Plastic Letters

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Plastic Letters
Blondie - Plasticletters.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 1978
RecordedJune–July 1977
StudioPlaza Sound Studio, New York City
GenreNew wave, pop rock, punk rock
ProducerRichard Gottehrer
Blondie chronology
Plastic Letters
Parallel Lines
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
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[2]
Christgau's Record GuideB+[3]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[4]
Mojo4/5 stars[5]
Q4/5 stars[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[7]
Spin Alternative Record Guide4/10[8]

Plastic Letters is the second studio album by American rock band Blondie, released in December 1977 on Chrysalis Records.[9]


It was the second and final Blondie album to be produced by Richard Gottehrer. "Denis", a cover of Randy & the Rainbows' 1963 hit "Denise", was a hit all over Europe, reaching #2 in March 1978 in the United Kingdom and 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 second bassist, Gary Valentine, shortly before he left for a solo career before 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.[10]

Plastic Letters has been remastered digitally 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
1."Fan Mail"Jimmy Destri2:38
2."Denis"Neil Levenson2:19
3."Bermuda Triangle Blues (Flight 45)"Chris Stein2:49
4."Youth Nabbed as Sniper"Stein3:00
5."Contact in Red Square"Destri2:01
6."(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear"Gary Valentine2:43
7."I'm on E"Deborah Harry, Stein2:13
Side Two
8."I Didn't Have the Nerve to Say No"Harry, Destri2:51
9."Love at the Pier"Harry2:27
10."No Imagination"Destri2:56
12."Detroit 442"Destri, Stein2:28
13."Cautious Lip"Ronnie Toast, Stein4:24
Bonus tracks on 1994 CD re-issue
14."Poets Problem" (B-side to "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear" single)Destri2:20
15."Denis (Alternative Version)"Levenson2:22
Bonus tracks on 2001 CD re-issue
14."Once I Had a Love (aka The Disco Song) (1975 Version)"Harry, Stein3:58
15."Scenery" (Outtake from Blondie)Valentine3:10
16."Poets Problem" (B-side to "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear" single)Destri2:20
17."Detroit 442 (Live)" (Recorded live 11/06/78 at the Walnut Theatre in Philadelphia, PA)Destri, Stein2:33


Additional personnel


Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1978) Peak
Australian Albums Chart 64
Dutch Albums Chart[11] 2
New Zealand Albums Chart[12] 38
Swedish Albums Chart[13] 33
UK Albums Chart[14] 10
US Top LPs[15] 72

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Netherlands (NVPI)[16] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[17] Platinum 300,000^

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


  1. ^ "Kidnapper - 1977". Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  2. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Plastic Letters – Blondie". AllMusic. Retrieved December 14, 2005.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Blondie: Plastic Letters". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the '70s. Ticknor and Fields. ISBN 0-89919-026-X. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  4. ^ "Blondie: Plastic Letters". Entertainment Weekly. New York: 85. September 21, 2001.
  5. ^ Bungey, James (December 2016). "Blondie: Plastic Letters". Mojo. London (277): 107.
  6. ^ "Blondie: Plastic Letters". Q. London (97): 135. October 1994.
  7. ^ Coleman, Mark; Berger, Arion (2004). "Blondie". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 85–86. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  8. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). "Blondie". Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  9. ^ "Plastic Letters - 1978". Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  10. ^ Che, Cathy (1999), 'Deborah Harry: Platinum Blonde', MPG Books Ltd, Cornwall, p.77
  11. ^ "Blondie – Plastic Letters". (in Dutch). Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  12. ^ "Blondie – Plastic Letters". Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  13. ^ "Blondie – Plastic Letters". Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  14. ^ "Blondie – UK Charts". Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  15. ^ "Plastic Letters – Blondie : Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  16. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Blondie – Plastic Letters" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved October 29, 2019. Enter Plastic Letters in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  17. ^ "British album certifications – Blondie – Plastic Letters". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved October 29, 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Plastic Letters in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.