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B-52's

The B-52's

1979

B-52's

Album Summary

The B-52's is the debut album by the Athens, Georgia-based new wave band the B-52's. The kitschy lyrics and mood, and the hook-laden harmonies helped establish a fanbase for the band, who went on to release several chart-topping singles. The album cover was designed by Tony Wright (credited as Sue Ab Surd). The B-52's peaked at number 59 on the Billboard 200, and "Rock Lobster" reached number 56 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2003, the television network VH1 named The B-52's the 99th greatest album of all time. Shortly before his death, John Lennon said he enjoyed the album. In his 1995 book, The Alternative Music Almanac, Alan Cross placed the album ninth on the list of 10 Classic Alternative Albums. In 2020, the album was ranked number 198 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.22

Votes

4683

Genres

  • New Wave
  • Post Punk
Reviews
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5

The Rocky Horror Picture Show of music. Step 1. This is so ridiculous. Step 2. Wow this is hysterical. Step 3. Why is my head bobbin? Step 4. There's a Moon in the sky, and it's called the Moon. Step 5. R O C K L O B S T E R

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4

Punk, disco, surf, pop junk and cold war paranoia - no wonder they're talking nonsense. Except they're not. The whacked-out vocal affectation, pseudo-classical flourishes and bonkers lyrics give alienation a voice, sure, but more importantly a beat. That rhythms is all that's keeping these crazy kids' feet on the floor.

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4

This album puts me in mind of a party where you only know one person and you suspect it might be a bad party, but the host actually turns out to be really charismatic, and the other guests are all pretty interesting actually, and the conversation flows easily and you come away thinking what a great night you had, and you basically never talk to anyone you met at that party ever again, but you treasure the memory of that party. An extra half star (rounded up) for Rock Lobster.

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5

Did I really lend this album to Brent Nixon, the DJ at the President Hotel, so I could get it on demand when I was there? Did I get thrown out of somewhere for dancing too dangerously to Rock Lobster? It's all so fuzzy now. Listening to it 40 years later, I'd say the supporting songs sound better and the guitar licks are still great, if a bit unoriginal. I apologize to the brilliant Mike Oldfield for giving them a higher score, but the B52s were more part of the sound track of my personal coming of age flick.

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5

Subdued and explosive all at once. It somehow makes me nostalgic for a time that never was. Nobody can do it quite like the B-52s.

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4

This album was an unexpected joy to listen to. While I feel like everyone has heard or at least brushed up against the biggest track on this album ("Rock Lobster"), it's not truly indicative of the rest of the album or the band as a whole. There's so much more to unpack here. Tracks like "52 Girls" and "Hero Worship" are much better indicators of what this band is capable of. While this album is close enough to 80s new-wave that I should hate it, it somehow manages to avoid almost all the stuff that I hate. The guitar and organ tones are so great. The relentless rhythms are mesmerizing. And the lyrics have the same joyful near-nihilism of my favorite punk bands. I can hear the influence that this band had on later new-wave acts but I think most of them missed what The B-52's were doing here and just decided that stupid lyrics were cool and ran with it. These lyrics are... nonsensical. But they're anything but stupid. In fact, I would say that the kitchy nonsense is, in itself, a significant cultural commentary. Especially with the benefit of hindsight to know that the decade that immediately followed this album's release was one of record excess and rejection of personal and cultural responsibility.

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1

I really hated this. While the beats were pretty interesting and upbeat, the vocals were too much. I knew I didn't like Rock Lobster, but the rest wasn't any better. One of the closest I've been to shutting off mid album so far.

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5

This is one of the best (my favourite) debut albums of all time. Considering this came out at the height of punk and American mucho stadium rock, this is a very revolutionary album. Nothing I have read has ever summed up the vibe of the B52's than this quote from issue 19 of Rick Remender and Wes Craig's comic, Deadly Class: "B52's are a true original, that's pretty rare. A bunch of art school kids from Athens Georgia putting together a mix of Doo-Wop, surf tones, and free flowing oddball psychedelic lyrics. Two knockouts running around in beehive hairdos, this flamboyant gay guy who is just fearless. They're not trying to plug themselves into some stunted adolescent need to feel tough"

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5

Iconic indie rock! A unique take on punk/new wave, mixing up 60’s West coast surf rock with NY garage and art rock of the late 70’s, and then having a party doing it. No other band sounds like B-52s. Not back then, not today some 40 years later.

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5

Somehow, I never got around to listening to the B-52s until know. I expected all the kitsch 1960s surf rock throwback stuff, but the overall sound is way better than I expected! This is a solid new wave record with some discordant punk elements alongside irrepressible rhythms that make me do a chair-dance at my computer. Some strong Devo vibes, but I think I actually prefer the B-52s now! 5*

