Blondie: Best of Blondie a jpoc music review
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jpoc rating
Six out of ten.

It would have scored one more if they had used original and not remix versions and one more still for a decent set of sleeve notes.

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the jpoc review
A good "best of" CD has to satisfy a number of criteria. For casual fans, those who might only ever buy one or two CDs by an artist, it must contain all the most memorable songs: the ones that everyone remembers from the radio. For those who are only just finding out about an artist, a best of CD should be something to create interest and lead the listener to explore more music by the artist.

This CD falls short of both of those goals. In a bid to appeal to the most dedicated fans, who already own all or most of Blondie's work, the record company have used remix versions of some of the band's best known songs in place of the originals. So, anyone buying this CD hoping to hear Debbie Harry sing "Heart of Glass" as they remember from the days that it was such a hit will instead be presented with a blunted down version. The same is true for "Sunday Girl" which is another well known song that just does not sound right here.

At least they didn't do this to "Hanging on the Telephone" or "Call Me" which are as good as ever.

A listener who knows little about Blondie before they pick up this CD will be left little wiser. The sleeve notes give the titles of the tracks and the producer's name and that is it. Surely, it would have been possible to include details such as when each track was cut and on which album it originally appeared? Even better would have been a few hundred words on the band and the way that their music has changed and some notes on the albums from which the selected tracks were taken?

Having said that, it is still a CD worth having. If you already own most of the band's work, it is not worth getting this for the remixes. The choice of songs is right and while missing out on some areas it does show that the band can bring their own style to a number of different musical forms and Debbie Harry can sing sweetly or cut like a razor as the music demands.

They are all great catchy songs and there is plenty here that will echo in your head for a long time after you play the CD.

One final point, be aware that the CD has slight variations in tracks between the European and US issues.