Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 135
Wed. May 23, 2012
“♫ Your hair is
Atomic […] ♫”
I heard Atomic, tonight just before I left work and it took me back to the glorious eighties. Hearing Atomic, again— sparked me, and no not just in that way? I just wrote an ode to Debbie Harry— entitled: “her hair is…beautiful.”
You see growing up, Blondie, was the one iconic/starlet/pop-star/goddess of my dreams. I actually once, during my teens in San Antonio, “borrowed” my Papi’s car and drove some of my friends to Austin to see Debbie Harry, The Ramones, Tom Tom Club and Jerry Harrison [3/4’s of The Talking Heads] for seven dollars at Aquafest by the river. You see I was under restriction at the time and like hell if I was going to let something like being grounded and not having my own car to keep me from seeing Debbie Harry live.
We made it to the show. I saw her. Debbie Harry in the flesh. No, not all of her. But enough and I allowed my imagination and her soundtrack to inspire the rest. She sung all of my favorites—including Atomic. I’ll always remember that tight red dress she wore that night—hubba, hubba and the things she did with that microphone, on stage—oh, so- legendary!
According to book 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh—Atomic was composed by keyboardist by Jimmy Destri and Debbie Harry, who explained—“[Jimmy] was trying to do something like ‘Heart of Glass’, and then somehow or another we gave it the spaghetti western treatment. For the lyrics, I would just be scatting along with them and I would just start going, ‘Ooooooh, your hair is beautiful.‘”
Listen for the original version of Atomic, you will hear a special intro inspired by the nursery rhyme “Three Blind Mice.” And don’t forget Nigel Harrison’s funky killer disco bass solo in the instrumental break of the album mix.
[Editor’s Note: Attention: vinyl hounds— the flip side of the original Atomic 12 inch single has a live rendition of Bowie’s “Heroes” with Robert Fripp on guitar.]
Debbie Harry and Blondie to me were the sound of the late seventies and early eighties NYC club scene. They were the beat that New Yorkers and New Wavers collectively ate up. Get reacquainted with Atomic. Let Debbie Harry show you the way. Lord, knows all be there crooning along every time—long live the magnificent, timeless disco pop sound of Blondie.