The Atomic Mr. Basie (originally called Basie, also known as E=MC2 and reissued in 1994 as The Complete Atomic Basie) is a 1958 album by Count Basie and his orchestra. Allmusic gave it 5 stars, reviewer Bruce Eder saying: "it took Basie's core audience and a lot of other people by surprise, as a bold, forward-looking statement within the context of a big-band recording." It is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, Will Fulford-Jones calling it "Basie's last great record." It was voted number 411 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000). According to Acclaimed Music, it is the 6th most critically acclaimed album of 1958, the 25th most acclaimed of the 1950s, and the 837th most acclaimed of all time, based on an aggregation of hundreds of critics' lists from around the world.Wikipedia
I always saw this album as swing’s last hurrah before rock and roll fully took over, and what a hurrah it was. All the players are top notch here. And what a ballsy move to put an atomic explosion on the cover barely a decade after WWII; ballsy, and fitting for the music here. It just edges into a 5 for me.
Big band music isn't generally my favorite - it's generally background noise to me - but this was surprisingly listenable. There are significant shades of harlem-esque jazz in here. I enjoyed it far more than I expected to.
A rock'n'roll guy at heart, which is why he's blowing shit up on the cover and in the music.
“The Atomic Mr. Basie” by the Count Basie Orchestra (1958). Exquisite big band jazz and swing, this music places the serious listener smack in the middle of a Woody Allen movie, and then escorts him/her/them straight to heaven. These are beautiful and intricate arrangements, with disciplined and precise performances, featuring sublime solo work. Each soloist knows exactly what a soloist should and should not do. Rock, folk, synth, and hip hop artists should appreciate the value of the planning and execution of the big band style, perfectly exemplified by the CBO. Basie's piano playing is deft and sensitive, articulating the passion behind Neal Hefti’s visionary arrangements. Strictly professional. All music lovers should cultivate an appreciation of this contribution to American music—it helps to define the entire era of recording, from the 1930s to the present. That album cover, however, didn’t age well. The promo guys got a little carried away. 5/5
The album that brought joy in the middle of this snow storm.
A great jazz music album. This is going on top of my list for great jazz albums. Double-O is an amazing song, with an running bass line which contrasts very nicely with overlying horns and piano. My only critique might be the overused horns, however, this kind of sound is typical in 1950s music
On first listen, I was a little dismissive - yeah, yeah, Big Band, whatever, stuff my 80-something dad likes. On Listen 2 I realized: this album is pretty amazing! It only got better as I listened to it over and over. The word "frenetic" kept coming to mind. I liked learning that the arranger Neal Hefti wrote the Batman TV series theme (Bat Maaaaaan! Bat Maaaaaan! nah-nah, nah-nah, nah-nah, nah-nah Bat MAAAANN!!). To show how these things are generational, I had never heard of Hefti, but when I mentioned his name to my 80-something Dad his response was "of course I know Hefti!" His Wikipedia entry is pretty interesting. They quote Miles Davis saying, "If it weren't for Neal Hefti, the Basie band wouldn't sound as good as it does." Respect. Back to the album, I loved pretty much all the tracks. Flight of the Foo Birds, Double-O (what a sax solo!), and Fantail (drums!!!) really caught my attention. I also really liked the mellow tracks. After Supper had a nice opening piano part, a great tune throughout and I loved the walking bass line. Midnite Blue is clearly a song about a dame, y'know, the broad who came into your life and left it in shambles. The final "Lil' Darling" wraps it up nicely at the end of a wild evening at the club. Maybe you're even finally slow dancing cheek to cheek with the dame from Midnite Blue and all is right in the world. In an earlier review I said I'm simply not a jazz fan. This album (along with Keith Jarrett's The Koln Concert) shows me that I can definitely be a fan of some jazz. I want to dig in a lot deeper now. 5 star wham-bam-POW!
Very enjoyable jazz, mostly falling on the "hot" side. (My mom categorizes all jazz as either "hot", "cool", or "what time does the tune start", heh.) Fave track - "Kid From Red Bank" for hot, "Lil' Darlin'" for cool!
Really felt this one. Hard to think of a better sounding big band recording and the feel is spot-on. Somehow arrives in that perfect moment when this style of music felt essential and yet recording technology had caught up enough to make it really sing. Favourite song: Midnite Blue
I never knew Count Basie was making music like this well into the 1950s. There's a lot of creativity, energy and vitality to these songs, and I can even hear a bit of rock mixed in with the jazz. Count Basie's horn section really feels like an atomic bomb here. Works really well together, no favourite track, rather listen to the album as a whole!
