Today I woke up with Blondie's Parallel Lines in my head. In my post from a couple of years ago where I picked out my favourite bands over time there were a few important acts that slipped through the woodwork. Blondie were one and, for a short time in 1978 and 1979, were just about my favourite band.
Listening to Parallel Lines now it feels so comfortable, so timeless unlike pretty much anything Blondie/Harry did subsequently. Parallel Lines was the second Blondie album I bought, Plastic Letters was OK, a couple of gems but all a little rough and patchy to make it a classic. Parallel Lines was a whole different ballgame. At lunchtime today Hazel suggested that there was only "three good tracks" on it (she meant "Hanging on the Telephone", "Heart of Glass" and "Sunday Girl") but surely to dismiss "Pretty Baby" and "Picture This" and "11:59" and "Will Anything Happen" is just ridiculous, each of them as good as anything else on the album. To be honest, with the exception of the utterly dire "I Know But I Don't Know" there isn't any reason to reach for the skip button. This is as close to perfect as a pop album can get.
In February 1979 I went on a miserable ski-ing holiday with the school, I was sick, homesick, the food was rubbish, we had power cuts and barely enough snow to ski. Add to all that the embarrassment of falling over on my first day on the snow and not being able to get up, and being a woeful failure at using the drag lift, most of my memories of the trip and not good ones. The only exception is that "Heart of Glass" was on the hotel jukebox and we listened to it pretty much constantly over the whole week, no matter how sad and miserable I felt that track made me feel better. It pretty much still works now.