G.O.A.T.: ATOMIC by Blondie (1979)

THE GREATEST OF ALL TUNES (G.O.A.T.) is a salute to the greatest songs of all time, one song per artist. Want more? Go to the G.O.A.T. Page for all the GOATs so far!

I’m a huge fan of just two Blondie albums: Eat to the Beat and Parallel Lines. The rest of their catalog, I can take it or leave it. But those two records are fantastic.

blondieEat to the Beat is probably the best example of the bridge between mid-1970s punk, late 1970s disco, and early 1980s New Wave. And Atomic, the third single from that album, is one of the best songs showing the crossover of those genres. It’s got the sense of swirl you get from the best disco records (including Blondie’s own classic, Heart of Glass), it’s got lyrics that are mostly about appearances and style (“tonight, your hair is beautiful”), and the video is a nihilstic trip to a punk club.

Further listening: The entire album is full of great, genre-breaking singles, and there’s a lot of Blondie tunes that could qualify as some of the best pop singles of all time: Die Young, Stay Pretty; Dreaming; Eat to the Beat; Heart of Glass; In the Flesh; Rip Her to Shreds; Picture This; Rapture; Hangin’ on the Telephone; Union City Blues; One Way or Another…The list goes on and on.
Covers: Surprisingly few. Here’s a remix and a couple versions I thought were pretty decent—including a string quartet!

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