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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

The Atomic Mr Basie

Count Basie & His Orchestra

1958

The Atomic Mr Basie
Album Summary

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

Rating

3.5

Votes

12164
Genres
Jazz

Reviews

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Mon Aug 02 2021
5

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.

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Wed Nov 25 2020
4

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.

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Mon Mar 15 2021
4

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!

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Mon Nov 08 2021
3

A rock'n'roll guy at heart, which is why he's blowing shit up on the cover and in the music.

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Tue Oct 24 2023
1

I’m sorry, I just can’t do jazz for long periods of time unless it’s low and slow like smoking meat. I can dig Kenny G. I bet that man can smoke some meat. Lucious, glorious meat. But enough about my Kenny G fantasy. This… well, this popped. But not in a good way. Very high pitched. Very staccato. Not unlike Flight of the Bumblebee or my recent sentence structure. However, Flight is a delicate piece on a violin that still soothes you as much as it makes you uneasy. But this… well, this was markedly more aggressive by virtue of the trumpet’s incessant blasting into my amygdala. I’m sorry, Count Basie, but I’m afraid I’ll have to count you out. Down for the count. More apropos to this review, a count of one. No recounts allowed.

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Tue Nov 14 2023
1

girl no fuck this swing shit

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Wed Feb 24 2021
5

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.

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Thu Feb 18 2021
5

The album that brought joy in the middle of this snow storm.

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Wed Sep 08 2021
5

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!

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Tue May 04 2021
4

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

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Thu Mar 09 2023
4

I love putting this on walking around my neighbourhood built in the 50s and imagining I’m back in time. Simple yet beautiful. The melody on the last song is heartbreaking too.

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Wed Nov 08 2023
1

I’m not sure what I was expecting off this. But not what I got, that’s for sure. Awful.

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Fri Jun 25 2021
5

“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

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Mon Feb 22 2021
5

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

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Mon Oct 25 2021
5

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

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Mon Oct 05 2020
4

Un poco sobrevalorado, pero buena onda.

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Tue May 04 2021
4

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!

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Tue May 04 2021
4

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

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Tue Aug 15 2023
1

Не представляю как это можно серьëзно слушать, всë время ловлю флешбеки с опенинга Гриффинов. Не зашло

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Thu Sep 21 2023
1

Probably the best something like this can be, but not my thing at all. Technically very good, very proficient, great production etc but with this style of music, if it doesn't have a crooner singing, it's just not my thing Between a 1 and a 2 1/5

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Fri Oct 06 2023
1

A bit too "old" for me. Audio quality was low by modern standards. Too brassy.

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Wed Sep 23 2020
5

Exceptional, but then again I'm a jazz fan.

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Thu Jun 10 2021
5

This album has always been a favorite.

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Tue Feb 16 2021
5

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.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Buenísimo. Un álbum imprescindible

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Nice album dig the big orchestra sound.

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Sat Jan 16 2021
5

Didn't know that Count played piano - thought he was a trumpeter

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Wed Feb 03 2021
5

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

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Thu Feb 18 2021
5

Most favorite album to listen to, so far

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Thu Apr 29 2021
5

Great album. Nice and varied tracks. Perfect to chill or to study.

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Thu May 06 2021
5

Very nice album. Even though i dont listen much to jazz this album is light and fun to listen to.

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Sat May 08 2021
5

Very nice sound, good to keep in the back of my mind during my workouts

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Sun May 09 2021
5

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..

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Sat Jun 19 2021
5

This album rules. Titles way ahead of their time

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Mon Jul 26 2021
5

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

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Wed Aug 11 2021
5

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.

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Wed Aug 18 2021
5

This is great, will listen again.

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Tue Sep 07 2021
5

Favoriete nummers: - Duet - Whirly-Bird - Lil' Darlin' IK ZIT IN EEN FILM UIT DE JAREN '60

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Wed Sep 08 2021
5

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.

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Tue Oct 05 2021
5

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.

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Mon Oct 25 2021
5

Classic instrumental jazz, fav songs are Duet, Midnite Blue, & Splanky.

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

Insert < satisfaction> meme.

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

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.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

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+++++

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Fri Nov 12 2021
5

Iconic and classic. Thank you, Count Basie!

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Fri Nov 12 2021
5

Now this is the sort of jazz that I like to hear. Tremendous, a tour de force of syncopation and effortless style. Amazing!

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Sat Nov 13 2021
5

im a fan. reminds me of christmas music

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Wed Nov 17 2021
5

Enjoyable. Kinda what I needed at that moment too, so hurrah for coincidences.

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Thu Nov 18 2021
5

Amazing, full, big band greatness.

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Fri Nov 19 2021
5

Excellent album. Really fun old jazz

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Mon Dec 20 2021
5

Really good. Love a bit of big band

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Tue Jan 25 2022
5

It's really great. Count Basie is a legend

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

Very good one. I float listening to the trumpets!

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Sat Feb 05 2022
5

What happened to that high schooler who vehemently defended his dislike of big band? This music just makes me feel happy now. 9/10

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Tue Feb 15 2022
5

Cool cover Killer jazz Wicked solos 5 stars or gtfo

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Tue Feb 15 2022
5

It's got a great beat and you can dance to it

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Mon Mar 14 2022
5

I really like the swingy mood. It gives such a cool vibe and the whole album has this very cozy, almost a home feeling.

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Wed Mar 23 2022
5

Enjoyed listening to it, and watching the baby move her feet in time to it!

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Thu Mar 24 2022
5

Orquestra de jazz, só sonzao pode crê aham

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Tue Mar 29 2022
5

Love this shit. Might be one of the ugliest covers ever though. 5

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Mon Apr 04 2022
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.

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Sun Apr 10 2022
5

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!

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Sat May 07 2022
5

That's album cover is Punk Rock for sure. This whole album is pretty heavy. Dear metal, you've invented nothing.

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Tue Aug 23 2022
5

Love me some big band. Basie, and this album in particular, is out of sight.

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Tue Sep 13 2022
5

Un viaje genial para encarar el día! Música de otro tiempo pero imperecedera

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Sat Sep 17 2022
5

Not my favorite Count Basie, but always enjoy his music.

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Mon Sep 19 2022
5

Good. Not really my type of music.

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Sun Oct 02 2022
5

Awesome album! Lots of fun, start to finish.

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Mon Oct 03 2022
5

I’m hype for jazz Bass line goes crazy hard Banger 5/5

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

This is about music right? Well this is music. Pretty much everything else can only dream of this energy and talent and musicianship.

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Wed Nov 02 2022
5

really liked it, some good jazz

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Sun Nov 06 2022
5

10/10 shout out to swing jazz easily one of my top five favorite genders

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Thu Nov 24 2022
5

Amazing swing/jazz. Makes me want to sit and listen and dance at the same time. Would be great music to paint to.

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Sat Nov 26 2022
5

If I had to choose only one record to listen to for the rest of my life, this would be it.

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Thu Dec 15 2022
5

Really great big jazz album. Really enjoyed this one, it was a lot of fun. Album art is fun too.

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Tue Jan 03 2023
5

Et av mine absolutte favorittjazzalbumer! Det smeller og spreller!

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Sat Jan 07 2023
5

Always love a good jazz record

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