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"Atomic" is a song by the American New Wave band Blondie, written by Debbie Harry and Jimmy Destri and produced by Mike Chapman. It was released as the third single from the band's Platinum-plus 1979 album Eat to the Beat.


Song information[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Atomic was composed by Jimmy Destri and Debbie Harry, who (in the book "1000 UK #1 Hits" by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh) stated "He was trying to do something like 'Heart of Glass', and then somehow or another we gave it the spaghetti western treatment. Before that it was just lying there like a lox. The lyrics, well, a lot of the time I would write while the band were just playing the song and trying to figure it out. I would just be scatting along with them and I would just start going, 'Ooooooh, your hair is beautiful.'"

The song was produced as a mixture of new wave rock and disco which had proven to be so successful in their #1 hit from earlier in 1979, "Heart of Glass". It is written in E natural minor ("Call Me" is written in E♭ natural minor).

The 1980 single version of "Atomic" was in fact a remix. The original 4:35 version as featured on the albums Eat to the Beat and 1981's The Best of Blondie opens with an intro inspired by the nursery rhyme "Three Blind Mice" and includes an instrumental break with a bass guitar solo. The 7" version mixed by Mike Chapman omits the "Three Blind Mice" intro and replaces the instrumental break with a repeat of the verse.

The song hit number 1 in the UK - where it held for three weeks in March 1980 - and reached number 39 in the US the following summer. The B-side was "Die Young, Stay Pretty", also from the album Eat to the Beat, a reggae-influenced track, a style the band would perform again in their global chart-topper "The Tide Is High". The UK 12" single contained a live version of Bowie's "Heroes" featuring Robert Fripp on guitar recorded at London's Hammersmith Odeon just a month before. The track was included on 1993's rarities compilation Blonde and Beyond.

"Atomic" was remixed and re-released in the UK in September 1994 where it peaked at #19 on the UK Top 40 singles chart.[1] The subsequent April 1995 US release reached #1 on theBillboard Dance/Club Play Charts.[2] The 1994 remix was included on the compilations The Platinum CollectionBeautiful - The Remix Album and Remixed Remade Remodeled - The Remix Project. The track was remixed again four years later for the UK compilation Atomic - The Very Best of Blondie and the '98 Xenomania mix was later included on the first Queer as Folksoundtrack album. The song was also featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on the New Wave/Pop radio station, 'Wave 103.' Its 7" mix was covered by Sleeper for theTrainspotting soundtrack in 1996.

The song was used in Coca-Cola's global television ad for 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cup campaigns. Both ads use the "Eat football. Sleep football. Drink Coca-Cola" (or "Vivez Football, Vibrez Football, Buvez Coca-Cola") strapline.[3]

The song is used in a Gameloft mobile game Real Football 2006.

Music video[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The music video depicts the band performing on stage at what looks like a post-nuclear war nightclub in which Debbie Harry is wearing a garbage bag as a futuristic costume. Footage of a horseman and an atomic explosion are also intercut. Model Gia Carangi (a strong supporter of the band) made a guest appearance in the music video; she can be seen in various scenes.

Track listing[edit source | editbeta]Edit

UK 7" (Chrysalis CHS 2410)
US 7" (Chrysalis CHS 2410)
  1. "Atomic" (7" Mix) (Deborah HarryJimmy Destri) - 3:48
  2. "Die Young Stay Pretty" (Deborah Harry, Chris Stein) - 3:27
UK 12" (Chrysalis CHS 12 2410)
  1. "Atomic" (7" Mix) (Deborah Harry, Jimmy Destri) - 3:48
  2. "Die Young Stay Pretty" (Deborah Harry, Chris Stein) - 3:27
  3. "Heroes" (Live) (David Bowie) - 6:28
  • Recorded live at The Hammersmith Odeon, London, on January 12, 1980. Produced by C. Stein, J. Destri and P. Maloney.
UK 1994 Remix CD1 (7243 8 81661 2 6)
  1. "Atomic" (Diddy's Edit) - 4:10
  2. "Atomic" (Diddy's 12" Mix) - 6:54
  3. "Atomic" (Diddy's Push The Button Mix) - 6:06
  4. "Atomic" (Boom Mix) - 5:49
  5. "Atomic" (New Disco Mix) - 7:56
UK 1994 Remix CD2 (7243 8 81662 2 5)
  1. "Atomic" (Diddy's Edit) - 4:10
  2. "Sunday Girl" - 3:01
  3. "Union City Blue" - 3:18
  4. "Atomic" (Original 1980 7" Edit) - 3:50
US 1995 Remix CD (7243 8 58340 2 8)
  1. "Atomic" (Diddy's Remix Edit) - 4:10 *
  2. "Atomic" (Original Single Version) - 3:50 **
  3. "Atomic" (Diddy's 12" Mix) - 6:54
  4. "Atomic" (Armand's Atomizer Mix) - 9:00
  5. "Atomic" (Explosive Ecstacy Mix) - 5:50
  6. "Atomic" (Beautiful Drum And Bass Mix) - 7:43
  7. "Atomic" (New Disco Mix) - 7:56
  8. "Slow Motion" (Stripped Down Motown Mix) - 3:30
  • Identical to the UK Diddy's Edit version.
    • Identical to the UK Original 1980 7" Edit version.

Chart positions[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Chart (1980) Peak

Position

Australia ARIA Singles Chart 12
Austria 5
Dutch NVPI Charts 17
German Media Control Singles Chart 20
Irish Singles Chart 3
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 7
Norway 5
UK Singles Chart 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 39
Chart (1994) Peak

Position

UK Singles Chart 19
U.S. BillboardHot Dance Club Play 1

Party Animals recording[edit source | editbeta]Edit

"Atomic"
[1]
Single by Party Animals
from the album Party@worldaccess.nl
Released 10 May 1997
Genre Happy HardcoreGabber
Length 3:27
Label Mokum Records
Producer Flamman & Abraxas
Party Animals singles chronology
"We Like to Party"

(1997)

"My Way"

(1997)

"Atomic" is the fifth single of the Party Animals from their second album Party@worldaccess.nl. The song was released in 1997 and was a minor success in Hong Kong. The song is a cover version of the Blondie song recorded with a gabber beat. The song peaked at number 8 in the Dutch Top 40.

Track listing[edit source | editbeta]Edit

# Title Length
1. "Atomic (Flamman & Abraxas radio mix)" 3:31
2. "Mocht Ik onder het Hakkûh Bezwijken" 5:32
3. "Atom-X" 4:52
4. "Total Smash" 5:15

Sleepy Sleepers Recording[edit source | editbeta]Edit

"Painimaan" by the Finnish band Sleepy Sleepers is a cover version of the song. The song was released on the band's 1980 album Metsäratio and is sung entirely in Finnish.

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