Blondie’s New York… and the Making of Parallel Lines (US Version)

First shown – Friday 29th August 2014

Please note: This is slightly different to the one shown on BBC4 in the UK, this US version is slightly longer in running time, narrator for the US version is Kim Cattrall, intro is slightly different.

Blondie’s album Parallel Lines captured the spirit of 1970s New York at a time of poverty, crime and an exploding artistic life, selling 16 million copies. This is the story of that album, that time and that city, told primarily by the seven individuals who wrote, produced and performed it. It was a calculated and painstaking endeavour to produce sure-fire hits – whatever it took.

The film follows Debbie Harry and the rest of the Blondie crew as they head into the studio to record their game-changing album with producer Mike Chapman. It also features commentary from Harry herself about writing music, the media’s focus on her appearance and lyrically inspirational ex-boyfriends.

In 1978 the New York band Blondie had two punk albums behind them and were establishing a name for themselves at the club CBGBs on New York’s Lower East Side. Then Chrysalis Records exec Terry Ellis saw them and spent a massive $1m buying out their recording contract. He had to ensure that their next album was a hit – there was no room for error. To do this he brought in maverick Australian record producer Mike Chapman, who already had a string of hits under his belt. Mike’s job was to turn this crew of New York punks into world stars – but did they have the popular songs which would appeal to a wider non-punk audience?

At a time when rich creativity, grinding poverty and drug abuse were hand in hand on the sidewalks of the Lower East Side, the music and lyrics of Parallel Lines celebrated and captured this vibrant and edgy chemistry, shooting the band to international stardom.

0:00:00 – Intro
0:06:20 – One Way Or Another
0:14:48 – Hanging On The Telephone
0:25:39 – Picture This
0:32:07 – Pretty Baby
0:35:30 – Sunday Girl
0:37:29 – 11-59
0:40:12 – Heart Of Glass

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