5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Decent early Blondie: be sure it's this bonus track version,
This review is from: Plastic Letters (Audio CD)
"Plastic Letters," Blondie's second album, released in October 1977, was pretty much in a similar vein to their self-titled debut album. The cynical attitude is there in the songs and the production values are fine (Richard Gottehrer was the producer on both albums), but the album just sounds for the most part like these were the songs Chris Stein, Jimmy Destri, and Deborah Harry had left over when they did the first album. The exceptions that prove the rule this time around would be "(I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear," which is one of my favorite Blondie tunes (and which was covered in the U.K. by Tracey Ullman). Unfortunately that song was written by Gary Valentine, who left as the group's bass player at this point in Blondie's early history. Otherwise you have punk/new wave attitude in songs like "Youth Nabbed As Sniper," "I Didn't Have the Nerve to Say No," "Love at the Pier," and "Fan Mail." "Bermuda Triangle Blues" is probably the best of the rest, but it depends on your taste.
Given what would happen with the next couple of Blondie albums when the group became a sextet and sharpened it sound, these first two albums clearly represent the band in its rawest form. "Plastic Letters" only reached #72 on the Billboard album charts and there were no singles released in the U.S. The U.K. saw "Presence, Dear" and "Denis" (which was a transgender cover of Randy and the Rainbows' 1963 hit "Denise") both make it to the Top 10. Since you already have the best song on the "Best of Blondie" hits collection, if you feel the need to pick up all of the group's albums, then pick up the remastered version of "Plastic Letters" with the bonus tracks.