Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Number 370 - Blondie

Number 370



(1979 & 1980)
................Genre: New Wave...............
Hey what does this red button do?
Good freaking Gods, what the frig is this synthesis bullshit? What the hell is this great singer doing with that tune? It’s horrid to say the least. I’m sitting here, have listened to that song (if you can call it that) twice. I still get nothing from it. Oh what powerful lyrics, NOT! What a pathetic excuse for a song, that is so not the Blondie I know and love! . Maybe I just have way to many other thoughts and emotions going on to get the meaning of it? If that’s the case please enlighten me, because I sure as hell don’t get it. I personally feel that with this song she is trying to expand into something that she’s not. I’m not sure what that is exactly.
Maybe this should be a TV commercial song ....... In my personal opinion there was no meaning, no depth, nothing worth listening to with this song. *smacks Mr. Almighty [crowbarred] for that one* Well done, you got me on a song, which I never thought you’d do. ~ TEZ
Iconic lady
Just as Blondie's second album, Plastic Letters, was a pale imitation of their self-titled debut, Eat to the Beat, their fourth album, was a secondhand version of their breakthrough third album, Parallel Lines: one step forward, half a step back. There was an attempt, on such songs as "The Hardest Part" and "Atomic," to recreate the rock/disco fusion of the group's one major U.S. hit, "Heart of Glass," without similar success, and, elsewhere, the band just tried to cover too many stylistic bases. "Die Young Stay Pretty," for example, dipped into an island sound complete with modified reggae beat (a foreshadowing of the upcoming hit "The Tide Is High"), and "Sound-a-Sleep" was a lullaby that dragged too much to be a good change of pace. The British, who had long since been converted, made Eat to the Beat another chart-topper, with three major hits, including a number one ranking for "Atomic" and almost the same success for "Dreaming," but in the U.S., which still saw Blondie as a slightly comic one-hit wonder, the album was greeted for what it was -- slick corporate rock without the tangy flavor that had made Parallel Lines such ear candy. ~ [William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide]
Atomic = Kaboom!
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". The guitar riff is directly influenced by the one in the Neil Diamond song "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon".
ahhhh 1979
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 reached number 1 in the UK for two weeks in February 1980 and number 39 in the US. The B-side was "Die Young, Stay Pretty", also from the album Eat to the Beat, which was Blondie's first attempt at reggae, a style they would perform again in "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 September 1994, when it reached number one on the Billboard Dance Charts and reached number 19 in the UK. The 1994 remix was included on the compilations The Platinum Collection, Beautiful - 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 Folk soundtrack album. The song was also featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. It was also covered by Sleeper for the Trainspotting Soundtrack in 1996. ~ [Source: Wikipedia]
For more Blondie see #594
For Neil Diamond see #698, #792, #846
For David Bowie see #390, #455, #465, #495, #513 [w Queen], #634
Rolling Stone had this to say ....
Blondie has always been a band less concerned with weaving dreams than with critiquing them in order to emphasize the distance between desire and fulfillment. They pioneered a reverse-twist musical archivism that's antiromantic rather than escapist: instead of digging for intact nuggets of nostalgia, Blondie went at pop tradition with a ball peen hammer, splintering and rearranging shards of the past according to an up-to-date aesthetic. Familiar fragments conjured up classic fantasies — a series of teen dreams and B movies, all of them starring Deborah Harry — while the pared-down context underscored their irrelevance. Singing like either a petulant baby doll or a Thorazined waif, Harry modeled pop images, then ripped them to shreds.With "Atomic," meanwhile, they deflect some of these expectations by going the steely irony of "Heart of Glass" one better. By uniting a Ventures guitar line, a pulsing Eurodisco synthesizer and cascading female harmonies with some deliberately facile lyrics ("Your hair is beautiful .../Atomic me tonight"), the group smoothly rewrites sexual clichés. ~ [Source: Rolling Stone 1979]
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '370th Song of all Time' was "The Wind Cries Mary" by Jimi Hendrix. Jimi Hendrix's "Wind Cries Mary" has appeared in The Definitive 1000 of All Time @ #718
Other songs with reference to Blondie ~ #488, #590, #614, #619, #652, #823, #866
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (3 songs but not this one) and the Album ranked at (Parallel Lines was the only album to make the 500)
This song has a Definitive rating of 80.1 out of 108
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