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Blondie - Greatest Hits:Sound and Vision

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It has always been difficult, coming as I am years after the event, to imagine Blondie alongside acts like the Ramones and Television onstage at clubs like CBGBs at the dawn of the punk era.  They always seemed too, well…poppy.  Perhaps it’s the fact that tracks such as ‘Heart of Glass’ and ‘Call Me’ are FM radio staples, or maybe it’s the fact that Atomic Kitten covered ‘The Tide Is High to massive commercial success.  In any case, for me at least, it’s easy to forget that in the late 1970s and 1980s Blondie were pioneers of both punk and the emerging new wave scene.

Greatest Hits: Sound and Vision aims to rectify this by presenting 20 of the band’s tracks alongside a DVD featuring their sixteen videos.  All of the songs one would expect are represented here- ‘Call Me’, ‘Atomic’, ‘Heart of Glass’, ‘The Tide Is High’, ‘One Way Or Another’, ‘Hanging on the Telephone’, as well as hit singles since their reformation in the late 1990s- ‘Maria’ and ‘Good Boys’.  The only new track on offer is ‘Rapture Riders’, a mash up of ‘Rapture and The Doors’ classic ‘Riders on the Storm’.  It’s an interesting diversion, but not worth the purchase alone even for Blondie completists- the accompanying press release states that it will be released as a single in the near future (if it’s not in stores already). 

A quick Google search reveals that this is the fifth best of album that Blondie have released since 1981, and the only thing it can claim over previous releases is the DVD (undoubtedly enough to tempt many fans), the new remix and a tracklist spanning their entire career.  Which, in hindsight, may well just be the justification many fans will have for buying Sound and Vision.

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