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5

My maternal grandparents had a beach house in Galveston, Texas, that we used to frequent on the weekends when I was a kid. To say they had interesting taste in décor would be, uhmm, an understatement. As one settled down on the ‘commode’ (as they referred to it), with pants or skirt dropped to the ankles, a glance up above the closed door revealed a camera lens poking out from the wall with the caption, ‘Smile. You’re on candid camera.’ In addition, the light switch plate featured a rotund male golfer with the switch itself serving as the sportsman’s penis. There was stuff like that all over the joint. It was a dream house for a young boy. My personal favorite piece of fine art was the famous Kash Koolidge painting (actually one of a series of 18), ‘Dogs Playing Poker,’ which hung right above the table that doubled for dining and game playing. ‘Kitsch’ is a term applied to art and design that is perceived as naïve, imitation, gratuitous or banal, and Koolidge’s painting is often offered as an example. Wikipedia describes the lyrics and mood of The B-52’s as kitschy, and one might perceive them as gratuitous, I’ll give you that one; but naïve, imitation, banal!? I beg to differ. Hailing from Athens, Georgia, the B-52s are one of the most unique bands to emerge from the so-called new wave/punk classic era, with Fred Schneider’s infectiously bizarre spoken vocals, not to mention Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson’s equally and appealingly weird intonations and harmonies, and Ricky Wilson’s fabulous minimalist guitar playing on the Epiphone Coronet, an axe shared by a diverse group of guitarists like Jimi Hendrix, Del Shannon, Wayne Kramer, and Ace Frehley. Wilson never got the accolades he deserved, proving that less really is sometimes more. On ‘Lava’ and ‘Hero Worship’ he adds uncharacteristic (for him) distortion recognized as a more traditional classic rock guitar sound. Indeed, on ‘Hero Worship’ his riff would fit nicely with any AC/DC song. No foolin’. But on the rest, it’s much cleaner, often favoring throbbing single notes (especially on the lower E and A strings) rather than power chord strumming. But it rocks all the same, every bit as much as Angus Young on all six of his strings. Yep, I said it. Turn the volume on this LP way up and tell me I’m wrong. And while drummer Keith Strickland is no Neil Peart, he does provide the necessary stability to hold this whole gloriously danceable mess together. Too much drumming flare would hurt rather than help the B-52’s. From the moment the listener rockets off into outer space on the opener, ‘Planet Clare,’ the journey is a musical G-force that presses the listener right back into his/her seat. But once freed from planet Earth’s gravitational restrictions we are invited to loosen our seat belts and float, no, dance around the capsule. And the wild array of wacky instruments (toy piano, smoke alarms, and such) only adds to the fun. Please do not be fooled by the seemingly silly and nonsensical lyrics. Both Lewis Carroll and John Lennon taught us, hopefully, that nonsense is not always no sense. ‘Lava’ is obviously chocked full of innuendoes: ‘My love’s erupting like a red hot lava.’ That’s not what I’m referring to. I believe the third track, ‘Dance This Mess Around,’ is the best example to offer. Kate Pierson, with authentically passionate aching in her voice, pleads for her man to stay, to remember when times were better. Then in homage to the Supremes’ 1965 hit ‘Stop! In The Name Of Love,’ she adds a little twist of her own: ‘Walk, talk, in the name of love before you break my heart. Think it over, think it over. Roll it over in your mind. Why don’t you dance with me?’ Later, she and Fred recite a litany of old dance moves like the Shu-ga-Loo and the Camel Walk (not real?), but then the Hippy Shake (which is real), and again, Kate is savvy enough to say it in the original cadence of 1964’s The Swinging Blue Jeans: ‘Hippy Hippy forward Hippy Hippy Hippy Shake. Finally, she and Fred go right into a dialogue: (Kate) ‘Hey now, don’t that make you feel a whole lot better?’ (Fred) ‘Huh?’ (Kate) ‘I say, don’t that make you fell a whole lot better?’ And when Fred asks, ‘What you say?’ he says it in such a way that conveys a clear, but subtle nod to Ray Charles’ hit ‘Hit The Road Jack.’ It took me at least an hour of singing that damn line over and over, google searching and what not, before I finally remembered where I had first heard this. (Incidentally, it finally came to me while I was urinating out my morning coffee. I often receive inspiration both on the toilet and in the shower. Something about the running water. Something else about the power of those duties to empty my mind of thought, thus freeing it to receive inspiration. But that’s a whole other topic.) My point is that the B-52’s might appear to be, or may be perceived, as kitsch, and in some ways they certainly are; but, underlying the look, the sound, the lyrics, they are also quite the opposite of banal, naïve, imitators. No one is saying that about The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour (my favorite LP from my favorite band), and if they are, then its a banal and gratuitous critique. So goo-goo g’joob, you crabalocker fishwife, you corporation tee-shirt, you elementary penguin. Don’t you think the joker laughs at you? Ho ho ho hee hee hee ha ha ha. I dearly wish the B-52’s would have omitted their cove of the Tony Hatch tune popularized by the wonderful Petula Clark in 1964, ‘Downtown.’ (The B-52’s sure have a thing about the mid-60s.) It’s a mess, and not worthy of 'B-52’s.' Eliminate it, and this is a perfect LP. But seeing as how it’s only three minutes long and obviously not meant to be taken seriously- the punk rock practice of often lovingly lampooning 60s songs, as in D.C.’s Minor Threat’s version of ‘I’m Not Your Stepping Stone’ performed both by Paul Revere & The Raiders and the Monkees, i.e.- then I’m willing to let it slide and round up from a 4.9 to the big 5. As Fred Schneider yowls about 10-15 seconds or so after the five minute mark on ‘Rock Lobster,’ directly following the girls doing their best joyful dolphin background vocals, ‘Let’s Raaaaccckk!’ Yes, let’s.

