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04.12.2014

10 Most Inspirational Albums, Number 9

Sam

Sam Burnett

Number 9 Parallel Lines- Blondie

This New Wave classic tells a story from track one (hanging on the telephone) right the way through the record ,with tracks such as: One Way Or Another, Will Anything Happen, Heart OF Glass, Just Go Away and Once I Had A Love. Parallel Lines is a story of a woman and her relentless pursuit of her lover. Of course there have been great songs and albums written by women before Debbie Harry and Blondie released this 1978 classic album. However in my opinion she was possibly the first woman to sing about subjects in defiance of her sexuality, i.e. instead of singing about how she wants her man to sweep her off of her feet, Debbie frantically changes her mind in this album, suggesting sexual liberty whilst taking the situation into her hands, rather than implying to be the submissive member of a relationship. Harry is very much wearing the trousers! Making Debbie Harry one of the most imortant figures amongst female musicians.

Whist pretty much every track on this album could have been released as a single, it also draws from a wide list of influences and cultures. Reminiscent of the bands New York surroundings. “Fade Away And Radiate”, has a Reggae bass riff along with the synonymous off beat guitar.

“I Know But I Don’t Know”, in contrast is probably about as far away from Reggae as you could get. This synth led Punk track was not one of the first to use a synth line, however it is interesting to note that the bands broad listening far exceeded that of the average American band of this time. Synths in 1978 were generally found in Europe, led by small break through bands at the time such as, Kraftwerk. To put this into context. It has taken nearly a full 35 years since Parallel Lines was released for Electronic music to catch on in the USA, Whilst Reggae was not widely recognized across the pond even when the great Bob Marley was in his prime.

Sunday Girl, to the listener appears to e the exception of this record, with the claps dubbed over the two and four beats and the upbeat melodic lines, the music at least, seems more at home as part of the “Grease” sound track rather than as track 9 on a Blondie album. That is of course until you listen to what Debbie is singing about. A girl who is emotionally to insecure to ask out the boy she loves, inevitably leading to the depression of the “Sunday Girl”, when her lover is seen with another lover. The paradox between the two women, who in this track are fighting over this one man is captured in the final lyrics of the song “When I saw you again in the summer time, if your love is as sweet as mine, I could be Sunday’s Girl”.

Sunday Girl leads us onto arguably Blondie’s biggest hit in “Heart Of Glass”.

A track about a girl realizing that her partner has been using her, the response is simply put by Harry “Soon turned out it was a pain in the arse” further demonstrating her prowess of being control of her own relationship in defiance of so many female led songs that preceded this album.

Female sexual liberation in music, pulsating bass lines, well worked tracks including time changes and key changes. Some brilliant drum work that I personally know at the time was a huge influence for so many who chose to take up the instrument after the release of this album. Parallel Lines was the leading album of the New Wave era, it was arguably the most influential album to the entire pop punk era (1999-2003) that subsequently clutched another generation of teenagers into the punk culture.

A great album that everyone should have in their collection.

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10 Most Inspirational Albums, Number 9

10 Most Inspirational Albums, Number 9

Number 9 Parallel Lines- Blondie This New Wave classic tells a story from track one (hanging on the telephone) right the way through the record ,with tracks such as: One Way Or Another, Will Anything Happen, Heart OF Glass, Just Go Away and Once I Had A Love. Parallel Lines is a story of a woman an…

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