. . . And unfortunately, that's not quite what you get here. Although there is a lot of good stuff.
So let's go through that first. This - unlike either of the one-disk "best-ofs" - goes through the Blondie repertopire in chronological order, so we see their beginnings as part of the CBGB's crowd, but with a '60 flair (BLONDIE - "X-Offender," "Rip Her to Shreds," "Kung Fu Girls," "In the Flesh"; PLASTIC LETTERS - "Contact in Red Square," "I'm on E") evolve into more pop-ish leanings (also PLASTIC LETTERS - "Denis," "[I'm always touched by your] Presence, Dear") then into full-on new wave/power pop chart-toppers (all the songs here from PARALLEL LINES, EAT TO THE BEAT), and into stylistic expansions and more success (AUTOAMERICAN - "The Tide is High," "Rapture") before their decline in 1982 (although three of the four songs from THE HUNTER are okay, just one listen to "Little Caesar" tells you this). The b-side only "Poets Problem" (great) and "Suzy and Jeffrey" (surreal, but funny - a very Shangri-la-esque tale of two doomed engaged lovers, complete with car-crash sound effects!) are also here in their context. The accompanying booklet is terrific, with a single/album discography, many pictures - including album and U.S./British/overseas single covers - and very insightful song commentary from all the band members, except Chris Stein and Debbie Harry (alas).
What's bad? Well, for one thing, several of the songs are shortened (originals on left, PLATINUM on right):
*"Rapture" 5:36 -> 4:57 (no third sung verse, much shorter guitar solo)
*"The Tide is High" c. 4:50 -> 4:20
*"Island of Lost Souls" c. 4:10 -> 3:50
*"Atomic" 4:40 -> 3:50 (no bass solo - which is mentioned in the song commentary!)
*"Heart of Glass" 5:50 -> 4:10 (of course, the one here _was_ the album version in the U.S. 'till the 2001 rerelease, or if you had the 1978 LP [or BLONDE AND BEYOND]; the version on THE BEST OF BLONDIE [now BLONDIE: GREATEST HITS] is 4:33. Although, the PLATINUM version isn't as short as the version I usually hear on the radio, which can't go past 3:40.)
Chrysalis did a similar thing to a double CD Pat Benatar collection also released in 1994. Also, we don't have the "franglais" version of "Sunday Girl" (damn). For another thing, the 1975 demos (which are good, especially [IMHO] "Out in the Streets," "Platinum Blonde," and "Once I Had A Love" - and they're demos, so don't expect that much of them in terms of glossy production - although the first 3 sound much better than they do on the BLONDIE 2001 version; you also can't get "Puerto Rico" anywhere else, even if it should have been on BLONDIE 2001) could have been put first, as they go before BLONDIE. (This is important when it comes to "Once I Had a Love"'s morph into "Heart of Glass.")
However, if your favorites aren't here, blame the people who decided what went on what single in the first place - for instance, almost all of PARALLEL LINES is here (11 out of 12), and the one left off is "Pretty Baby," (damn!) which could have been the b-side to the UK "Heart of Glass" 7" instead of "Rifle Range" (from BLONDIE!!!!), and "Little Caesar" and "Dragonfly" from THE HUNTER could have been dropped for "English Boys" and "Danceway," "Victor" or "Shayla" or "Eat to the Beat" for "Sound-A-Sleep," . . . etc. (More from PLASTIC LETTERS - like "Fan Mail," "Love at the Pier," "Bermuda Triangle Blues" - could have been included instead of the two lousy remixes.)
The only missing song that really should be here is "In the Sun," one of the best from BLONDIE and the b-side of the very first single Blondie cut, with Private Stock in May 1976. Conveniently, that single isn't on the discography (which starts with a UK release of "In the Flesh" in March 1977).
Of course, if you've never really "gotten into" Blondie, but want to, this isn't a bad place to start. (Hey, it worked for me!)