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3

La chanson d'introduction Planet Claire ne rappelle pas le thème de James Bond mais bien celui de Mission Impossible, seulement le jour où mon compagnon d'écoute elmalaise s'apercevra des bêtises qu'il raconte, les poules auront des molaires et de très longues canines. La ligne mélodique de ce premier morceau m'a d'ailleurs été enseignée lors de l'un de mes premiers cours de basse, bien que je n'eusse jamais entendu la chanson en question. Vous avez d'ailleurs été nombreux ces derniers temps à me demander comment ma carrière de bassiste s'était terminée, je vais profiter de cette critique pour enfin vous répondre. Au crépuscule de mes quatorze ans, la perspective de me retirer de l'industrie musicale trottait dans ma tête depuis un bon moment. Certaines personnes de mon entourage était informées du fait qu'une annonce de fin de carrière pouvait intervenir à tout instant. Je reçus pourtant un matin l'appel de la directrice de mon école de musique qui me tint à peu près ce discours : "Robaéroportuaire, je viens d'avoir Robert Dimery au téléphone, il lui manque une huit-centaine d'albums pour compléter son livre des 1001, et il a pensé à toi pour y figurer après t'avoir entendu chanter sur le morceau All Of My Friends Were Here des Kinks. J'ai donc décidé d'organiser un concert dont tu seras l'attraction principale. Il aura lieu dans deux semaines, ne te rate pas." Un concert fut bel et bien organisé au théâtre La Pergola de Bordeaux dans les semaines qui suivirent. Seulement voilà, pendant la semaine qui précédait ce fameux concert, je fus atteint d'une gastro-entérite comprenant les symptômes suivants : maux de tête, vomissements, diarrhées. La tenue de l'événement était donc incertaine jusqu'à la veille de celui-ci. Sentant que j'allais mieux le jour-j, je décidai de ne pas l'annuler. Lorsque j'arrivai dans la salle, les organisateurs demandèrent à mes musiciens et moi-même de les suivre pour nous montrer l'emplacement de notre loge. Nous y accédâmes par la scène. Au moment de la découvrir, je compris soudain qu'un énorme problème allait se poser : aucune issue n'était prévue pour se rendre au toilettes. Seule la porte donnant sur la scène permettait d'y accéder. Il allait donc falloir que je tienne toute la durée de la première partie assurée par Finley Quaye sans aller aux W.C. alors que la fréquence à laquelle je m'y rendais par heure depuis le début de ma maladie était en moyenne de sept fois. La salle se remplit et Finley, après avoir branché ses casseroles et différents grille-pain, commença sa partie sous les huées d'une audience qui n'attendait que moi. Mon ventre grondait, gargouillait, glougloutait à n'en plus finir. "Robert est dans la salle..." me répétais-je pour me rassurer. Au bout d'une heure, Finley s'effondra en larmes avant de m'introduire au micro et de quitter la salle. J'ouvris la porte de la loge et marchai vers le devant de la scène. J'aperçus très vite Robert Dimery au premier rang, accompagné de son fils Mike Ladd alors âgé d'une douzaine d'années. Ma basse bientôt sanglée et positionnée de manière idéale, je débutai ma performance. Les premiers morceaux se déroulèrent à merveille. Je jouais mes lignes avec précision et concentration. Arriva bientôt le dernier morceau du concert, Smells Like Teen Spirit de Nirvana, au cours duquel il était prévu que je m'avance au bord de la scène et termine un héroïque solo sur les genoux. Je m'avançai donc jusqu'au bord, et au moment de m'agenouiller, gerbai soudain plusieurs litres de liquide accumulé en loge sur les jambes de Mike Ladd. Bien que Robert ne m'en parlât jamais, il me semble que cet épisode ait eu raison de mon absence de la liste et donc du Générateur.

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5

loved it, loved it.. old lady's kind of music

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5

Loved it. This is one of my favorite albums and bands. It is something I came of age with.

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5

underrated geniuses

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5

Easiest 5 star rating I'll ever give. No brainer. This otherworldly offering from the B-52's is one of the greatest debut albums ever recorded. They are so fucking cool and I love every track! This is an all-time favourite album of mine that I have loved for years. Dance This Mess Around, Lava, Rock Lobster, and 6060-842 are standout tracks, but I really do love every single note of this album.

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5

A manifesto of weird. This album is awesome. It is a combination of punk, surf, emerging new wave, and a lot of guts. This album could easily fall off the edge of the cliff into the inane, but it just stays in that sweet spot of weird and genius. The arrangement is perfect with driving bass and drums and guitar and synth lines that are instantly memorable and clear. The vocal delivery is occasionally silly, occasionally earnest, and occasionally feels like a street preacher trying to save your soul.

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5

You can tell from the dayglow cover that this is a bit of a daft album and I love it for that reason. There's so much humour, energy and excitement and it sounds so fresh. The music is groovy, the sounds are zany and the singing is carefree. Unlike a lot of punk and new wave it sounds childish (in a good way), sunny but also a bit spooky all at the same time (love the organ sounds). Fab stuff.

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5

what's not to love about this album?

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5

Brilliantly eccentric and creative. All the energy of punk with added zaniness.

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4

What a treat. What a fun album. Excellent beach rock + punk sounds, makes you wanna get up and dance.

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4

We start at 3 based just on Rock Lobster.  The females' screeching  near the end of Rock L is a shout out to Yoko Ono. If you didn't know Yoko got shout outs, now you know. I didn't remember there was a cover version of Downtown on the LP. This was just a year after Syd Vicious took My Way for a ride up the charts. 

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3

Maybe its me, maybe its the music but I seem to be in a bit of a 3-star rut. This was fun but I wouldn't be hankering for more...

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2

The schtick wears thin pretty quick. Like the female vocals but that's about it. Don't want to listen to it again.

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2

I have a really hard time taking this band seriously. They are just so corny. I think it’s the guy’s voice, because I react to a song like 52 Girls much differently than Rock Lobster. He just strikes me as desperately uncool.

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5

More edgy punk than I had expected. Kinda like art punk. What a vibe.

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5

YOU ALREADY KNOW

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5

I only heard this album for the first time a couple of years ago, but when I heard it I instantly loved it. I totally dig the energy and musicality of this group. Always a rewarding listen

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5

Roam around the world

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5

A classic in every respect

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5

I love them. They are so funky and cool and party like. Crazy, weird, loud and fun.

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5

Love this! Was a staple listen in the early 80s

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5

Some days everyone needs a bit of Rock Lobster in their lives. For me, yesterday was one of those days. Great upbeat tunes, I was bopping along all day!

