Revolutions: Blondie's Parallel Lines
2006 INDUCTEES BLONDIE'S ALBUM PARALLEL LINES USHERED IN THE FUTURE OF POP MUSIC.
Released 40 years ago, the record fused the band's diverse musical inspirations with airtight arrangements. The New York City sextet—helmed by vocalist Debbie Harry, guitarist Chris Stein and drummer Clem Burke—pushed for perfection with producer Mike Chapman. Dive inside the album's impact on release and now in our latest Klipsch Audio Revolutions episode.
The story begins
Released in 1978, Blondie's Parallel Lines ushered in the future of pop music.
The New York City sextet—helmed by vocalist Debbie Harry, guitarist Chris Stein and drummer Clem Burke—shared songwriting duties.
To harness these diverse inspirations, Blondie worked with producer Mike Chapman. The glam rock scene veteran pushed for perfection; band members often did multiple takes of parts.
Although Chapman's approach created tension—Harry especially was emotional during recording—his direction was on the mark.
Parallel Lines boasts airtight arrangements and hi-tech flourishes, such as a Roland drum machine on "Heart of Glass."
The story continues
The album kicks off with the sound of a phone ringing—signaling the organ-fueled rave-up "Hanging on the Telephone," originally by power-pop band the Nerves.
"Fade Away and Radiate" has a zero-gravity vibe—a slow-motion tempo, sci-fi keyboards, and prog rock guitar contortions from guest Robert Fripp.
In contrast, "Sunday Girl" is a sugary pop trifle with crisp handclaps and airy keyboards—and "Pretty Baby" updates lush '60s tones for the new wave set.
Despite its sleek sheen, Parallel Lines doesn't ignore Blondie's gritty CBGB roots.
The jittery "Will Anything Happen" fuses girl-group harmonies and jagged guitar riffs, and "I'm Gonna Love You Too" is an electric surf-punk pogo.
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