Parallel Lines USA Press Kit - 1978
ARTIST DEVELOPMENT & PUBLICITY DEPARTMENT
Chrysalis Records Inc
Jimmy Destri - electronic keyboards
Frank Infante - guitar
Chris Stein - guitar, 12 string & E-bow
Nigel Harrison - bass
Clem Burke - Premier drums
Deborah Harry - vocals
American Entertainment Mgmt.
485 Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10022
9165 Sunset Blvd
by Denis Boyles
New York Times Magazine
Nobody knows for sure how many times Europeans discovered America. But one thing's for sure - they discovered Blondie before Americans did, and, like latter-day mercantilists, America is now following Europe's lead. And for Blondie, as well as America, the discovery comes none too soon.
Few groups can show a measured development over so short a period of time as Blondie has. Blondie first came to critic's and public attention as part of the New York City phenomenon, but even from the beginning it was clear that the group had talent that could not be confined by the rigid structures imposed by fundamental rock. By the time "Plastic Letters", Blondie's second Lp, was released, the group's unique blend of wit and musical maturity - especially evident in the songs "Denis" and "Presence" began capturing an ever-increasing audience. Deborah Harry's knowing style, at once seductive and sardonic, evoked critical praise and acclaim, while the band's following reached greater proportions.
"Parallel Lines", Blondie's third release, is the kind of musical statement that only a handful of bands are capable of making. Blondie, more than any other American group, is creating the music of the '80's, a music that is both intelligent and fun, at once wise and raucous, truly urban in sensibility and universal in appeal.
Europe may have discovered Blondie first, but Blondie has rediscovered rock'n'roll for America.
by David McGee
Record World Magazine
Shortly after the release of their first album, Blondie played what seems in retrospect to be a most crucial concert date at New York City's Palladium, a date headlined by Iggy Pop & David Bowie. The night clearly belonged to David and Iggy, owing to their much-anticipated collaboration, but Blondie's astonishingly mature performance moved me to proclaim it "the one group to have emerged from the New York scene with the ability to grow and prosper without first bringing rock music to it's knees."
Although much has changed in the music world since that night, my gut feeling about Blondie stands unaltered. This group has clearly proven itself superior to its peers in many ways, evolving into a first-rate, full-tilt rock band unafraid of paying homage to its musical ancestors, while at the same time, staking out strikingly unique turf.
More to the point, Blondie's music, in the time-honored tradition of great rock and roll, is more than fun: at it's core, it is essentially
optimistic and deeply humane. This all boils down to having a heart and keeping the faith, which Blondie most certainly does - so much so, in fact, that when Deborah Harry sings "Today can last another million years", I find myself not merely cheering her on, but also believing in her with all I have. When, I ask, is the last time rock music made you feel as though you'd live forever?
by Kurt Loder
Blondie has already captivated the rest of the free world, and now, with "Parallel Lines", their third and best album, even the generally benighted American broadcasting industry must surely succumb to these New Yorker's galvanizing pop-rock power, singularly splendid songwriting and remarkable romantic vision. If we don't hear at least one or two of the twelve mostly terrific songs here emanating from our radio's real soon, we may as well just give up and switch 'em off for good.
"Parallel Lines" preserves all of Blondie's most winning attributes - their preternaturally tight playing, their happy knack for memorable melodies and multi-layered harmonies and their subtly stylized evocations of classic mid-sixties punk and girl-group rock. But, here it's all immeasurably enhanced by the no-nonsence production of pop-meister Michael Chapman, who's kept everything nicely concise (and totally contemporary) while, at the same time, allowing the group to stretch out in some surprising new directions. It's a nifty trick, and the result - abetted by Chris Stein's utterly unpredictable guitar lines and Deborah Harry's better than ever vocalizing - is an album that's guaranteed to nail anyone who has ever had even the most remote affinity for real live rock and roll in all its variegated glory. Effortlessly eclectic, the band ranges triumphantly over such disparate material as the romping rockola of "Hangin' On The Telephone" and "11:59", the almost folk-rockish "Picture This", the sweetly melodious "Pretty Baby" and "Sunday Girl" and with Robert Fripp adding Crimsonesque guitar, the broodingly beautiful "Fade Away And Radiate". (This was inspired by Debbie's penchant for nodding off at night to the white-noise lullaby of a turned-down TV set).
Throughout, the group is superb, rocking obsessively and yet never once subverting the songs with the instrumental flash they are so obviously capable of (particularly keyboardist Jimmy Destri and drummer Clem Burke, two of the best young musicians in new wave rock). In fact, "Parallel Lines" is a virtual ode to The Song as a continuing art form, confirming Blondie as one of the great white hopes of American rock and roll. It don't get much better than this, fans. Spread the word!
"Some Of The Things I Like About Blondie"
- by Glenn O'Brien
One of the great things about Deborah Harry is that she is a really sexy performer and person without resorting to any of the cliches where sexiness seems linked with what they're calling sexism out there. In other words, her act is not another dumb blonde, but a unique blonde mind. She's no rock'n'roll Joey Heatherton.
Blondie is, in essence, a very nice band. Let me tell you, in this biz, you often find the most intelligent people, and the greatest talents, also have the very best manners. Blondie as a group are well mannered, but can also be cleverly rude when it's called for. They have proved to be brilliant conversationalists when rested.
Blondie has not promoted or succumbed to any classifications, trends or theological posturing. From a critical standpoint, Blondie can only be classified as a band which can deliver melodic information as potentially accessible to the mass unconscious as, say, Abba or Fleetwood Mac, but more lively, and tending toward waking things up. They construct a multidimensional sound as interesting and effective as any of the less pop-oriented art rockers. In other words, it is transcendental rock'n'roll for the mind and the body.
Blondie has virtuosity. Clem Burke is one of the great drummers of the day - educated, tasteful and solid. Jimmy Destri's keyboards show a great pop education, combined with a talent for scientific tune research. Chris Stein's guitar rocks steady, but with a keen appreciation of psychedelia; Frank Infante complements their sound with searing, slashing playing. Nigel Harrison, the only Blondie with significant pre-Blondie professional musical career in Silverhead and with Ray Manzarek, plays rock-solid bass, backing up Burke's drum work. And, of course there is Deborah Harry, probably the most versatile singer in rock today, covering the range of the Angels, Lulu, Cher and many more, at will. She creates great character voices, perfectly suited to the band's narrative style of songwriting.
Blondie has good taste. They have nice clothes, nice parents, nice instruments, and make very good records. They like the best bands in town, and tour the most interesting countries, like Thailand, drinking the finest beer, like Heineken. They don't seem to have any of the filthy habits often associated with rock musicians, and you can take them anywhere.
Blondie is international. They are monstrous in centers of culture; fun on a global scale. But they haven't let it go to their heads. They are sane and operative, and have managed to solve many problems of logistics and access by sheer force of personality. They fit on any size stage, and fill it beautifully. And they have three great albums. The latest one, "Parallel Lines", is the best. I've got it in my car cassette player right now.