Love this album!! Still seems fresh even though it goes back to 58. Every song is great. I particularly like the fact that the first half of the album is super upbeat and then about half way through slows down and changes the mood completely. Favorite track: Lil' Darlin. 4 stars
Exceptional, but then again I'm a jazz fan.
This album has always been a favorite.
This was great to hear. I love the variety of adding jazz/swing into this list, and I really enjoyed a lot of the stylings on this album.
Now THIS is music!
Buenísimo. Un álbum imprescindible
Nice album dig the big orchestra sound.
Didn't know that Count played piano - thought he was a trumpeter
This big band record catches me in the right mood. Dude this album was great to sit and fill out a really angry company survey to.
jazzão pesadeira, no começo parecia mais do mesmo, mas a pegada é outra, tem uma energia, e pelo ano do disco, ditou o tom para os discos da decada de 60
great big band jazz
No words - just stars.
Great album! Fun!
Most favorite album to listen to, so far
Great album. Nice and varied tracks. Perfect to chill or to study.
Hello basied department?
Very nice album. Even though i dont listen much to jazz this album is light and fun to listen to.
Very nice sound, good to keep in the back of my mind during my workouts
A pleasant surprise. It was jarring when I pressed play before bed but as I listened it became a great background for all sorts of activities throughout the day..
This album rules. Titles way ahead of their time
Awesome big band jazz. Splanty, Whirly-Bird, and The Kid from the Red Bank were incredible. Ella & Basie’s version of “Dream a Little Dream of Me” is also a great listen
This was so good.
You can note the evolution of the big band sound in this recording, but then again let Basie be Basie and you get solid gold every time.
5/5 - Loved this album!
This is great, will listen again.
Favoriete nummers: - Duet - Whirly-Bird - Lil' Darlin' IK ZIT IN EEN FILM UIT DE JAREN '60
Great stuff. The band was locked in, and everyone really had it together. Hard to believe that it was years ago. Definitely on my list to get.
I enjoyed this! A bit alarmed at first as the initial track is a bit shouty, but loved the rest of it. Going to listen to again right away.
An exceptional jazz big band album. From the opening track, you know what to expect for the rest of the album: A large sound, vibrant solos, and upbeat compositions. The dynamics between Count Basie's orchestra make the album a classic. The feeling of the album is in the name, and you can't help but move when listening to it. Favorite tracks: The Kid From Red Bank, Duet, Double-O, Midnite Blue, Splanky
Classic instrumental jazz, fav songs are Duet, Midnite Blue, & Splanky.
Insert < satisfaction> meme.
Can really see how it influenced bands like the Replacements. Or specifically the Replacements. A little more moody esoteric than my preference but still good to listen to and culturally relevant.
Even for fans of big band jazz, or anyone old enough to have this sound firmly in their cultural DNA, this album is truly a nuclear level American classic, worthy of the album cover (if you're willing to dismiss the real world associations with the US putting the globe on a permanent killswitch state). What's amazing to me is how in 40 minutes and 11 songs, Basie and band managed to hit such peaks and lightning strikes of individual performances while also effortlessly soaring through a wide horizon of dynamics and moods and emotions in the selections. Motherfucking off the charts 5+++++
Iconic and classic. Thank you, Count Basie!
Now this is the sort of jazz that I like to hear. Tremendous, a tour de force of syncopation and effortless style. Amazing!
im a fan. reminds me of christmas music
Two words: Heck yeah!
Enjoyable. Kinda what I needed at that moment too, so hurrah for coincidences.
Amazing, full, big band greatness.
Excellent album. Really fun old jazz
Really good. Love a bit of big band
It's really great. Count Basie is a legend
Very good one. I float listening to the trumpets!
What happened to that high schooler who vehemently defended his dislike of big band? This music just makes me feel happy now. 9/10
Cool cover Killer jazz Wicked solos 5 stars or gtfo
It's got a great beat and you can dance to it
I really like the swingy mood. It gives such a cool vibe and the whole album has this very cozy, almost a home feeling.
Enjoyed listening to it, and watching the baby move her feet in time to it!
