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4.7 out of 5 stars148
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 26 October 2002
Parallel Lines is a Masterpiece. Blondie soared to superstar status not only on the music charts in 1978-79 with this album, but forever placed them as POP ICONS. If ever there was a perfect album of Pop songs, this is absolutely it. In a time where 6 Hit Singles from 1 album was unthinkable, Blondie did it with Parallel Lines. Deborah Harry is simply sweet as honey, on songs like "Pretty Baby" and "Sunday Girl". Sunday Girl was the 5th biggest song of the year, in the british charts in 1979. The album is certainly not without it's edge, on songs like "11:59", "One Way or Another" and "Hanging on the Telephone", we see Deborah Harry singing with frantic release. The world was changed with the release of the Mega Smash "Heart of Glass", without a doubt, one of the Top 100 songs of all time. The Techno Beat of "Heart of Glass" sold millions of copies Internationally and was the #2 UK biggest song of 1979. Parallel Lines was also the #1 Selling Album of 1979 in the UK. Parallel Lines was produced by legendary producer Mike Chapman, the album went on to sell 20 million copies worldwide. Parallel Lines is a outstanding album, full of intelligent and catchy lyrics, and great grooves. This album does not have a weak track on it. This is a consumers dream, full of value.
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on 3 March 2004
PARALLEL LINES is Blondies best well known and most successful album, which is very deserving as it is probably their strongest and most consistent album that does not contain a bad track! There are a variety of styles explored, as they started to move away from the elements of punk that were present in the first two albums, BLONDIE and PLASTIC LETTERS.
The album starts well with the highly adrenalized roch anthems, HANGING ON THE TELEPHONE and ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.For me the latter is classic Blondie and probably the most effective track they could have chosen to open the album with. ONE WAY OR ANOTHER i dont like quite as much, but it is still a great rock track and tends to be one of their more popular songs.
This album also contains some dreamy, slinky mid-tempo drawls such as SUNDAY GIRL and PICTURE THIS, which are both incredibly catchy numbers, as well as the frisky disco/rock infusion that is HEART OF GLASS, their best selling and arguably most popular song.
Some of the less well known tracks are equally as impressive, such as 11:59 which is almost combining the styles of HANGING ON THE TELEPHONE and SUNDAY GIRL. There is also FADE AWAY AND RADIATE which is possibly one of Blondies most experimental songs and is almost spooky in its simplistic melody and beat. IM GONNA LOVE YOU TWO is an admirable cover of a Buddy Holly song, and JUST GO AWAY is a great song to end the album with, as it is worth listening to for the superb guitar that is heard after every line during the verses.
There is not a bad song on the album, but rather than talking about them all, i will end by saying that PARALLEL LINES is one of the great pop albums from one of the great bands of punk/new wave and pop music! This is definately an album that all fans of good music should own!!!!
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on 13 April 2015
'Parallel Lines' (1978) represents, for many, Blondie's strongest studio album and certainly it is hard to argue against that assessment. 4 British hits, 'Hanging On The Telephone', 'Picture This', the gorgeous 'Sunday Girl' and the striking 'Heart Of Glass' are supported by the likes of 'One Way Or Another', '11:59', the haunting 'Fade Away (And Radiate)' and the interesting 'I Know But I Don't Know' to name but a few. This is pop/rock at its snappiest and is highly satisfying - if you enjoy this collection then I can also recommend the classy follow-up LP 'Eat To The Beat'.
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on 4 December 2004
It doesn't happen very often. But this is an almost flawless album from a band who were by all accounts a Singles Band! But here at least they have produced twelve songs of such incredible consistency that this album must go down as one of the greatest albums from anyone. It is quite remarkable that even 25+ years later, virtually every track holds up. "Heart Of Glass" is of course incredible, EVERYONE knows that.."Picture This" had many a schoolboy in ecstasy...including ME...."Sunday Girl" has a melody most songs dream of..."One Way Or Another" is so good so it defies belief that it wasn't a No 1 single...Hanging On The Telephone is a superb opener with an incredibly sexy video to go with it..."11.59" is pop perfection..."I Know But I Don't Know" features great harmony vocal between Debbie Harry and Frank Infante, "Fade Away And Radiate" is utterly captivating, not to mention sexy...."Pretty Baby" is sublime, "I'm Gonna Love You Too" is an impressive Buddy Holly cover, not the best song here but it fits in perfectly on this album..."Just Go Away" is a great closing song to the album...not a single but its quality is indicative of every song here. Only "Will Anything Happen" disappoints somewhat. But that is a MINOR grumble. In my experience it is almost impossible for an album to please any subjective, LET ALONE objective listener on every track and this album from 1979 comes about as close as it is POSSIBLE TO GET. There were great Blondie songs before and after "Parallel Lines" but when this album came out in 1979 you were either too punch drunk to notice or else you wondered how ONE album could produce so much magic. They were NOT A Singles Band. This album will live forever, and again I will leave it to my children and their descendants to PROVE it.
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VINE VOICEon 9 January 2007
'Parallel Lines' is one of those rare albums that can boast huge popular success alongside a good measure of credibility. It doesn't enjoy total critical acceptance, something that can be understood by listening to Blondie's equally enjoyable but more subversive debut album. Bringing in Mike Chapman, a Pete Waterman of the 1970s, to produce the album was probably calculated to maximise Blondie's commercial potential, and it worked. 'Parallel Lines' isn't a soft and fluffy album, but it isn't as abrasive as their earlier work.

