Blondie Celebrating 30th Birthday Of ‘Parallel Lines’
A 30th anniversary celebration for Blondie’s “Parallel Lines” album was not the band’s idea, according to singer Debbie Harry. “It’s really sort of traditional EMI behavior,” the group’s frontwoman and namesake tells Billboard.com with a laugh. “None of us really were counting the hours and the days or whatever.”
But Harry says she and her compatriots are happy to participate in the party, which includes an expanded “30th Anniversary Edition” of “Parallel Lines” on June 24 and a tour that begins June 5 in Baltimore.
“It was a good period for us, a very good period,” Harry notes. “We were starting a new relationship with a new label (Chrysalis) and a new producer (Mike Chapman). We really liked the music. It was a very exciting time.”
“Parallel Lines,” Blondie’s third album, provided the group with its commercial breakthrough, going platinum and peaking at No. 6 during a 103-week run on The Billboard 200. The single “Heart of Glass,” which Harry says she and guitarist Chris Stein wrote several years earlier, hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, while “One Way or Another” made it to No. 24.
The album has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, but Harry was most pleased about its impact in the States. “We’d had hits all over the world — in Europe, in the U.K., in Australia,” she says. “But having a hit at home after three years of being on the road was really, really important to us.”
The “Parallel Lines (30th Anniversary Edition)” includes the 7″ single version of “Heart of Glass,” the French version of “Sunday Girl” and some remixes, plus a DVD with promo videos and TV performances. During the tour, the group — which still includes founding members Stein and drummer Clem Burke — plans to play the album in its entirety. “A couple of the songs we might try to do a little more punky,” Harry says, declining to reveal which ones.
Harry — who released a solo album, “Necessary Evil,” in 2007 — thinks the “Parallel Lines” celebration “will draw the group closer together in a way,” but she’s not sure it will lead to new Blondie material.
“Chris and I have been working on a couple of things,” she says, “but I don’t know exactly what the future of Blondie is for new material. We’ve always been open for the opportunity to make some new stuff, but with the industry the way it is, it’s kind of difficult, especially for a band that’s been around for a while. They’re not really looking at you for anything new, so you’re sort of stuck with the things that people know you for. We’ll have to wait and see.”