As the 1970s gave way to the 80s, New Wave was splicing. Talking Heads had found African rhythms and Brian Eno. Blondie had gone in a different direction: disco. Moroder had stamped his authority over another of their hits, ‘Heart of Glass‘ and the style was evident still in this epic cut, although produced by longstanding producer Mike Chapman. The track is build around an instantaneous riff, driving disco bass, siren-esque vocals, a blistering breakdown; ‘Atomic‘ not only represents a high-point for Blondie, this is simply one of the greatest dance tracks of all time. And my favourite ever number one.
‘Atomic‘ hit number one in the UK in February 1980, remaining at the summit for two weeks. This was pretty much Blondie at the peak of their chart powers, only four singles followed before an acrimonious split in 1982. The track came to my attention first through a cover by Britpop also-rans Sleeper, lifted from the soundtrack to Trainspotting, a version devoid of the creeping sense of danger the original posseses. The sheer brilliance of ‘Atomic‘ has been further spread by it’s inspired inclusion on GTA: Vice City, whose soundtrack encompasses the very best (and some of the worst!) sounds of the early 80s.