Great covers

8. Blondie: Parallel Lines
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The Independent Culture
8. Blondie: Parallel Lines

In our house, Radio 1 was called Radio Rubbish and pop records had to be smuggled into the building. The first one was a second-hand copy of Parallel Lines by Blondie, bought with the earnings from two days' potato picking.

I was 12, an unconvincingly spiteful second-former who longed for glamour. Debbie Harry made me dizzy. The way she looked out from the sleeve - bra- less, cold-eyed, hands on hips, a strange tassled bandage on her bicep - made me reconsider what the word sexy meant. She looked hard, as if she could have the five uniformed band members for breakfast, and probably had. They looked glad to be alive.

Also, the parallel lines on the cover seemed reassuringly unambiguous in their stark definition of opposites. In Blondie's hard-edged world it was always clear what was what. Most importantly, Debbie had chosen not to do her roots.