Orquestra de jazz, só sonzao pode crê aham
Love this shit. Might be one of the ugliest covers ever though. 5
Remember when atomic shit was sexy and cool? Well, no, you probably don't, but in 1957 it was, especially in the US (probably less so in Japan). As somebody who bought Mingus Ah Um and Miles Davis's Blue Christmas at the age of 19, largely in an attempt to appear cool and mysterious to the girls at university, and as someone who has been to Ronnie Scott's several times, I feel supremely qualified to pronounce upon this album. It's great! Good humoured, light-hearted, glad to be alive (and not vaporised into nothingness by an apocalyptic nuclear blast), joyously played big band jazz. These cats can play! Boom. We hope you enjoyed your time on this planet.
I haven't listened to much of his stuff before, but the optimism and positivity conveyed through this music was contagious. Planning to check out more of his stuff!
That's album cover is Punk Rock for sure. This whole album is pretty heavy. Dear metal, you've invented nothing.
Love me some big band. Basie, and this album in particular, is out of sight.
Un viaje genial para encarar el día! Música de otro tiempo pero imperecedera
Not my favorite Count Basie, but always enjoy his music.
Good. Not really my type of music.
Love big band
Awesome album! Lots of fun, start to finish.
I’m hype for jazz Bass line goes crazy hard Banger 5/5
This is about music right? Well this is music. Pretty much everything else can only dream of this energy and talent and musicianship.
really liked it, some good jazz
10/10 shout out to swing jazz easily one of my top five favorite genders
If I had to choose only one record to listen to for the rest of my life, this would be it.
Great, fun classic Jazz
Really great big jazz album. Really enjoyed this one, it was a lot of fun. Album art is fun too.
Et av mine absolutte favorittjazzalbumer! Det smeller og spreller!
Always love a good jazz record
Bombs away, Mr. Basie! Regardless of the apocalyptic nature of the album cover, this is a perfect soundtrack for winding down your day and sailing off into the night, bopping around as though no one is watching with nary a care in the world and not having to worry about time, place, et al. From my experience, anyway.
I believe we've come across the only artist on this list that I can say this for - I have been on stage and played a song from this album to an audience (in my grade nine Big Band). The song was Splanky and I even busted out a sax solo.
Oh, hot dog. This is fine
Love it. These songs melted together so nicely it was hard to distinguish when one song was ending and another was starting. Very cozy, coffee shop/fancy restaurant vibes. Favorite track - After Supper Least favorite track - N/A
This album is so great that it can name one of its tracks “Splanky” and make it sound cool.
A lively big band album that really works for me. The opening piece; The Kid From Red Bank might just be the perfect introducton for a newbie to big band jazz. Throughout this album the music is fast paced and joyful and infectious and incredibly played and arranged. I can't even imagine how incredibly amazing it must have been to be present at the recordng sessions. 5 stars
For some reason I have a real soft spot for big band and swing music. Therefore this was very much up my alley. From 1958, it's a late album of its genre, probably one of the last hurrahs of swing, and right slap-bang in the middle of the Atomic Age. When I first saw the album cover I for a second expected a punk album, before noticing it was a Basie album. An interesting cover choice for sure, but I'm sure there had to be a weird public fascination about nuclear weapons at that stage of the Cold War. Pure speculation though, this came out 40 years before I did. Either way the songs were wonderful and it was a nice warm treat on a Thursday evening. Some of the songs were a little too slow for me, but it was still just lovely. Favourite: Flight of the Foo Birds
WOW! This was such a fun ride. From the very first track…I was grooving and imagining an old crooner singing along. Then, upon finishing. Spotify led me to an album of Basie & Frank…So I got enjoy the result of my imagination. Beautiful compositions.
Band music like this is such good vibes honestly. It just sounds like so much fun that I can’t fault it. “Duet” was my fav. Very catchy
Kid From Red Bank explodes and is then followed by the cheekily suave Duet. After Supper lives up to its name, a smoky blues number. Flight of the Foo Birds is big, bold and brassy. So far each track has featured a different lead and a different vibe. This one has had trumpet, sax, and the whole brass section lead it. Double-O is classic jazz, with the lead being handed over to everybody. It's a great track that is really driven by the bass. The sax at the end is invigorating. The whole song would have couples racing out onto the dance floor. I wish that Teddy the Toad had stayed with the piano, the brass was a bit dull. Whirly-Bird is exhilarating, once again it's all about the bass, with plenty of treble from the brass. Midnight Blue is so suave. The quieter moments give us plenty of time to enjoy The Count's piano. Splanky is fun while Fantail just keeps building, while once again that man, Eddie Jones, nails it with the bass. Lil Darlin' is a standard that just sweetly sweeps you out the door.
Un poco sobrevalorado, pero buena onda.