Plastic Letters

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Plastic Letters
Studio album by Blondie
Released February 1978
Recorded June–July 1977 at Plaza Sound Studio, New York
Genre New wave, punk rock
Length 34:46
Label Chrysalis (1166)
Producer Richard Gottehrer
Blondie chronology
Blondie
(1976)
Plastic Letters
(1978)
Parallel Lines
(1978)
Singles from Plastic Letters
  1. "Kidnapper"
    Released: 1977 (Japan Only)[1]
  2. "Denis"
    Released: February 1978
  3. "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear"
    Released: April 1978
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau B+[3]
Rolling Stone (unfavorable)[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[5]

Plastic Letters is the second studio album by American rock band Blondie, released in February 1978 on Chrysalis Records.[6]

Overview[edit]

It was the second and final Blondie album to be produced by Richard Gottehrer. "Denis", a cover of the Randy & the Rainbows' 1963 hit "Denise", was a hit all over Europe, reaching #2 in March 1978 in the United Kingdom, and was also a hit in Australia, reaching #19. "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear" was the second single from the album, reaching #10 in the UK in May 1978. The song was written by the band's original bass guitar player Gary Valentine, shortly before he left for a solo career prior to the album being recorded (which necessitated Chris Stein playing bass as well as guitar). In fact, during recording, Blondie were still at their old label, Private Stock Records. The album peaked at #10 in the UK and has been certified Platinum by the BPI. The pink dress Debbie Harry wears in the cover art was designed by Anya Phillips.[7]

Plastic Letters has been digitally remastered and re-issued twice. The first time was by Chrysalis Records in 1994 with two bonus tracks, and the second in 2001 by EMI-Capitol with four bonus tracks, featuring the earliest demo of the band's future hit "Heart of Glass", then known as "The Disco Song".

Track listing[edit]

Side One
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Fan Mail"   Jimmy Destri 2:38
2. "Denis"   Neil Levenson 2:19
3. "Bermuda Triangle Blues (Flight 45)"   Chris Stein 2:49
4. "Youth Nabbed as Sniper"   Stein 3:00
5. "Contact in Red Square"   Destri 2:01
6. "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear"   Gary Valentine 2:43
7. "I'm on E"   Deborah Harry, Stein 2:13
Side Two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
8. "I Didn't Have the Nerve to Say No"   Harry, Destri 2:51
9. "Love at the Pier"   Harry 2:27
10. "No Imagination"   Destri 2:56
11. "Kidnapper"   Destri 2:37
12. "Detroit 442"   Destri, Stein 2:28
13. "Cautious Lip"   Ronnie Toast, Stein 4:24
Bonus tracks on 1994 CD re-issue
No. Title Writer(s) Length
14. "Poets Problem" (B-side to "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear" single) Destri 2:20
15. "Denis (Alternative Version)"   Levenson 2:22
Bonus tracks on 2001 CD re-issue
No. Title Writer(s) Length
14. "Once I Had Love (aka The Disco Song) (1975 Version)"   Harry, Stein 3:58
15. "Scenery" (Outtake from Blondie) Valentine 3:10
16. "Poets Problem" (B-side to "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear" single) Destri 2:20
17. "Detroit 442 (Live)" (Recorded live 11/06/78 at the Walnut Theatre in Philadelphia, PA) Destri, Stein 2:33

Personnel[edit]

Blondie
Additional personnel

Production[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1978) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart 64
Dutch Albums Chart[8] 2
New Zealand Albums Chart[9] 38
Swedish Albums Chart[10] 33
UK Albums Chart[11] 10
US Top LPs[12] 72

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
United Kingdom (BPI)[13] Platinum 300,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kidnapper - 1977". rip-her-to-shreds.com. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Ruhlmann, William. Plastic Letters at AllMusic. Retrieved 14 December 2005.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG: Blondie". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 15 April 2006. 
  4. ^ Rachlis, Kit (April 6, 1978). "Plastic Letters". Rolling Stone (262). Archived from the original on 9 October 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  5. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). "Blondie". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. London: Fireside. pp. 85–86. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved 23 September 2011.  Portions posted at "Blondie > Album Guide". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Plastic Letters - 1978". rip-her-to-shreds.com. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Che, Cathy (1999), 'Deborah Harry: Platinum Blonde', MPG Books Ltd, Cornwall, p.77
  8. ^ "Blondie – Plastic Letters". dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "Blondie – Plastic Letters". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "Blondie – Plastic Letters". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Blondie – UK Charts". officialcharts.com. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Plastic Letters – Blondie : Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  13. ^ "British album certifications – Blondie – Blondie". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Blondie in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go