'Hanging On The Telephone', one of my favourite Blondie songs, represents the old, punk-oriented style. It and 'Picture This' were the first big hits from the album, but were eclipsed by the stellar 'Heart Of Glass' and 'Sunday Girl'. 'Heart Of Glass' saw Blondie defect to the disco bandwagon, but at least it's still a great record. The 12" version soon sold out. The album is packed with great tunes and enthusiasm, bolstered by one of rock and roll's best drummers, Clem Burke. Sometimes, as on 'Just Go Away', they're a bit wacky, but this is one of those pop albums you can't go wrong with.
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on 17 September 2005
A summary of the new wave. "Parallel Lines" is one brilliant track after another. The opening 'Hanging on the Telephone' is itself a perfect example of the sound of new wave punk, juxtaposed with an energy that was unique to Deborah Harry and her band. The infamous 'One Way or Another' follows which faultlessly fuses a teeny-pop style with a hard punk sound (again something that was a fairly unique trait possessed by Harry), arguably the best on the album. At points, Blondie perform real head bangers: 'I Know But I Don't Know' and 'Will Anything Happen', through a more heavy metal sound: 'Fade Away and Radiate', soft rock: 'Picture This', through female cabaret: 'Pretty Baby' and 'Sunday Girl', and, like it or not, one of the best known number one singles ever: 'Heart of Glass', with that famous whiney tone of Harry's. All in all, the album not only highlights the diversity of Blondie as a band, but the diverse potential of new wave punk as a rock genre, and bands like the Jam and the Police serve only to support this. "Parallel Lines" is testimony to the fact that new wave punk was a great genre of rock that was fronted by bands that produced great albums. There is, of course, a current movement that is attempting to revive this era (Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs etc).
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on 14 January 2015
If you are wondering about the title of my review, read on.... This is without doubt an essential album regardless of genre, end of. That said it was many years later that I finally realised how vital Blondie - the band are. I'd often wondered if they would have made it without this rare beauty that is Debbie Harry. Then one day many years later I heard Maria on the radio not knowing who it was. It was one of those songs you just knew was going to get to number one and it did, finally proving that it was the quality of the music after all and this came as a relief. It was merely an added bonus that this band was fronted by one of the most recognisable female vocalists of all time - she can turn out a good tune as well. This is simply a brilliant album with not a duff track to be heard and which set the marker for the others to aim for, both then and now.
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Blondie gave new credibility to pop music in the late 1970's. Soon outgrowing their punk roots, they created first the brilliant Plastic Letters in 1977, then this masterpiece the next year. At least four chart hits were lifted from this album, but there could've been more. Picture This and Sunday Girl are evocative numbers with an undertone of sadness, somewhat in a 60's vein, while Heart Of Glass is of course the hypnotic megaselling popdisco hit, later covered by The Associates among others. My other favourites include the experimental and moving Fade Away And Radiate (Was this perhaps influenced by Bowie?) and I'm Gonna Love You Too, a happily rolling powerpop tune. Tracks like Pretty Baby, 11:59 and Just Go Away are catchy and memorable too and could also have been hits. I'm not particularly fond of Hanging On The Telephone and the rest, but they also have plenty of melody and excitement. Blondie's pop displays wit and intelligence in the music, making wry comments on love and life. Some music journalist once claimed: "Rocks gets stale, but pop rots." Blondie proves him wrong, very wrong. This music has a timeless appeal, and today still its intelligence enhances the lasting pleasure it gives me.
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on 1 June 2010
I purchased this Deluxe Edition to add to my collection of re-issues like those by Universal Music. Shame on you EMI, no pride in your product. A fantastic Album and as a Blondie fan I had to buy it. Only 8 pages, no session takes or demo's, a couple of remixes from another remix collection. You didn't include the original 12 inch mix of Heart of Glass. Is the 7 inch mix the radio edit missing that word - *ss, I wonder.
Look the album is really 5 stars and EMI marketing 1 star so only 3 stars.. sorry. No other DVD footage available.. come on, get with it EMI.
The record company's have lost their way.
Remember you cannot package a mp3 to sell and it is not collectable.
I feel better now. Have a great day
Ray Clark, Perth W.A. (DOW)
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on 21 August 2003
‘Parallel Lines’ is the album most people identify Blondie by, and rightly so. Even today, 25 years after it’s release in 1978, it still comes close to the top spot in ‘100 greatest albums’ polls and is considered an album any self-respecting music lover, Blondie fan or not, should have in their collection. And listening to the LP, it’s not hard to see why.
This is the album that spawned not one, not two, but FIVE monster hit singles: edgy punk-rock ‘Hanging On The Telephone’, the stalker-style pop of ‘One Way Or Another’, the soaring ‘Picture This’, ‘Sunday Girl’, which is arguably one of the greatest pop songs ever written and (whew) the disco anthem that brought Blondie to the world, ‘Heart Of Glass’.
And the remaining tracks are just as brilliant, bursting with that unmistakable Blondie zest and tongue-in-cheek humour. Every song here is pure musical and lyrical brilliance. Listening to ‘Parallel Lines’ is so entertaining and so fun and upbeat, unlike today’s pop trash.
4 bonus tracks feature in the reissue- an earlier version of ‘Heart Of Glass’ and three great live performances: the T-Rex cover ‘Bang A Gong (Get It On)’, and album tracks ‘I Know But I Don’t Know’ and ‘Hanging On The Telephone’.
A quarter of a century on, ‘Parallel Lines’ is still the classic. It’s still the undoubted masterpiece. It proves that Blondie are one of the most influential bands of the last 25-30 years. There are no weak tracks, no substitutes and no excuses for not buying it.
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