Blondie is a band that I think has been taken for granted over the years. Yes, we've heard all the songs and loved each one. However when we talk about the great bands, Blondie is never mentioned and that's a shame. Just take one listen to the newly released Greatest Hits: Sound & Vision to realize what a terrific body of work the band has amassed.
Not just popular, the band was also influential in several areas. The musicians helped spearhead the great New York phase of music in the mid '70s that spawned the punk and new wave scenes. They were on the cutting edge of disco with "Call Me" without ever being a disco band. They helped pioneer rap music into the living rooms of white suburbia with "Rapture". In addition, they were the first mainstream act to incorporate reggae into the mix in a big way with "The Tide is High" since Johnny Nash.
The band is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year along with their nomination to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This set has all the mandatory hits like "Heart of Glass", "Dreaming", "One Way or Another". It also has a couple of lesser known cuts like "Fade Away (and Radiate)" and "Picture This". All the records are represented including last year's criminally overlooked The Curse of Blondie.
There are three new songs included in the package. There are remixes of "In the Flesh" and "Good Boys". There is also an absolutely amazing mash-up of "Rapture" with The Doors' "Riders on the Storm", calle "Rapture Riders" that is really exciting. The two are so compatible it's just amazing. Disc 2 of this package contains 16 of the group's videos stretching back to some of the earliest videos done by rock bands at that time.
For any rock fan who doesn't own the previous greatest hits, this record is not only mandatory, it's essential.