Classic Cuts (May 2014)


Parallel Lines(Blondie)

Parallel Lines was the third album from US new wave band Blondie, released in September 1978. The album went on to sell over 20 million copies worldwide and was the first of their albums to be produced by Australian born Mike Chapman, the driving force behind such artists as The Sweet, Smokie, Racey and Suzi Quatro, to name a few.

Although Blondie were originally marketed as a new wave band, Parallel Lines was a brilliantly produced pop album, which gave the band the kick that they needed for their ultimate success. The album went to number 1 in the UK, number 6 in the US and reached number 2 in Australia.

It’s full of catchy hooks and memorable lyrics, so much so that six of the albums’ tracks were issued as singles. Hanging On The Telephone is the opening track, originally written and recorded by a Los Angeles band called The Nerves in 1976.

One Way Or Another is a song about stalking and is one of the 9 original tracks featured, as is the following track Picture This. Fade Away And Radiate was written by lead guitarist Chris Stein; a song is about Marilyn Monroe from whom the bands’ front woman Deborah Harry crafted her image. The name Blondie was focused around Harry, who would apparently daydream as a child about Hollywood film star Marilyn Monroe being her birth mother.

When the two tracks Sunday Girl and Heart Of Glass were released as a single, it immediately made its assault on  charts all around the world and reaching number one in many of those countries including Australia. Other tracks include Pretty Baby, I Know But I Don’t Know, 11:59, all originals, along with Will Anything Happen and a cover of Buddy Holly’s I’m Gonna Love You Too. Ironically the final track, Just Go Away, is a complete lyrical turn around from the album’s second track about stalking.

Everything about the Parallel Lines is memorable, including the cover which has the band members wearing black suits, white shirts and black ties while Debbie Harry stands in front dressed all in white. It’s a truly great album from a dynamic band who are remembered as being pioneers of punk and new wave. A band who opened doors for a whole wave of female fronted bands to follow.

Ray McGrotty is the owner/manager of Record City Collectables, 433 Nepean Highway, Frankston. Record City stocks a vast array of memorabilia, cassettes and vinyl, rare and unseen releases as well as current favourites. If you’d like to suggest a Classic Cut, drop him a line at