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5

10/10 this album is packed with so much personality and attitude, I love it I barely understood anything they were saying but it doesn’t matter all I need is some of this awesome boogie-woogie, talking-heads-meets-tarantino-score type music

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5

Fantastic! One of those albums I’ve wanted to listen to for years but never got round to. Loved it! Fun, quirky and uniquely. A classic

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5

rock lobster so groovy - so groovy

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5

Classic kitsch party music from the early 80's, great memories

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5

She came from Planet Claire I knew she came from there She drove a Plymouth Satellite A-faster than the speed of light

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5

One of my favorite albums of all time. Nothing had ever been recorded that sounded like this musically, lyrically, vocally. Pure genius.

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5

I got this album as a gift back in the early 80s. I knew Rock Lobster, the rest was new (to me) at the time. I immediately loved it. It really brings back memories. The LP I had skipped during Dance this Mess Around and it would loop on one track over and over again. I actually recorded the skipping version to a cassette… eventually, the album self-corrected and the skip went away. Every time I hear that song, it makes me think of the loop, and I heard it in my head…. The album is great, start to finish. I think Wild Planet (their next album) is just as good, if not better. Glad to see this one (at least) on the list. 5/5.

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5

FIVE STARS An all-time classic and a personal favorite of mine. As is usually the case with those five-stars albums, I won't write a full-blown review about this particular record, because others have already written wonderful stuff about it and there's not much I can add that I feel could be relevant and interesting. It's just a gem. Go and listen to it a.s.a.p. Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 942 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 27 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 16 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important to me): 16

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5

This album is a personal favorite of mine and one of the strangest, funniest and overall best debut albums of a rock band. Part surf rock parody, part punk rock, part acid trip at a 50’s drive-thru movie theater, the album is filled with spiky guitar riffs and absurdist humor. Fred Schneider’s vocals get most of the attention in The B-52’s and understandably so; he sounds as if the Mad Hatter were a radio announcer. But Cindy Wilson deserves equal billing here. She’s an absolute maniac on the microphone, screaming and wailing one minute, and slurring her way through a bizarre baby voice the next. She’s a powerhouse on the hypnotic “Dance This Mess Around.” Side A is untouchable for me - the sequence of “Planet Claire,” “52 Girls,” “Dance This Mess Around” and “Rock Lobster” is incredible (the latter two are both top 100 songs for me). The second half of the album is a blast too though, with loads of goofy humor, sexual innuendo and a charming cover of “Downtown” to cap things off. How fun to hear a band experiment and fool around the way The B-52’s do here. It’s a brazen, joyful album that sounds like nothing else. I’ve listened to it dozens of times and it never gets any less strange or thrilling.

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5

I love the B-52's so much. Just out there in small town Georgia, all alone, inventing New Wave.

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5

I have owned this album on cassette, vinyl, CD and mp3. For years I had the cover of this album hanging on my office wall. This is one of my favorite, favorite, favorite albums. There is an exuberance and joy to these songs that has held a really special place in my heart for 40 years now. There's a reason the B's are so beloved by such a diverse group of fans. On a basic level, they make catchy party songs that are easy to sing and dance to. Musically, they have always done what they wanted, whether it's on trend or not, and people love them for that. There's something about the B's that resonates then with misfits, nerds and outsiders. The B-52's are having a big party in their big tent, and everyone is invited. As for the album itself, come on. The band came out swinging (okay, frugging, probably) with their very first album. I love all their stuff, but this album really is the best thing the B-52's ever did. Musically it's purposefully bare bones, but the songs are crisp, energetic, quirky, F-U-N. No filler at all, just 9 perfect songs perfectly arranged in 39 minutes. The B's took all the cool things about surf, garage rock and girl groups, artfully rearranging them for the post punk era, and somehow it works! The lyrics are cleverer than people give the band credit for, kitschy and silly for sure, but also with warmth and sly humor. Held up against the musical excesses of stadium rock, the anger of punk and the coldness of new wave, the B-52's are a breath of fresh air. It's such an unusual, singular sound, but there’s nothing not to love about it. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): Rock Lobster, Lava, 52 Girls, Planet Claire, Dance This Mess Around, Hero Worship, Downtown, There's a Moon in the Sky (Called the Moon), 6060-842

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5

Love The B-52s!

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5

Listening to this album feels like I am consuming all of what became "alternative rock" in the decades that follow its release. I hope that if I was a teenager in 1979 I would have been cool enough to like The B-52's. The kitsch dial is turned up near maximum on this recording but the songs and performances are just too fun to ignore. If the vocal harmonies don't make your spine tingle, do you even like music?

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5

I haven’t listened to this in a very long time. I smiled as soon as it came up. It sounds a great now as it ever did. Just perfect!

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5

It takes talent to be this quirky, silly, and fun and not tip over into the annoying. But these are just the cool cats to do it. I love this album from start to finish. I need more of this feeling in my life.

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5

This album runs through my rotation every now and again. It is fun!

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5

I do have a deep love and appreciation for this album. In the early 80s, as a young teenager, it was the first time I'd connected with music outside of the mainstream that appealed to me individually and authentically. It featured volcanoes, planets, sea creatures, bouffant hairdos, and "Downtown." It didn't take itself seriously. It sounded wonderful and fun. I particularly remember riding around in a car with a friend, listening to it, feeling exhilaration and connectedness to something that finally felt like it was meant for me. "Rock Lobster" was my favorite song at high school dances because it was the only time everyone went crazy to the music and did their own thing completely joyously and unselfconsciously. There would be a lot of wonderful music to come from the B-52s, but this one is particularly important to me.

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5

I enjoyed this album a lot. I expected I would as I already knew love shack and rock lobster

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5

Wowza!

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5

Top notch, A++

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5

yes!

