Atomic

Album: Eat To The Beat (1979)
Charted: 1 39

Songfacts®:

  • Blondie keyboardist Jimmy Destri wrote this song with lead singer Debbie Harry, who claimed in 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, "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 top '70s fashion model Gia appears in the video, which was directed by David Mallet and featured the band in a post-apocalyptic world. Gia is seen in the beginning getting out of a limo and shows up periodically throughout the video dancing; wearing a miniskirt, sunglasses and a red slinky around her neck. The scenes are very brief and you need to watch the video several times to know when to catch these glimpses of her. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jeffrey - Red Hook, WA
  • This is Blondie's best selling single in the UK, with 1,180,000 in sales.
  • This was used in the movie Bend It Like Beckham when the Hanslow Harriers visit Germany. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Marleen - Phoenix, AZ

Comments: 9

  • Galaxy Girl68 from Rm Of Brokenhead Mb Correction here.. Gia Carangi is the shaking wild longhaired dancing girl in the off shoulder black top, pink pants and round black shades..you see her four time’s in the video. Notably she kicks her leg up in the video Atomic with Blondie..she was friends with Jimmi Destri..
  • Steve from OttawaHer voice was never better. The video is wild: a combo of silly characters wearing tin foil on the one hand, with Debbie being utter gorgeous, all lip gloss and cheek bones and feathered hair, on the other. Never get tired of this one.
  • Astrozon from Sol 3Love this song. Love the vid too. This is just my opinion, but I've always thought that Atomic was written as a love song from Debora to Gia - "Atomic" being a pet name for Gia.
  • Ian from Nyc, NyJust to follow up, it's one hundred percent Jean Michel Basquiat. I saw him on the TV Party Halloween show from Oct, 1979 that's floating around the internet and it's definitely him. Same hairstyle and even the same shirt.
  • Ian from Nyc, NyIn a recent interview Blondie's drummer Clem Burke stated that the young man standing in front of the club at the beginning of the video and who leads the horse away is the artist Jean Michel Basquiat. That would predate his appearance in the Rapture video.
    Don't know why it states in the second paragraph that Jimmy Destri wrote the song. Debbie Harry wrote the lyrics at the least (as the paragraph later indicates) and it's always created to both of them.
  • Aaron from Albuquerque, Nm@sharon, philadelphia, PA
    You are absolutely right!! Gia Carangi is the one dancing wildly in the pink hotpants and black shirt. It's even said in the book "Thing Of Beauty" that she appeared in the video and said to be one dancing in the club. Gia was a lesbian, but not a bull-dyke, like the woman coming out of the limo.
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxI love this song - it is strangely hypnotic! You can hear this Blondie-esk sound in Slumber Party by the Southern Backtones and the video is very speghetti western!
  • Sharon from Philadelphia, PaYou are wrong in writing that super modelGia is the one that gets out of the limo in the beginning of the Atomic Blondie Video. Gia is the one who is dressed in a black top and pink jeans and is shown in the middle and the end of the video shaking around her head and shoulders. The model who gets out of the limo and who has the slinky around her neck is absolutely NOT Gia!
    Take another look. Gia is the one dancing around wildly with the wild hair and swinging her head all over.
  • Charlie from New York, Nyi love it when the remix version of this song is used in the movie Trainspotting. It just all works together very well and gives off that great club atmosphere.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Stephen Christian of Anberlin

Stephen Christian of AnberlinSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer/lyricist for Anberlin breaks down "Impossible" and covers some tracks from their 2012 album Vital.

Jeff Trott

Jeff TrottSongwriter Interviews

Sheryl Crow's longtime songwriting partner/guitarist Jeff Trott reveals the stories behind many of the singer's hits, and what its like to be a producer for Leighton Meester and Max Gomez.

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real Group

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real GroupSong Writing

The leader of the Modern A Cappella movement talks about the genre.

Bob Daisley

Bob DaisleySongwriter Interviews

Bob was the bass player and lyricist for the first two Ozzy Osbourne albums. Here's how he wrote songs like "Crazy Train" and "Mr. Crowley" with Ozzy and Randy Rhoads.

Brenda Russell

Brenda RussellSongwriter Interviews

Brenda talks about the inspiration that drove her to write hit songs like "Get Here" and "Piano in the Dark," and why a lack of formal music training can be a songwriter's best asset.

Protest Songs

Protest SongsMusic Quiz

How well do you know your protest songs (including the one that went to #1)?