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
Length34:46
LabelChrysalis
ProducerRichard 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
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[2]
Christgau's Record GuideB+[3]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[4]
Mojo4/5 stars[5]
Q4/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[8]
Spin Alternative Record Guide4/10[9]

Plastic Letters is the second studio album by American rock band Blondie, released in February 1978 on Chrysalis Records.[10]

Overview[edit]

This is 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 No. 2 in March 1978 in the United Kingdom, and also reached No. 19 in Australia. "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear" was the second single from the album, reaching No. 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 prior to the recording of Plastic Letters; his departure necessitated Chris Stein playing bass on the album, as well as guitar. During recording Blondie was still signed to their old label, Private Stock Records. The album peaked at No. 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.[11]

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

Track listing[edit]

Side One
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
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
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
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
11."Kidnapper"Destri2:37
12."Detroit 442"Destri, Stein2:28
13."Cautious Lip"Ronnie Toast, Stein4:24
Bonus tracks on 1994 CD re-issue
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
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
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
14."Once I Had a Love (a.k.a. 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

Personnel[edit]

Blondie
Additional personnel

Production[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Netherlands (NVPI)[20] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[21] Platinum 300,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kidnapper - 1977". rip-her-to-shreds.com. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  2. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Plastic Letters – Blondie". AllMusic. Retrieved October 18, 2020.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Blondie: Plastic Letters". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor and Fields. ISBN 0-89919-026-X. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  4. ^ Weingarten, Marc (September 21, 2001). "Blondie: Blondie / Plastic Letters / Parallel Lines / Eat to the Beat / Autoamerican / The Hunter". Entertainment Weekly. New York. p. 85.
  5. ^ Bulley, Jenny (December 2016). "Blondie: Plastic Letters". Mojo. No. 277. London. p. 107.
  6. ^ "Blondie: Plastic Letters". Q. No. 97. London. October 1994. p. 135.
  7. ^ Berger, Arion (June 8, 2000). "Further Listening". Rolling Stone. New York. Archived from the original on April 1, 2007. Retrieved October 18, 2020.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Sheffield, Rob (1995). "Blondie". In Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig (eds.). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. pp. 49–50. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  10. ^ "Plastic Letters - 1978". rip-her-to-shreds.com. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  11. ^ Che, Cathay (1999). Deborah Harry: Platinum Blonde. MPG Books Ltd. p. 77. ISBN 9780233994963.
  12. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. pp. 37–38. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  13. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Blondie – Plastic Letters" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  14. ^ "Charts.nz – Blondie – Plastic Letters". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  15. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Blondie – Plastic Letters". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  16. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  17. ^ "Blondie Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  18. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 1978". dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  19. ^ Scaping, Peter, ed. (1979). "Top 200 LPs in 1978". BPI Year Book 1979 (4th ed.). London: British Phonographic Industry. pp. 182–85. ISBN 0-906154-02-2.
  20. ^ "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.
  21. ^ "British album certifications – Blondie – Plastic Letters". British Phonographic Industry. August 10, 1981. 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.