I figured I’d do a monthly ‘what I’m listening to’ kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it’s my blog! So there!
These may or may not be newly released disks. They might not even be a good disk – just what is been in heavy rotation in my car (as usually the iPod is playing anywhere else).
I really tried to narrow it down to one Blondie disk. I’m finding that difficult to do. Sure I could have spread them out and had picks for three separate months, but that didn’t seem fair to me or to you. The greatest thing about Blondie was that they never repeated themselves. Each and every disk stands alone and doesn’t reflect much of their previous work. Frustrating for radio, I’m sure, but who cares?
Though my friend Jon and I relate on many levels (scarily it seems sometimes), I think our first connection was our love of Blondie. Honestly, I knew no one who liked them – and certainly knew no one who had heard anything other than what was spun on radio.
While much less ‘new wave’ than the two previous Blondie albums, Parallel Lines is undoubtedly their biggest commercial disk. Two major hits (“Heart of Glass” and “One Way or Another”) drew the masses to the disk, but they weren’t the heart of it. Remember, I’m going from my vinyl days, so the first tracks on sides 1 and 2 (“Hanging on the Telephone” and the bestest “11:59”) were the some of the best songs for me. On my (or was it Jon’s?) Yahoo Radio Station – “Fade Away and Radiate” came on. Dith was not impressed. Jon and I told her she didn’t know what she was missing. The entire disk is so worth a check out – even if “One Way..” is now used in a commercial for both a car and Swifer. At least the band is pulling in some cash!
While not as commercial as Parallel Lines and not as original as Autoamerican, Eat to the Beat is a great disk. It has some misteps (“Victor”), but overall it’s a truly enjoyable disk. Sure,”Dreaming” was the first (and a great) single, but when they played “The Hardest Part” on SNL, it sealed the deal. I still regularly spin the entire album, but I am especially fond of “Slow Motion”. Why it was never a single or a huge hit is beyond me. For chirsakes, it has Lorna Luft singing background vocals on it!! LORNA LUFT!!! (She from Grease II fame! Oh and what whole her mother & sister relationship thingy.) WTF?!!! But for the other stuff (“Die Young, Stay Pretty”, “Shayla”, “Atomic”, etc) – it’s a fun fun fun album.
Autoamerican is quite possibly the best Blondie record that was ever released. More eclectic than any of their other releases and probably the second biggest commercial success they had. Though I don’t know that I’d call it a rap song, ‘Rapture’ was credited for being the first #1 Rap Song ever. It’s ok – but as years have gone by, it remains the weakest track on the disk. I’m a much bigger fan of “Do the Dark”, the instrumental/spoken word “Europa”, the jazzy “Faces” or country-tinged “Go Through It”. They even pull of Lerner & Lowe’s “Follow Me” from Camelot. This is not a record to be pigeon-holed.
If you want to hear other Blondie material that isn’t on the 23 separate greatest hits or compilations (or copulations as a former ‘date’ used say it), I’d do these three disks – but would never turn down a spin of Blondie, Plastic Letters or The Hunter.