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.
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......
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!
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!!!
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!
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!
on 12 May 2014
Whilst this is a box (well, slip-case) set of 3 discs, it is "Ghosts of Download" (plus the 3 extra download tracks) that I am most impressed with. I really wasn't sure when I heard "Rose.." with Beth Ditto as a single a while back, but in the context of this overtly pop-tinged album it works perfectly. This album is generally mid/up-tempo, unlike a large percentage of its predecessor, so is s great Summer release. Whilst the guitars are often on the back-burner they are still there, and that traditional Blondie playfulness is never far away, whether its a club-orientated offering or even the excellent "Winter".
"Panic of Girls" started off incredibly, but after 3 or 4 tracks a lot of the opening energy made way for slow, and sometimes ill-advised, reggae based material. Whilst the band and Debbie do this well, it was just a bit too much for me, and I tended to lose interest half way through. Whilst I would love there to have a been at least one rock-out track on "Ghosts" (like "Golden Rod") the vast majority of this material is really strong, and overall the album probably works better as a whole as a result.
There are some stand-out tracks, including "Sugar on the side", "Rave", "Winter", "I Want to Drag You Around", "Take Me In The Night" and the surprisingly successful retake of FGTH's "Relax".
Perhaps the best surprise is the 3 MP3-only tracks (they are on the Auto-Rip version), as these are not filler material but could easily have been included on the album. To be honest "Prism" is a much stronger closing track than "Backroom", whilst "Can't Stop Wanting" is great, raunchy, bubble-gum eletro-pop (Blondie style ofcourse, hence the humour is always there).
The 3-disc set comes with booklet (very nice) with lyrics and lots of photos/artwork, divided between the 2 discs, and a fold-out retro mini-poster. However for some reason the label have decided not to include any Chris Stein photos as 'prints', but to reproduce them as a montage on the back of the poster. I'm not sure how they could have squeezed 4 or 5 small postcards into the slipcase, to be honest, but the sticker on the box should've definitely been removed/corrected once this decision had been made at the manufacturers! Still great to have some new material that hits the mark, as well as several nods to their past.
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.
on 20 August 2015
Well I Think This Album Is Great , I Purchased The Double Vinyl Album , Record 1 Has Pink Vinyl And Record 2 Is A Very Cool Icy Blue Color Which Is Very Nice Indeed And I Also Like The Extras That Come Included, A D.V.D. From 1977 , An Inner Sleeve To House Both Records , A Gatefold Lyric Sheet And A Very Nice Vintage Poster Very Much Like The Cover Of The Original 1977 Picture Cover For (im always touched by your) Presence Dear , Which I Have Always Liked, So This Is A Very Good Package Straight Away ( For Me Anyway)
Now For The Tracks, I Really Do Think That Debbie And The Boys Have Done A Great Job Here, .O.K. So Some Of The Songs On The Greatest Hits Album Lacks The Dynamic Powerful Sound Of The Originals But They Still Have Quality In The Music And Debbie Harry Still Sings Them With The Love And Care For Their Songs , Even After 40 Years This Is Still BLONDIE For Goodness Sake , No Mistake, It"s Blondie Music , It"s Blondie Songs And It"s Debrorah Harry Still Singing Them And It Is A Very Welcome Release .
The Second Record "The Ghost Of Download " Is Also A Great Album That Is Full Of New Material ( well almost) My Favorite Tracks Are ; Sugar On The Side, A Rose By Any Name, Winter, Take Me In The Night And Mile High, Great Stuff, After The Disappointment Of The Last Few Albums, Blondie Is Back And Debbie Wants To Reclaim Her Crown....Maybe With This Album Shall Be The Paving Stone To Even More Albums From The Amazing (older..maybe wiser) BLONDIE.
All Blondie Fans Should Have This Album, Come On Give It A Try , You Never Know ...You May Just Love It Like I Do.
on 12 May 2014
The return of Blondie upon their 40th year as a band, is nothing short of a major triumph. The newly released studio album "Ghosts of download" is nothing short of pure pop-dance oriented perfection. The latin tinged "Sugar on the side", is catchy and has a great latin based beat to it. If it's not a dance hit, I don't know what should be. The current single of the moment in Britain, is the pop-balled "I want to drag you around". It's a solid track, also worthy of being an official release. Then we have the Beth Ditto duet of "A rose by any name", yet another stellar track that needs an official release. A rose by any name is an infectious bouncy dance number, that will just crawl underneath your senses and stay there. Other fantastic standouts are 'Rave, Make a way, Mile high & Take me in the night. This 2014 release is just as good as their 1978/79 classics "Parallel Lines & Eat to the Beat". In song writing, creativity and in Deborah Harry's incredible Iconic voice.
Paired with "Ghosts of Download" is Blondie's Greatest Hits: Deluxe Redux, which they re-recorded their hits to make the songs updated & fresh, but yet still sound like their classic versions. The Standouts are "Heart of Glass, Call Me, Rapture, Sunday Girl, Hanging on the Telephone and One way or Another".
These all sound Fantastic, and Debbie's Mature voice sounds heavenly. I especially like the re-recorded "Rip her to shreds & Dreaming". In the 40 years since Blondie formed, they've released 10 Studio albums, sold 50 million records, scored 4 #1 US singles, 6 UK #1 singles, 2 UK #1 Albums, are the #1 selling US singles BAND in the UK all time. They were the first to make a full length video album, 1979's "Eat to the beat", the first to chart a Rap song into the top 10, and in fact #1 USA. Their list of accomplishments are long and incredible, and with Deborah Harry just shy of 70 and putting out stellar records like "Deluxe Redux and Ghosts of Download", their streak is sure to continue. This is an absolute must buy, BBC named this Album of the week 1 week before the official hardcopy release, and the week before that "I want to drag you around" was song of the week on the BBC. Buy it, enjoy it!!!