A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Parallel Lines is the breakthrough album by Blondie -- the album that turned an underground New York punk band into a massively popular new wave/pop powerhouse. There's very little of parental concern on this album of catchy pop tunes. The album contains one curse word ("ass"), one mention of smoking cigarettes, and no actual sex. But a couple of the tracks -- "Picture This" and "One Way or Another" -- depict voyeurism and romantic obsession, respectively.
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What's the story?
Blondie, founded by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, emerged from the early New York punk scene. Whereas the band's first two albums were a little more low-fi, PARALLEL LINES is a collection of unique-sounding pop songs. Strong songwriting by the bandmembers and polished production by British producer Mark Chapman made this album extremely engaging and successful. The album rose to No. 6 on the Billboard album chart and yielded two Top 40 hits: \"Heart of Glass\" (No.1) and \"One Way or Another (No. 24).
Is it any good?
Parallel Lines bridged the gap between new wave and pop, and the result is enormously pleasing to listeners of either persuasion. These are catchy pop songs, but with real guitars and drums, attitude, and a little edge -- much more interesting than most pop fare of the time. At the heart of it all is Debbie Harry's beautiful, expressive vocal; sometimes a growl ("One Way or Another"), sometimes sweet and airy ("Sunday Girl," "Heart of Glass"), Harry's voice is one of the pop wonders of the world.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the relationship between physical beauty and popularity. Do you think Blondie would have been as successful if Debbie Harry weren't so pretty?
Do you think Blondie sold out when they made this catchy record? How does a band's credibility change when they become this popular?
In relation to "One Way or Another," think about how people you know act when they have a crush. What are good ways to show someone you're interested without overdoing it?
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