I imagine it's the music that all the people from "Are You Being Served" got down to in their off hours
October 7, 2009 3:14 PM   Subscribe

When I was in England I was in a bar where I heard a whole night's worth of music that sounded like "Atomic" by Blondie. Is this a genre of some kind? If so, what's it called and where do I get more?

When I was in England I was in this bar in Soho where basically every song sounded like Atomic by Blondie. Basically like disco meets cruise ship music with some edge of euro/anglophile vibe throughout.

Maybe this was just one talented DJ but everyone seemed to act like this was a kind of music that's played in bad English clubs. Especially the ones by the seashore in Blackpool and such. But no one elaborated.

Frankly I probably didn't do the best questioning because I was really pretty hammered. I only remembered Atomic this week. And the night in question was three years ago now.

IS this a genre or subgenre? What's it called? Who are the major artists?
posted by rileyray3000 to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
What's the name of the bar? That could help narrow down the club night.
posted by vickyverky at 3:42 PM on October 7, 2009

Hmm... that Blondie song kind of sounds like The Go! Team, who are a great, modern London-based band that has a pronounced retro vibe. They would have probably been at the height of their popularity when you were there so... maybe?
posted by martens at 4:12 PM on October 7, 2009

I'm not familiar with the song but "disco meets cruise ship" makes me think of Air France's No Way Down EP which references the Balearic house genre.
posted by philscience at 4:15 PM on October 7, 2009

Haven't you already asked this question? Or is this a different Soho bar playing campy disco English seaside pop?
posted by Beautiful Screaming Lady at 4:23 PM on October 7, 2009

These are two weird questions you've asked! They don't even sound like the same music. But hey, I'll take a wild stab for the sake of it. The answer you were looking for in the first question is possibly "glam rock", and yet the second question makes me think you were listening to something like Goldfrapp.

Together they make me want to ask, how wasted were you?
posted by Sova at 4:33 PM on October 7, 2009

Response by poster: I DID ask the question but I finally had a breakthrough on one of the songs. Which is why I re-asked.

That said, glam seems pretty good so far.

And completely wasted btw.

posted by rileyray3000 at 4:41 PM on October 7, 2009

Response by poster: ANd by the way, GO TEAM was definitely one of the other bands they played that night.

So this is glam genre? I thought that was more bowie, t-rex and Mott the Hoople
posted by rileyray3000 at 4:43 PM on October 7, 2009

I know it's a throwaway.

But regarding your title: "I imagine it's the music that the people from "Are You Being Served" got down to in their off hours".

You are way, way, way off the mark by at least 20 years and the same amount of cultural levels.

AYBS was ridiculing (amongst other things) the lower middleclass, net-curtain-twitching, one-cheap-scotch-before-dinner-oh-one-more-dear, England. Those people would've bought anti macassar's for their new sofas. before they bought the sofas.

The older AYBS characters would've been listening to something like Max Bygraves or Val Doonican (hear them and weep... well actually I like the Max Bygraves song that's linked).
posted by selton at 5:35 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

I agree with selton, and I am unanimous in that.

I'll scour my iTunes library for likely offenders tonight, though...
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:27 PM on October 7, 2009

Personally I associate Atomic by Blondie to the Grand Theft Auto Vice City radio station Wave 103. The DJ could have phoned it in and played the list followed by the Flash FM list and had a decent set of pretty homogeneous music.

Blondie is certainly a new wave artist. This list of the "100 Greatest New Wave Artists should get you started.

I'd recommend the Human League, The Cars, Duran Duran, INXS, The Electric Light Orchestra, The Psychedelic Furs, and Flock of Seagulls.
posted by clearly at 6:51 PM on October 7, 2009

Response by poster: But for the record, I'm not saying Blondie specifically. I'm saying the song ATOMIC by Blondie, which, I think, sounds very different from the rest of Blondie's kind of reggae influenced work. It sounds like a British version of Abba almost. It sounds very retro in the style of the Go Team.

So that's what I'm looking for and why that song figures in.
posted by rileyray3000 at 6:56 PM on October 7, 2009

...and Roxy Music and the Outfield.
posted by clearly at 6:56 PM on October 7, 2009

Sounds like New Romantic to me.
posted by contessa at 7:06 PM on October 7, 2009

Electro Clash?
posted by philip-random at 8:27 PM on October 7, 2009

You should listen to more Blondie, as I would not call very much of their music reggae influenced. It's more New Wave with an occasional touch of disco. They also had their stunt singles with the reggae and rap stylings (The Tide is High and Rapture). I would rate Dreaming as the best rock single of the entire 70s.
posted by rfs at 8:37 PM on October 7, 2009

Atomic just sounds like.... Blondie to me. Doesn't sound retro to me as it reminds me of the time it came out.

That said, I'm gonna recommend Dengue Fever.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 10:01 PM on October 7, 2009

'Atomic' sounds like what we used to call synthesizer music or Spacesynth
At the bottom of the Wiki page is a list of pop artists of the '70's genre.
posted by Acacia at 11:31 PM on October 7, 2009

"Atomic" was produced by Mike Chapman, but has a sound not too different from songs like "Call Me", produced by Giorgio Moroder.
posted by iviken at 1:29 AM on October 8, 2009

Bands like Sleeper or Echobelly perhaps?
posted by salmacis at 3:36 AM on October 8, 2009

Sleeper and Echobelly do NOT sound like any of the descriptions OP gave.

This could either be:
- electroclash
- chart house music (what you'll actually hear in Blackpool) such as Escada or 'Call On Me'.

Neither of these would have been listened to by the AYBS crew. More Nathan Barley or Shameless.
posted by mippy at 9:08 AM on October 8, 2009

OK, given my knowledge of where you might hear both Blondie and The Go-Team in Soho on a weekday, I'm going to take a stab at this and say that you may well have been at either Metro (now closed) or The Roxy (technically the other side of Oxford Street from Soho, but they're very likely to play both bands). In which case the genre or genres that you're looking for are new wave (from the 1980s), as mentioned above, and the subsequent new wave/post-punk revival, i.e. British indie rock from 2000 onwards. The defining feature of these post-2000 indie bands is their blending of traditional indie/pop guitar riffs etc with dance beats reminiscent of electroclash or disco. So I'd recommend checking out The Kaiser Chiefs and working your way out from there. If stuff with more of a dance-crossover feel appeals to you, then you should be checking out things that fall under the new rave genre, which was also likely to be played alongside old new wave and new indie in these clubs.
posted by iivix at 11:23 AM on October 8, 2009

« Older Will Satellite work with leaves off trees?   |   Getting results, and paying out the ass for it! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.