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5

I played the HELL out of side-A on this cassette on my Walkman as a kid. I still love this album so much. It honestly makes me wish I could renormalize the rest of my album scores because this 5/5 is so much more significant than some of my others. To this day I pretty much compare anything coined as "psychedelic" to Planet Claire; such a cool, weird and creepy track. The way Kate and Cindy sing together on 52 girls, oscillating between unison, harmony, and dissonance is one of my favorite things ever. The catty call-and-response on Dance This Mess Around. Rock Lobster is loved by everyone and for good reason; song is a fucking banger, and Fred Schneider's beach party is clearly an interspecies rager. B-side of the album loses a little steam. Lava is pretty good and laid back; I love that they included the line "Krakatoa, East of Java" after the '68 disaster movie which misses the tiny fact that Krakatoa is west of Java. The vocals on Hero Worship are great; very unironically loose-in-a-tight-way. Closing track Downtown seems like a great drunken karaoke version captured. 10/5

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5

One of the greatest debut albums of all time. Beneath the emphatic quirkiness of this band’s aesthetic, reappropriating the most eccentric elements of 50s and 60s fashion, there is a sound which is totally unique to the B-52s. Ricky Wilson’s guitar hooks lie at the heart of what made their initial run of albums so great, but every member of this band brings something vital to these songs. The chances of these 5 wacky individuals finding each other belongs to the realms of fate - if you remove any one of them, you lose something essential to the band’s sound. “Lava” and “6060842” are my personal highlights, but I can’t fault this album in any way. It’s the perfect realisation of a sound and aesthetic which would influence the next decade of alternative culture so profoundly. “Rock Lobster” has slightly consigned this band to the realm of novelty, but while they don’t take themselves seriously, their music certainly should be. This is the fourth perfect score I’ve given out in a row, but it’s also the most deserving of any of the 33 albums I’ve reviewed so far. The B-52s truly were the greatest little dance band around.

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5

I'm totally going to sound all hipster-y when I say that THIS album was my introduction to the B-52's. Several years before Cosmic Thing I was annoying my friends with this album. I got this album from an aunt of mine who was cleaning out her closets and I asked if I could have that album as she was going to toss it, and I always liked the look of that cover. So I got it home and listened to it and seriously it was life changing in that I'd never heard anything like it before. And I loved it. It was so weird. So many great tracks on here that I tend to revisit often.

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5

This is a 4.5 and I was tempted to just give this a 4, but I found myself choosing to play this again more than once before getting round to rating it - so it's a 5.

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4

3.75/5. I liked this. It’s was weird, different, and good. I would not mind revisiting this.

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4

This was a pretty good album, the production was great als ahead of its time 8,5/10

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4

I enjoyed this. A little weird, but that's par for B-52s.

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4

Another example of why this 1001 album process is great: listening to artists I wrote off completely. I just knew B-52s as Rock Lobster and Love Shack, which I didn't think are bad... but I feel like I've heard pop culture parodies more than the actual band. There is a proto-punk/surf aspect in here that is pretty neat. They definitely ride the humor line well, I see RCe parallels here. In fact, RCE probably wouldn't exist if not for bands like B-52s making humor in music a thing. Reminds me a bit of Devo as well. Fav track: Dance this Mess Around. 3.5 to 4.

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4

catchy hooks, surprise funk, driving beat, and ridiculous FUN lyrics. Refreshing.

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4

A true unicorn of a music group. Great record, so much fun, so weird and funky.

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4

I like how goofy this band is, and I like their surf rock sound. My dad used to play them for us kids sometimes. LOVE "Rock Lobster." I don't think they needed to include the cover of "Downtown", that track weakened a pretty good album.

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4

Athens GA represent! Love the girls voices and the sounds of the guitar is great. How did Fred get that job?

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4

Fine

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4

This album starts out brilliantly with a hommage to the Peter Gunn theme with Planet Claire, legs are a' moving and head is a' bopping. Funky, punky, kitchy and so much fun. To this day Rock Lobster still gets everyone on the dancefloor.

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4

Está bien. Pero sin más.

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4

Music that's fun, I enjoyed.

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4

Good fun

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4

Kuulosti vähän surffirokilta. Levyn kansikuvan ja artistikuvan perusteella odotin jotain ABBA-kopiota, joten yllätys oli iloinen. Tykkäsin kyllä levystä, mutta lopun Downtown-cover meinasi olla vähän liikaa, miksihän sellainen oli pitänyt tunkea mukaan? Arvosana levylle olisi suunnilleen 3.5. Pyöristettäköön kivasti ylöspäin.

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4

Aangename easy listening, Rock Lobster is geweldig! 4/5

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4

This a very fun and interesting album. It's like the perfect mix of kitsch, British pop, funk and 60's sci-fi. The songs are upbeat with a particular sound that I really enjoyed.

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4

Gute Laune Musik. Gut für "im Hintergrund laufen lassen".

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4

Not a bad album. Good background music with catchy beats.

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4

free spirited and adventurous.

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4

The B-52's have always had a special brand of wacky mixed with surf rock, and I've always appreciated it.

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4

I like to think that B-52 was the one who made New Wave weird. It is more evident than anywhere else the transition from punk to New Wave in the era, and on top of that they incorporate surf rock giving it a distinctive feel you know must be B-52. With loud, danceable, and most incredibly strange lyrics with themes in scifi, LGBT, and much more not frequently touched upon, it becomes an enjoyable listen so much that I played it 3 or 4 times yesterday!

