There’s a certain un-assuming barn just outside Woodstock, New York. It’s easy to picture; the deep mythology of pop music history assures that much. For nearly two decades, the bulk of Blondie’s audio and visual archive sat inside.
One hundred reel-to-reel tapes, half a dozen cassettes, a few storage tubs crammed with records, bits of promotional flotsam, flyers, a stray Warhol print, and mirrored dressing room signage from four sold-out January 1980 nights at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. All of it lay silent through twenty humid summers, twenty frigid winters, and 20,000 rodents.
There were knives collected in Asia and sex worker advertisements pilfered from the UK’s red telephone boxes of the late 1970s. In a corner, a dust-caked RIAA-certified gold record for Eat To The Beat reclined against a wall, its protective glass scarred by a bullet hole.“Iggy and I were shooting guns at a wall in my basement one night,” guitarist Chris Stein told us. “This was a casualty.”
From this chaotic hoard of ephemera, this long-gestating project was born.
Over the years, Blondie’s many partner record companies have done an exemplary job archiving the band’s recorded legacy, given the miles it’s logged and the oceans it’s had to cross. From Larry Uttal’s Private Stock Records to Terry Ellis and Chris Wright’s Chrysalis, which was absorbed by Capitol and then Universal, the band’s reels have been moved, transferred, baked, re-boxed, remixed, and barcoded more than a few times. We pored over every foot of magnetic tape and, thanks to our brand new 24-bit, 192KHz transfers, have expanded the dynamic range of Blondie’s six LPs.
We’ve scoured the earth for era-appropriate photos, pic sleeves, lyrics sheets, fan club newsletters, postcards, jukebox strips, and even eight-track tapes. There will always be more to find. Whether it’s a mislabeled cassette tape squirrelled away in a New Jersey garage, a previously unknown Thai 45 variant, or a roll of film excavated at the Long Beach flea market, slivers of Blondie will continue to poke into our collective unconscious until there ceases to be any consciousness to poke.
What the seven members of Blondie set to tape over those first eight years remains among the most timeless music of its era, or any era. This is not hyperbole. Walk into a grocery store and Rapture fills the air. Spend an hour with any classic rock, ’80s throwback, LITE FM easy listening, or rockin’ oldies station and you will rediscover Heart of Glass.
Watch any given documentary on the birth of punk or hip hop, read any “Best Albums of All Time” list, and the stark three-color imagery of Parallel Lines will undoubtedly flash by. Visit any sports arena in the world and count the moments before you hear Call Me.
Blondie has transcended the realms of mere bands, evolving out of pop and punk to become a vital strand of American music’s core DNA.
Let this box set serve as a map of the genome.
This set will be available in the below formats:
10LP - The 10LP super deluxe set offers all six studio albums – Blondie, Plastic Letters, Parallel Lines, Eat To The Beat, Autoamerican and The Hunter – and includes four additional LPs of session outtakes, B-sides, and demos. These rarities are titled ‘Plaza Sound’, ‘Parallel Beats’, ‘Coca Cola’, ‘Home Tapes’. This vinyl box comes with a bonus 10-inch of outtakes called ‘Out In The Streets’ and a seven-inch single featuring the band’s cover of The Doors’ ‘Moonlight Drive’ and demo of ‘Mr. Sightseer’. In total, it contains 124 studio tracks. The deluxe comes with two books: a 144-page hardcover book with session commentary from Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, Clem Burke, Jimmy Destri, Frank Infante, Nigel Harrison, and Gary Valentine, and essays from producers Richard Gottehrer and Mike Chapman and a 120-page volume which gives a discographical overview of the period via hundreds of pic sleeves, 45 labels, international sleeve variants, flexis, cassettes, and even 8-tracks.
8CD - The 8CD version of Against The Odds effectively offers the same audio content – 124 studio tracks – as the big vinyl package, but with the rarities on two bonus CDs (called ‘Home Tapes’ and ‘Out In The Streets’). The eight CDs come in replica sleeves and are presented within a large-format 128-page hardcover book and slipcase.
4LP (this edition) - The 4LP set features all 52 bonus tracks and comes packaged as a 128-page hardcover book tucked inside a foil-wrapped slipcase (all the formats are foil-wrapped).
3CD - The 3CD edition has the same 52 bonus tracks and comes with a 164-page hardcover mini-book housed in a sturdy slipcase.
LP 1 ‘Out In The Streets’
1 Out In The Streets (1974) 2:24
2 The Disco Song 03:56
3 Sexy Ida 03:59
4 Platinum Blonde 02:18
5 The Thin Line 02:27
6 Puerto Rico 02:08
7 Out In The Streets (1975) 02:21
1 Nameless (Home Tape) 01:42
2 Mr. Sightseer 03:44
3 Sunday Girl (Home Tape) 02:50
4 Theme From Topkapi (Home Tape) 02:57
5 The Hardest Part (Home Tape) 03:32
6 Ring Of Fire (Home Tape) 02:48
LP 2 'Plaza Sound'
1 X Offender (Intro) 0:18
2 X Offender (Private Stock Single) 03:14
3 In The Sun (Private Stock Single) 02:40
4 Little Girl Lies (Private Stock Mix) 02:08
5 In The Flesh (Extended Intro) 02:51
6 A Shark In Jets Clothing (Take 2) 03:42
7 Kung Fu Girls (Take 8) 02:27
8 Scenery 03:09
1 Denis (Terry Ellis Mix) 02:24
2 Moonlight Drive 03:01
3 Bermuda Triangle Blues - Flight 45 (Take 1) 02:38
4 I Didn't Have The Nerve To Say No (Take 1) 02:59
5 I'm On E (Take 2) 02:37
6 Detroit 442 (Take 2) 02:56
7 Poets Problem 02:21
LP 3 'Parallel Beats'
1 Once I Had A Love (Mike Chapman Demo) 3:18
2 Sunday Girl (French Version) 03:14
3 I'll Never Break Away From This Heart Of Mine (Pretty Baby) 03:36
4 Hanging On The Telephone (Mike Chapman Demo) 02:20
5 Will Anything Happen (Instrumental) 02:54
6 Underground Girl 03:52
1 Call Me 03:32
2 Spaghetti Song (Atomic Part 2) 02:05
3 Die Young Stay Pretty (Take 1) 03:35
4 Union City Blue (Instrumental) 02:50
5 Llámame 06:18
LP 4 'Coca-Cola'
1 I Love You Honey, Give Me A Beer (Go Through It) 02:42
2 Live It Up (Giorgio Moroder Demo) 04:03
3 Angels on the Balcony (Giorgio Moroder Demo) 04:17
4 Tide Is High (Demo) 03:59
5 Susie & Jeffrey 04:09
1 Rapture (Disco Version) 10:00
2 Autoamerican Ad 01:07
3 Yuletide Throwdown 04:49