums have been getting better and better - and in my opinion this is not only the best one since they reformed - but their best album ever!

Like 'Panic Of Girls' it starts off strong with a string of instantly enjoyable pop songs, but then it actually goes up a notch with the superb 'Winter' - a powerful and haunting song that will play back over and over in your head long after you've finished listening to it! But this album doesn't dry up; it keeps mixing up the styles churning out one great song after another.

Apart from 'Winter' I particularly like 'Euphoria' and 'Backroom'. Both have similar Latin overtones and are very catchy. As is the bonus track 'Put Some Colour On You' - which has such a funky rhythm you could easily mistake it for a Pharrell Williams hit. I would have liked a few more powerful 'Golden Rod' style tracks and something drummy for Clem to let really rip on, but there's enough here to please just about everyone.

Weakest track for me is probably 'Relax'. Being a fan of the original I was expecting to really like this but for some reason the arrangement just doesn't do it for me. That's not to say it's bad by any means, just not great. To put it into context, I'd give it (bearing in mind I'm referring to the *weakest* track here) 7 out of 10 compared with the rest of the album - so that shows just how strong this collection is! Shame about the use of the F-word at the start of 'I Screwed Up'. As soon as you start putting profanity into what should be a "pop" album you instantly lose your universal appeal.

But there are so many great tracks on here that it quite deservedly gets a full 5 stars from me. I don't know if Blondie are planning to release another album but if they do I hope it continues in the same vein as this one.
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on 12 May 2014
First the DVD, recording of a very raw sounding Blondie at the cusp of fame and going global. The sounds from the album are there, but with a bit of larsen (feedback) and Debbie asking a bit more Treble here, and bass there! The Redux - re-recording of their hits. Making them sound better if that is possible! The greatest changes are in the vocals, both lead and backing which are more edgy on some like Hanging on the telephone & One way, or softer and gentler like on Sunday Girl. Call Me has certainly had the greatest change of all with sharper vocals and chorus.
Now for the new one, Ghosts of Download. It's a usual Blondie album with a great mix of songs and genres. Some sound very much made for the clubland, others are more Latino, but for me one of the gems is Winter which is almost a ballad but not quite, and the rework of Relax is incredible, starting very sensual and slow and then accelerating into the full speed dance floor filler.
All in all a great package well worth the price!
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on 22 July 2014
If you think music today is not that good, think again. Blondie 4(0)-Ever will make you refelect on how well Blondie and Debbie Harry have evolved. Blondie proves that good things can come with age.

This is the best album since Eat to the Beat, a little better than Panic of Girls, which is also a great piece. Rave, Mile High, Winter, Take Me In The Night and Put Some Color On You stand among the best songs in the album. Debbie's voice is at its best and the other band members only make the music better.

The Greatest Hits are just as good as the original songs. Call Me and Atomic are breathtaking and Hanging On The Telephone is tremendous.

The DVD is a great addition to the package, something of the past to make the present even stronger..

The booklet, poster and prints are beautiful, great lyrics. The album's cover art is not of this world, it is exquisite.

All in all, this is one of the best creations in music. Blondie will live forever.... BLONDIE4EVER
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