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4

Fun fun music

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4

Vernieuwende band met veel invloed op jaren 90 muziek en verder. Vrolijke deuntjes waar je je wel even voor open moet stellen, maar vooral live zo ongelooflijk leuk om mee te maken. Dikke vier ster

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4

Fancy, cool, geht in den Nacken

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4

Disco meets DIY Punk, new wave and 50’s surf rock. ‘The B-52’s’ is great for most of it’s run time, but runs out of steam towards the end, their cover of Petula Clark’s ‘Downtown’ tacked on to pad out the length of the album. Despite that, ’The B-52’s’ is still a unique, distinctive and undeniably fun record. If nothing else, you’re never left in any doubt as to who you’re listening to when their songs come on the wireless, and that’s never a bad thing.

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4

It's the B-52's, but without arguably their top two songs. Solid album, nothing to turn your nose up at, just not a 5.

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4

The B-52's do an excellent job of laying down an old-school surf rock riff and riding that all throughout the song. It's an element that sounds conventional, until you hear it for yourself and realize that the B-52's are anything but conventional. They get spooky synths, nonsense lyrics, and lean 100% into making fun upbeat bops. It's a shame that pretty well every song on here is eclipsed by the incredible Rock Lobster, which fully explores every facet of the riffs they use with excellence. No complaints there. Another great one near the back-half is 6060-842, which just rocks. All the songs rock! The B-52's rock.

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4

Fun throwback but not my favorite stuff

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4

Los B-52's son una banda muy curiosa porque son casi casi un género en sí mismos y tal vez sin darse cuenta inventaron el sonido esteretípico de fiesta de Halloween. Aunque todas las rolas suenan bastante bastante parecidas entre ellas, la música no es nada mala y no me molesta nada cuando aparecen aleatoriamente en mi música.

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4

Es muy sencillo, a quien no le gustan los B 52s no tiene alma. No hay mucho que pensar, no son un parteaguas en nada particular, no tienen mucha sustancia pero son música absurda tremendamente divertida y bien hecha que si bien no cambió mucho durante su carrera tampoco bajo su calidad. Podrían poner aquí este disco con Rock Lobster o poner Loveshack que es de años adelante y no se siente la diferencia. No hay mucho que decir pero tampoco mucho de qué quejarse, quizá unicamente que el disco pueda llegar a sentirse un poco repetitivo hacia el final y pudiera sentirse también un poco largo. Esa queja es de personas matarrisas, el disco es pop del mejor y más alegre que pudiera encontrar.

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4

4.3 - Unabashedly kitschy, drawing on a Jon Waters-esque trash-pop aesthetic complete with beehive hairdos, hawaiian shirts and all manner of cultural detritus from late-50s/early-60s. I remember loving this retro look and sound as a kid when I first became aware of it through Pee Wee's Playhouse. Unadulterated cheeky fun with slapping rhythms to keep the hot buns bouncing.

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4

Saved Prior: Rock Lobster Off Rip: Planet Claire, 52 Girls, 6060-842, Downtown Cutting Edge: None Overall Notes: The word "kitsch" is used all over this band's wiki, and it's the perfect description of their music. Underrated hook writers, they're spiritual predecessors of the hyper-pop of today imo. Love Rock Lobster, a truly insane song that somehow works.

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4

Listened 2/10/21

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4

Fan Ade

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4

Great poppy dance number

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4

Very 70's and very groovy. Really liked it.

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4

Surprised me. In a good way

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4

Fun campy music

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4

Love the B52s sound. So different for the time...especially coming out of Athens Georgia. Just fun songs all around. 4/5

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4

This was surprisingly good. The album can't really escape the decade it was made in, so it sounds a little bit dated, but even then this is way more original than many albums coming out today. The songs are fun, kind of psychodelic at times and in general really good. Saving it to my list to listen more another day.

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4

Hey, I've heard this band before. Took 4 days to get to a band I know! First time listening to a whole album straight through, though. Toe-tapping fun! I think I like late 70s/early 80s New Wave. I don't know if I knew that Rock Lobster was that long of a song.

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4

Certainly unique and original. Weird surf guitar mixed with haunted organ and lots of shouting. I didn’t know they were doing this a full 10 years before Love Shack. It did get a bit ‘one trick’ to keep my interest for a full album though.

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4

I've never heard this whole album. It's fun

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4

261020 10:57 3.5

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4

Athens' new wave spawned the quirky dance-music with Sixties overtones of the B52's, basically a synthesis of the three leading phenomena of the time (new wave, disco-music and Sixties revival). (7/10) FT: Rock Lobster

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4

7/10

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4

Totally distinctive sound, fun record.

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4

My introduction to the B-52's was their album "Cosmic Thing" which came 10 years after this album. I have listened to this album at least once before to hear the rest of the album that includes "Rock Lobster". The B-52's have a consistent sound throughout the album. If you like the band you'll probably like the album. "Rock Lobster" (with all of its oddities) and "Planet Claire" are the tracks I'm most likely to revisit. I do like the band, and I like many of their songs. I may not come back to the album very soon, but I wouldn't be surprised if I do.

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4

cool punk esque alternative album with a uninque catchy sound

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4

It's just good fun isn't it? Grey po-faced post-punk painted in technicolour and covered in glitter.

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4

I've been secretly banging everyone in the B-52's behind their backs. I plan on revealing this information at the Christmas party and watching the fireworks go off. They all love me, the freaks.

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4

Reverbed wig-outs are rad.

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4

Sounds like the soundtrack for my memories of college parties. A fun album from one of the many bands that came out of Athens, Georgia in the early 80's.

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4

kooky, packed with hooks and joy

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4

this was a lot of fun

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4

Was pretty disillusioned with 70’s music and then along came the B-52’s,and my music world heading into the 80’s changed…cool album and they only got better…fun,fun,fun

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4

It seems there is more to the B-52's than 'Loveshack', a questionable apostrophe, talk-singing, and the Flintstones. This is a high-energy, hook-laden, post-punk/new wave album which picks you up and demands attention and movement. Like the cover art, the album has a quirky cartoony vibe, but avoids slipping into novelty territory by virtue of its ferocity. Imagine this would have sounded ground-breaking in 1979 and remains fresh, fun and catchy today. 4/5.

