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Blondie: Parallel Lives

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Drawing upon extensive new first hand interview material from Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and many other significant players in the band’s long history and a huge archive of personal materials and unpublished interviews, Blondie: Parallel Lives is the definitive eye-witness account of the group’s long and often tumultuous existence. Beginning with the band members' childhood ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Omnibus Press
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 ·  61 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, music
Before we go any further, I think it’s important that I point out Blondie are one of my favourite bands of all time - I loved them in their heyday, I’ve seen them live several times, I still listen to their music. There, glad we have that sorted. The book charts the rise (and fall and slight rise again) of the band, from the depths of the Bowery in the early 70s, from ridicule at their inept playing (though it doesn’t explain quite how they managed to get so many chances to have another go), to ...more
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was a great privilege to have received this advance reader copy from NetGalley in return for my honest review.

I am drawn to rock biographies, and since Blondie's salad days occurred during mine it was a pleasure to delve back into the 70's when hits such as "Call Me" and "Heart of Glass" were mainstays on the radio.

What makes this book so special are the many direct quotes from singer and front woman Deborah Harry, as well as her bandmates: Guitarist and longtime lover Chris Stein, drummer Cl
A Reader's Heaven
(I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)

One of the most iconic groups of their generation, Blondie experienced an unparalleled rise to global superstardom during the late 1970s. As they topped charts throughout the world, vocalist Deborah Harry adorned magazine covers and bedroom walls everywhere.
Drawing upon extensive first-hand interview material from Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and many other significant players in the band’s long history, Blondie:
La La
Oh, this book, soooooooo good. It is more than just a biography. It also chronicles the New York City fringe and underground music scene from the late sixties until the early eighties. You get background on the clubs and venues and how they started, who was playing with whom, who was headlining, what bands were sharing members, or quarreling, and how different bands morphed from one genre to another. There is information not only about the recording studios, but why the studios/producers/enginee ...more
Daniel Casey
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Nothing really makes this band biography stand out, yet there is very little that distracts or detracts from it. If you are a fan of Blondie or pop music enthusiast, then this will serve as a more than adequate reference book for your rock and roll library. If not, well, this is a plane or beach read--easily picked up, easily put down, with nothing taxing or surprising.
John Plowright
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it
When Lester Bangs published his ‘Blondie’ in 1980, some admired the book and others loathed it (as being more about Bangs than his nominal subject) but all presumably assumed that the last word on the group could be written then. How wrong they were. There has, of course, been a major revival of interest in Blondie since, on the back of the band’s 1998 reformation, and their subsequent recording and touring successes.

Dick Porter and Kris Needs would seem, on the face of it, ideally placed to bri
Allan Heron
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hugely enjoyable biography of Blondie up to about 2010.

Needs is not an unbiased observer but he has ensured that all parties have had the chance to input into the narrative which makes for a reasonably balanced approach.

Very much focused around Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, the titular parallel lives, it may tend to make the other key members, particularly Clem Burke and Jimmy Destri, seem a tad less consequential than they are but that is a minor quibble.
JAnn Bowers
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I first saw this book, memories flooded back to my childhood and I had to read it. I was right this book was filled with Blondie facts that i never knew with great stories and information. I love Blondie for her raw vocals and her lyrics.

I received this book through NetGalley for an honest review.
Douglas Castagna
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book about a pretty awesome band. The story gives a nice amount of time on each band member as they formed and came up, with most of the story focusing on Debbie and Chris and life before, during and after the Blondie phenomena. Very nice style, easy to get into and well researched.
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was enjoyable and I was able to quickly read through in a few days whilst on holiday. The book covers the band from their early days all the way through to the recent release of Panic Of Girls. The content is a little too slated towards the early days and does not cover the second half of the band in as much detail and has lots of background content on the New York scene of the mid-seventies. Co-written by Kris Needs who knew the band from the early days so includes some first hand ref ...more
Jul 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, non-fiction
While this is a fairly thorough record of Blondie’s rise and internal workings, it lacks the emotion I associate with Blondie - the excitement, passion, fun. This book is a bit dry, almost scholarly. As meticulous and detailed as it was in the beginning, so rushed seemed the second part.

As a massive Blondie fan, I appreciated this account all the same. With these kind of biographies, having a fan of the band as the author can be tiresome when they do nothing but applaud their subject - but these
Jun 14, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm not a fan of Blondie's to be honest but found their story very interesting, in that it charted the highs & many lows of the band both together & apart. However, it was spoiled by the lack of objectivity. We're told how every song is amazing & when albums didn't chart it was because of villains like record companies or Madonna. I think even if I was a fan of the band that would've bothered me. ...more
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Liked the book for the content, not so much the writing style. Relied too much on long paragraphs of direct quotes from band members. However, this is the most detailed history I've seen our there so far on Blondie, one of my favorite bands. ...more
May 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
I have wanted to read this book for so long but somehow it just didn't do it for me...
It just didn't have the vibrancy or electricity of other 70's rock biogs. In fact it's like the author went all out to let us know how 'normal' everyone was...
Anthony Faber
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
The title is actually "Parallel Lives". History of the band. Not bad, but not my usual cup of tea. ...more
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