The Platinum Collection

by: Blondie

The Platinum Collection reigns as Blondie's finest compilation, outshining The Best of Blondie in overall quality and quantity. This fine retrospective covers every U.S. and U.K. A- and B-side on two discs while adding unreleased material and club remixes as bonuses at the finale. Opening with the poppy, yet venomous, first U.K. single, "X Offender," disc one reveals Blondie's liveliest and most ambitious efforts as they merge their punk, reggae, and roots rock influences into what would soon be considered new wave. While Blondie is generally known for their charting singles, the spectacular B-sides/album tracks, including the dazzling space rocker "Fade Away and Radiate" and the punk/synth pop hybrid "Contact in Red Square," are equally essential. Disc two recalls some of the band's most accessible singles including "The Tide Is High," "Call Me," and "Rapture," which became the first Top Ten single to contain a rap vocal. Despite the excellent material represented so far, the second half unfortunately fails to sustain the momentum. Marked by selections from Blondie's 1982 swan song The Hunter, four 1975 demos, and two 1994 remixes, the rest of the disc suffers from poor sequencing and inferior selections. The terrible, unnecessary remixes of "Atomic" and "Rapture" and ho-hum demos would only appeal to collectors. Nonetheless, the demo "Once I Had a Love" would eventually receive a disco makeover and evolve into the international chart-topper "Heart of Glass" three years later. Ultimately, fans may prefer the distinguished single edits for "Heart of Glass" and "The Tide Is High" over the album versions, and yet despite all revealed shortcomings, The Platinum Collection provides more music per dollar spent compared to other Blondie releases. In addition, the compilation's colorful liner notes include insightful song commentary by most of Blondie, single and album information, and a descriptive family tree. ~ Jacob N. Lunders

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