CULT RECORD:B-52'S:"THE B-52'S"(1979)

Of all '80s rock "movements," new wave was the friendliest to girls and girly-men.Ounce outcasts, suddenly they became queens of the scene. Witness the B-52's, initially two women in sky-high day-glo whigs and three fey/gay boys, including a singer who sounded like an agitated Charles Nelson Reilly (or Mr.Rogers gone berserk, take your pick).When Cindy Wilson screamed "Why don't you dance with me?/I'm not no limburger," on "Dance This Mess Around" freaks didn't just crawl out of the woodwork; they took over school dances.Hailing from Athens, Ga., the B-52's made their first radioactive splash with the indie single "Rock Lobster".A manic mix of beach-party and monster-movie schlock, the song became the epic centerpiece of The B-52's. Fred Schneider barks off the names of imaginary sea creatures--sea robin, bikini whale--then Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson embody them with strange, high-pitched noises inspired by Yma Sumac and Yoko Ono. Ricky Wilson's surf guitar and Pierson's mock-sinister organ join the call-and-response. The bright banana yellow of the debut's cover is apt: equal parts '60s girl group and garage band, B-52's is as colorful and fruity as rock gets. Only a true scrooge could hear its paeans to women's names ("52 Girls"), dance crazes("Dance This Mess Around" invents moves like Shy Tuna), and stars both celestial ("Planet Claire") and human ("Hero Worship") without smiling and shaking a tail feather.While dance artists like Deee-Lite have echoed the B-52's' aesthetic, none have matched their sincere eccentricity, which emphasizes soulful fun over trendy fashion.As pop music's spin cycle continues to pick up speed and new wave itself experiences a revival, more musicians could learn from the group's approach to past iconography, a stylish enthusiasm for the sacredness of kitsch that has little to do with ironic post-modern accessorizing.


I loved the B-52's! "Rock Lobster" was one of my favorites growing up. Thanks for the happy memories (and the smile :o)

Thank you for the comment.A great band!!!I love them

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