Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Dog Days: Atomic Dog

When we think of dog songs, the granddaddy of them all is from one of the strangest, most innovative, and funkiest artist to allow a needle to drop on his recordings: George Clinton. The song was his R&B classic “Atomic Dog.” Before embarking on his solo career in 1982, Clinton was the mastermind and leader of the twin funk bands: Parliament and Funkadelic, both of whom had evolved from the doo-wop group The Parliaments.

If you hadn’t heard of George Clinton prior to 1982, “Atomic Dog” was your introduction. This synth and harmonizer laced funk classic, from his first solo LP “Computer Games,” brought Mr. Clinton to the forefront. Supported by a creative video, this song had an interesting chart presence for a tune that was so well known.

While it was a #1 hit Urban Contemporary hit, its performance in the clubs was lackluster with the 12 inch single only charting at #38. Contemporary Hit Radio, aware of the songs influence, was late to add the record. It only made it to #101 on Billboard’s pop charts. I know the station where I worked didn’t play it; but in our defense, Capitol Records never asked us to play it either. Looking back, I think this was a colossal mistake on theirs and my part for missing this one.

Bow-wow-wow-yippy-oh-yippy-a. Bow-wow-yippy-oh-yippy-a.

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