Atomic Fun Link


Friday fun link: the video for George Clinton's "Atomic Dog." This gets sampled all the time, but when was the last time you heard the whole song? While you're watching, enjoy the early-'80s video-game imagery and reflect on the fact that it once seemed futuristic.

Footnote: This was a monster hit in 1983, but only on the R&B charts; while Prince and Michael Jackson were crossing over to the pop Top 40, Clinton was shut out completely. The 12-year-old Jesse Walker was puzzled each week when he read the various top 10 lists in the newspaper and watched this record he'd never heard hang onto the #1 spot on the black chart for a month. Later I'd learn just how strange the racial politics of '80s radio could be when I picked up the album Sun City, a "We Are the World"-style multi-artist effort aimed at eradicating apartheid. In order to get some airplay on white rock stations, the LP's producers, with no visible sense of irony, included a second version of the title song with all the rappers removed.

Bonus footnote: "Atomic Dog" was also the nickname of the fetal-rights terrorist James Charles Kopp.

Double secret extra bonus: Ace Backwords imagines a different outcome to the 1992 election.