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4

Solid new wave album

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4

Toes the line between delightful and annoying expertly. I wish a few of the other songs had the same chaos as Rock Lobster. Still, it's an album I'd listen to again. 8/10

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4

8/10. Just a really fun album. Gets a bit long, but stays exuberant

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4

7/10

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4

Love it!

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4

it was good!

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4

Pretty good. Love rock lobster

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4

It’s hard to recall how offbeat and strange this album sounded back in 79. From the gradual build and killer guitar of Planet Claire to the body shaking Dance This Mess Around and the goofy Rock Lobster. It opened up a new day glo world to my 17 year old brain. Good stuff.

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4

This is a pretty good album, I recognized the voices when the first song started but I could come up where they came from. It was great actually listen to songs they have made that did not go as big as Love Shack and Rock lobster.

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4

Decent album - knew a few of them from before - will play again.

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4

A Whole Day On The Bus From Thala To Béni Khiar. Still Sick, Only Heard Planet Claire

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4

Growing up I never really liked Love Shack or Rock Lobster, which was all I knew of the B-52's. The entire album is exciting and unique, ahead of its time maybe. Took me on a trip, that's for sure!

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4

In a previous review of the band The Jams, I cited how polymath Carrie Brownstein (unf) mentioned the band being the gateway to her punk and alternative journey. So imagine my excitement when I get the chance to review yet another Carrie Brownstein gem. The B-52s played dance-y keyboard tinged rock known as New Wave, which was a related to, if not a sub-set, of Post Punk. In keeping with its punk roots, post punk was iconoclastic and defiant of boundaries, but in doing so, it favored keyboards and angular, single notes on guitar (as opposed to the power chorded rage of hardcore contemporaries like Black Flag). The B-52s self-titled album was a fun ride clocking in at just under 40 minutes. From the hypnotic synths and guitars of Planet Claire to the ridiculous but oddly-catchy Rock Lobster, to the punky guitar crunch of the irreverent Lava, the album was emotive and experimental without taking itself too seriously. The band sees both male and female vocals, both being utilized in whole songs , or as a call-and-response. As such, the influence on Sleater-Kinney is thus clear and apparent, as is their rightful place in the unsung line-up of post-punk greats.

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4

Very solid debut from one of the strangest bands I can think of (in a good way). I was definitely aware of the B-52's through Love Shack and Rock Lobster (the latter being on this album) as well as through Kate Pierson's vocal appearance in R.E.M.'s 'Shiny Happy People'. Although I have enjoyed what I have heard from them in the past, I wouldn't have necessarily thought that an album of theirs could be worthy of being on a list like this; however, I think S/T earned a spot for sure due to how fun and unique it was. I would say this album was ahead of its time by a few years at least and that it fully embraced its weirdness in a way that there is a certain charm to it that is nearly impossible to duplicate. There is just so much personality here shown through their dorky beach rock vibes and very unique vocalists ('Hero Worship' had some insane vocals from Kate in a way that was almost Yoko Ono-esque). Overall, it was clear that this was their statement to the world and that nothing was going to stop them from being themselves which I can really respect. I wouldn't say it is the most finely-crafted or well-written album ever, but it is a fun listen that I would recommend to others. 3.5/5.

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4

It’s easy to forget how out there this record seemed in the very late ‘70s. Holds up better than most kitsch of that era. Though the latter work significantly degraded their legacy (approaching at the nadir novelty act status), this is tight and hooky and edgy, interesting and original. Somehow arty and vaguely punk at the same time. 3.5 stars but gets 4 because of the originality.

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4

Pretty fun funky oddball tunes.

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4

Classic.

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4

Fun album. ROCK LOBSTER!!! The cover of Downtown wasn't great.

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4

Not commercially as successful as Cosmic Thing, but definitely more impactful. Can't believe this came out in 1979. Still very worth a listen.

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4

Killer. Great debut.

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4

Andy is psychic, y'all. Could you please mention something about Black Sabbath in your next review? Thx. Anywho, this came out in 1979??? I had no idea. They are an '80s/'90s band in my heart and there they shall remain. I enjoyed listening to this and I really do love the vocals across the board. That is the sound of this band, as far as I'm concerned. They could sing Will Smith's Oscar speech and it would fill me with joy. Nobody else sounds like this band because of those three vocalists. But man... did "Rock Lobster" have to be damn near 7 minutes long? They play that song on the kids' station on SiriusXM from time to time and I'm always in disbelief, because I can't keep it in my attention for 7 minutes so what's a kid supposed to do with it? (Know what else is also unapologetically long and feels even longer? That fucking "Space Jam" song. Oh my God in Heaven.) That aside, an enjoyable listen. I don't think I'll ever call myself a full-blown 52 Head, but I'd always welcome putting it on.

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4

Lot's a great fun and energy. What's not to like.

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4

Mi fanno venire in mente i Magma, deliranti così.

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4

Está bien. Pero sin más.

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4

New wave, post-punk. Está bien. Un 4.

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4

Kitschy, cool, unique, and fun. What's not to like? Great debut album. 4 stars.

