"The Obedient Atom" - The Feelies, 1985
"Though man may reach for the moon and the planets, he has found the richest of all new worlds behind the familiar face of his everyday environment. Here, deep in the mysterious cosmos of inner space, lies that world within a world, the powerful, obedient atom." - "You And The Obedient Atom,” National Geographic, 1958
Thanks yet again to Janice, the Feelies’ tireless archivist, for unearthing another great set of videos of the band circa 1985. “The Obedient Atom” is particularly nice to see, as it’s a rare “lost” tune, which never made it onto any official release, despite being a mainstay of Willies/Feelies sets from 1980 to about 1986. You can hear various versions of it on the Willies comp, including a hazy demo. Is there a proper studio recording? According to Feelies percussionist Dave Weckerman, there is!
DAVE WECKERMAN: We spent three days recording “The Obedient Atom” in Carla Bley’s studio. It was an instrumental with some chanting at the end. When Stiff heard that, their hair started falling out. “Is this what the next album is going to sound like?” [via Perfect Sound Forever]
Stiff’s loss! “The Obedient Atom” is an unstoppable, powerful thing indeed — I’d be curious to know why the Feelies dropped it in the mid 1980s.