Parallel Lines is the third studio album by American new wave band Blondie, released in September 1978 by Chrysalis Records. Selling over 20 million copies worldwide, the album proved to be the band's commercial breakthrough in the United States. Parallel Lines was also the first Blondie album to be produced by Mike Chapman. The album reached number one in the United Kingdom in February 1979 and number six in the United States in April 1979. It was reissued and remastered in 2001 with four bonus tracks. In 2008, it was reissued again as a 30th anniversary deluxe collector's edition, again with four bonus tracks, but not the ones from 2001 edition, and a bonus DVD.
According to Rolling Stone magazine's Arion Berger, Parallel Lines eschewed "cartoonish postmodernist referencing" of Blondie's previous new wave songs for a "romantic fatalism" that was new for the band. "Sunday Girl" deals with the theme of teen loneliness, while "Fade Away and Radiate" is about falling in love with dead movie stars. On the latter song, Debbie Harry, who daydreamed as a child that Marilyn Monroe was her birth mother, compares a flickering image onscreen to the light of a dying sun. Music critic Rob Sheffield said that the lyric "dusty frame that still arrive / die in 1955" is the "best lyric in any rock'n'roll song, ever, and it's still the ultimate statement of a band that always found some pleasure worth exploiting in the flashy and the temporary."
In a retrospective review for Blender magazine, Robert Christgau said that Parallel Lines was "a perfect album in 1978" and remains so with "every song memorable, distinct, well-shaped and over before you get antsy. Never again did singer Deborah Harry, mastermind Chris Stein and their able four-man cohort nail the band's signature paradoxes with such unfailing flair: lowbrow class, tender sarcasm, pop rock."Q magazine called the album "a crossover smash with sparkling guitar sounds, terrific hooks and middle-eights more memorable than some groups' choruses." Christian John Wikane of PopMatters called it "a creative and commercial masterpiece by Blondie" and "indisputably one of the great, classic albums of the rock and roll era."Sasha Frere-Jones, writing in Spin, said that it may have been "the perfect pop-rock record".Pitchfork Media's Scott Plagenhoef credited the album for popularizing "the look and sound of 1980s new wave".
Parallel Lines was ranked at number 140 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, number eighteen on NME's 100 Best Albums of All Time, and number seven on Blender's 100 Greatest American Albums of All Time.Rolling Stone wrote that the album was "where punk and New Wave broke through to a mass U.S. audience".
The album version of "Heart of Glass" was replaced with the disco version (5:50 minutes long) on pressings of the album released as of March 1979. The original length version of "Heart Of Glass" appeared on the original US CD release in 1985 Chrysalis VK 41192 [later F2 21192] although the CD artwork proclaimed it was in fact 'Disco Version'. Later editions of the Capitol disc had the mistake removed from the inlay but it remained on the disc until it's deletion. 1994 DCC Compact Classics Gold CD release [Capitol Special Markets USA] GSZ 1062 features original version (3.45) with 5'50 version as a bonus track – this edition also featured booklet with full song lyrics. Chrysalis through EMI/Toshiba in Japan issued Parallel Lines with a mini LP card sleeve in 2006 - notable for it's reproduction inner sleeve complete with lyrics and Chrysalis Records label on the actual disc.
In the liner notes for the Parallel Lines vinyl album, there are lyrics listed for a "Parallel Lines" song, though no such song exists on the album.
A promotional CD of the album was given away free with the British newspaper The Mail on Sunday on 5 December 2010, including the bonus tracks "What I Heard" and "Girlie Girlie" from the band's 2011 album Panic of Girls.