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4

Rock Lobster! I actually really like the dynamic the group has, even with the very different sounding voices. A fun album. 7/10

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4

Classic! 4.5 / 5

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4

first listen there's something otherworldly about this band, like aliens on acid imitating human music

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4

Takes me back

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4

Was great to listen to this one again, though I can see why people could find it annoying or weird. On my first listen several years ago stuck in a car trip in between parents, the guitarist was the sole appealing factor in a sea of bat-shit insanity. And it was such good playing too. But as time went on the music didn't go away from my head. And with every listen there would be something else to appreciate each time. The keyboards and synth bass, the chaotic vocals, the steady but loud drumming, and most importantly the songs. B-52's is something I couldn't listen to in every circumstance as there are certain times when learning about the Moon in the Sky and the girls of the USA can be incredibly annoying. But when the mood and/or the atmosphere is right, it's a joy. Rock Lobster has always been my pick of the bunch, a fantastic riff and breakdown, steady rhythm, filled with beautiful harmonies, story telling lead vocals, and insane animal noises. Dance This Mess Around and Planet Claire are the other highlights and the rest range from good to great.

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4

Tons of fun, of course, but more musically interesting than I knew and just long enough not to grate.

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4

Great debut

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4

Otros locales de Athens GA

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4

ROCK LOBSTER/10. Or 4/5, whatever.

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4

I enjoyed how weird this was

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4

I liked this more than I thought I would. Musically quite good.

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4

A little bit of punk, a little pop and all somehow alien to the music scene of the late ‘70s. Headlined by a good single and featuring good tracks throughout.

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4

A sound mashed up from fifties rock and roll, easy listening and punk. I think that Wild Planet is a better album but it's a great debut.

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4

Solid debut album, I enjoyed it.

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4

Fun as hell.

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4

Hearing surprising Michael Jackson sounds in the first track bass line

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4

Schneider, Pierson, and that Farfisa organ are hypnotic.

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4

This was a great funky pop/rock/new-wave album that I think really stands the test of time. A fantastic debut that feels well and truly like we have entered the 80s with this album, full of hook-laden beats and kitschy vocals. Definitely one to add to the playlist. Best: Rock Lobster Worst: Downtown

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4

B52s are an interesting band, the guy's voice is so distinctive and aside from that seems like a kind of spacey go-go music. I waffled between a 3 and a 4 listening to it, there are definitely some low points but damn if a lot of it isn't super catchy. It's kooky, camp, kitchsy, just so out there and unique that it definitely deserves a spot in this list.

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4

Well this is fun! Bet nothing sounded like this in 1979.

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4

Yeah, this is pretty good! Fast, fresh, eclectic. And "Rock Lobster" may be the most copied riff of the past 50 or so years. B

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4

Good album I've never heard before. Some songs did drag on though. Still fun. 3.5/5

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4

Great music for a montage of me hiding from a team of detectives with a dollar sign-marked burlap sack on my back. I love stupid goblin music and this album doesn't even slightly try to hide that it's stupid goblin music. Very strong 4/5! Please put this back on Spotify so I can add "Rock Lobster" to my shower playlist and feel like the baddest motherfucker around.

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4

Fun music, very different. Not sure if it's an every day listen, but enjoyable.

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4

Good music

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4

Iraq Lobster

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4

gloriously weird. incredibly fun. a little less than a 5, but a solid 4

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4

This is like if my buddy Roman was a record

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4

Goofy, party music. I'm sure I've heard most of this record on the radio or at parties. I didn't really love it as an album, but the songs are all fun.

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4

Classic. Rock Lobster is one of those crazy infectious songs you can't help to dance to. From my 20s to now, I have countless memories of dancing to it with friends. I love the sound of Planet Claire, and the whole album is quintessential B-52s.

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4

I haven't explored their discography in a systematic way, but I love the B-52's so damn much. This isn't their strongest album, but "Planet Claire" and "Rock Lobster" alone are worth four stars. I assume we'll be seeing more of their albums in the future, and I look forward to it.

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4

I enjoyed it, very weird songs

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4

A very Austin Powers-like feel. I like it a lot.

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4

Spunky, with B-Movie flair. Feels distinct not just for it's place in the past, but still in the present. Solid overall.

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4

Had a blast listening to this. The vocals are so fun and silly. I love all the interplay and harmonies. Favorite part is when she makes the narwhal sounds in rock lobster. Pure joy.

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4

A little repetitive, but some absolute bangers. Overall really good

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4

Weird but surprisingly good

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4

New wave excellence

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3

Good, but not really my thing.

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3

Good but sadly some songs were missing

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3

Definitely a fun, unique group. Some very memorable songs but didn't hold my attention all the way through.

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3

ROCK LOBSTAH

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3

Yeah, I haven't taken enough drugs to get it. Rock Lobster is funny, though.

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3

3

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3

Love shack baby.

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3

Delightfully weird.

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3

Average pop

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3

Yup. It’s the B52s

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3

I can really hear the beginning of the 80s in this one. It’s…strange. I don’t hate it, but I find it mildly annoying, mostly when the guy is sort of yelling.

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3

3

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3

Semibängeri Surf rock

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3

I couldn't always get into their kitschy retro aesthetic, and there's a reason that "Rock Lobster" is the song they're best known for: it's the best song on the album by a mile. It's certainly not a bad album, but it's not for me.

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3

Good but kinda dumb at various moments

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3

Demasiado de su época. No soporta el paso del tiempo, pero no está mal del todo

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3

Some fun tunes, definitely heard rock lobster before

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3

Side one or the first half are classics that have lived on. Side two I haven't heard before and their style wears a bit thin on it. Hard to put a label on this but post-punk/new wave dance for the era could work.

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3

"Planet Claire has pink air All the trees are red No one ever dies there No one has a head" (Planet Claire) "We were at the beach Everybody had matching towels Somebody went under a dock And there they saw a rock It wasn't a rock It was a rock lobster Rock lobster! Rock lobster!" (Rock lobster) "There's a moon in the sky It's called the moon" (There's a moon in the sky (called the moon)) Aprecio mucho el altísimo componente mamarracho de las letras de este disco.

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3

fun album

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3

Different, a solid ***

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