So why is Blondie’s Parallel Lines on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?
The most striking thing about Parallel Lines, Blondie’s third and best album, is how eclectic it is.
There’s the turn into disco on “Heart of Glass” – unthinkable for most of the punk and new wave bands coming out of the New York City scene in the late 1970s (can you imagine the Ramones doing disco, for example?) – the hard rock on “One Way or Another,” the whimsical pop of “Sunday Girl,” and that’s not even getting to the band sticking to its new wave roots on “Hanging on the Telephone.”
“Heart of Glass” is one of Blondie’s most famous songs, and I think it’s because the band takes the fun format of disco and uses it to produce a song with depth that also leverages Debbie Harry’s voice. Both moves are unfair advantages within a genre where even most of the good songs can tend to feel lightweight.
“One Way or Another” has a pleasing balance of hard rock, catchy hook, and tongue-in-cheek playfulness that Debbie Harry and the band pulls off so well.
“Hanging on the Telephone” is my favorite song on Parallel Lines at the moment. I love the use of organ, the hook, and it’s just catchy and infectious.
See also: Blondie’s self-titled album, Blondie: #626 of best 1,000 albums ever
Pop culture stuff that has something to do with Blondie’s Parallel Lines
In thinking about “Hanging on the Telephone,” I realized that there are a number of songs in this era by bands that focus on the phone in some way. A great example is by the band X, from their outstanding album from 1980, Los Angeles. It’s one of the all time great song titles, to boot: “Your Phone’s Off the Hook, But You’re Not.”
Then there’s “Telephone Line” by Electric Light Orchestra, off of A New World Record from 1976.
This is one of those songs, by the way, that doesn’t sound familiar at all for about a minute and a half and then it’s oh it’s THAT song.
Yep, it’s that song.
Some stats & info about Blondie – Parallel Lines
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? New York Bands, Rock Music, New Wave, Dance Music
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #146
- All Music’s rating – 5 out of 5 stars
- When was Parallel Lines released? 1978
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #559 out of 1,000
Blondie’s Parallel Lines on Spotify
A lyrical snippet from Blondie’s Parallel Lines that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe
Once I had a love and it was a gas, soon turned out had a heart of glass. Seemed like the right thing, only to find mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind.
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.