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

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

3.21

Votes

5809

Genres

  • New Wave
  • Post Punk
Reviews
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Wed May 05 2021
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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Fri Apr 02 2021
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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Fri Apr 02 2021
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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Wed May 05 2021
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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Mon Oct 25 2021
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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Thu Mar 18 2021
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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Tue Nov 23 2021
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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Fri Dec 24 2021
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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Fri Feb 11 2022
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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Sat Mar 26 2022
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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Mon Oct 12 2020
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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Thu Jan 27 2022
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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Mon Feb 21 2022
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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Wed Oct 20 2021
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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Sat Jun 26 2021
5

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

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Fri Sep 24 2021
5

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

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Thu Sep 30 2021
5

underrated geniuses

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Fri Oct 08 2021
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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Wed Dec 08 2021
5

what's not to love about this album?

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Sat Jan 29 2022
5

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

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Thu Apr 07 2022
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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Sun May 08 2022
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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Mon Jun 27 2022
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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Sat Jul 09 2022
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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Tue Aug 02 2022
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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Thu Aug 18 2022
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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Mon Nov 30 2020
4

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

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Sat Apr 03 2021
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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Thu Mar 18 2021
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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Wed Jun 23 2021
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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Tue Aug 31 2021
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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Thu Sep 09 2021
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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Thu Sep 16 2021
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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Wed Dec 08 2021
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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Sun Dec 12 2021
4

Reverbed wig-outs are rad.

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Mon Jan 10 2022
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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Sun Jan 22 2023
4

YES!! An album I've been meaning to listen to! First up, Planet Claire, this build up is wild, sounds like some 60's SciFi soundtrack in the best way possible, and here comes your man on the vocals, sounds like a space robot, perfect for the song! 52 Girls, jangly pop sort of driving beat like all their songs, it works well for them, ladies on the vocals. Dance This Mess Around, a song that you can't really dance to that's about dances! Amazing work! Rock Lobster, CLASSIC!! Lava, more straightforward rock song, well at least for them, and it's still weird! There's a Moon in the Sky (Called the Moon), well that's the most B-52's song title I can think of, this is that out there stuff I expected from this band, a song about the moon and just shouting plants out, sign me up! Hero Worship, kind of just happening in the background, hardly noticed that the song changed, ooops! 6060-842, well they sing the title, wasn't expecting that! And they're saying it over and over, I really should have saw this coming! Has a new wave on acid feel musically. Downtown, I think this is a cover...the greatest cover ever! A great listen can get away from you and might be better mixed in with other songs.

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Wed Jun 23 2021
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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Sat Apr 03 2021
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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Fri Apr 09 2021
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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Tue Jun 08 2021
5

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

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Wed Mar 03 2021
5

YOU ALREADY KNOW

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Mon Apr 12 2021
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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Fri Apr 09 2021
5

Roam around the world

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Sun Sep 19 2021
5

A classic in every respect

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Thu Sep 23 2021
5

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

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Mon Oct 04 2021
5

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

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Tue Oct 26 2021
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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Sat Nov 20 2021
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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Sun Jan 16 2022
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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Mon Jan 17 2022
5

rock lobster so groovy - so groovy

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Sat Jan 22 2022
5

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

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Sun Feb 13 2022
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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Fri Nov 12 2021
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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Thu Mar 24 2022
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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Wed Mar 30 2022
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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Fri Apr 22 2022
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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Thu May 19 2022
5

Love The B-52s!

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Sat Jul 09 2022
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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Sat Jul 09 2022
5

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

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Sat Jul 09 2022
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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Thu Jul 14 2022
5

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

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Thu Jul 14 2022
5

Wowza!

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Fri Jul 15 2022
5

Top notch, A++

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Sat Jul 30 2022
5

yes!

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Sat Sep 03 2022
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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Sun Sep 11 2022
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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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

Banger

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Mon Oct 24 2022
5

Classic B-52s album.

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Mon Oct 24 2022
5

cool

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Wed Nov 02 2022
5

So singular—you know who it is from the first notes

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Sat Nov 12 2022
5

I really don't have to listen to this one again, but I will cheerfully. 5 starts. I owned it on cassette and then CD. Was introduced to them when I worked at the YMCA with Daffy and Zipper back in 1985 and loved it. It's fun, it's different, weird, and it's under 40 minutes. Planet Claire, Dance this Mess Around, Rock Lobster, Lava are so repeatable for me, and just the title There's a Moon in the Sky (Called the Moon) makes me laugh. This is music that is hard to be depressed and listen to.

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Tue Nov 15 2022
5

This is just class. I think I needed to hear this when I went through my brief Cramps phase when I was about 20. Weird, punky, elements of Talking Heads at times with the natural awkwardness of DEVO. Could even hear echoes of Stories from the City by PJ Harvey, and bits of LCD Soundsystem in the guitar sound (especially the last 1min of Rock Lobster). Often flirts with becoming novelty but pull it back at the last second. Class. Mint. Belter. Toppa. 5/5 from me.

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Fri Nov 18 2022
5

I had heard Rock Lobster before, as I'm sure everyone has, but I never thought too much of it. Upon relistening to it, I loved it. This album is a ton of fun. I found that I was bopping my head and tapping my foot for the whole thing. I totally get why a lot of people give this album a low score, because it has a pretty unique sound, especially in the vocals. I, personally, love the unique sound this album brings. I'm a sucker for people with distinctive singing voices like this. I didn't expect to be giving this album such a high score, but here we are. My favourite songs were Dance This Mess Around and Rock Lobster.

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Sat Dec 03 2022
5

For those of us who know how to party. I know the question you're asking right now: "Big Dog, what's stopping you from branding this thing a 5?" And the answer is nothing, nothing at all. Somewhat related: no one calls me Big Dog. Or Big Dawg.

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Thu Dec 15 2022
5

The surfer heartbeat of this band has so much groove. The contrasting vocal styles is like you took everything about 60's surf culture, polished it to a mirror, and shot it back at the world. This album kicks ass.

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Tue Dec 20 2022
5

Well this is iconic. Not sure if you can dredge up anything bad to say? I'm sure they do though. From the opening track it sets it's mark: Inventive, stylised, fun and energetic. Great band and great album at one of the most pivotal years in music history. 1979

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Sun Dec 25 2022
5

I can describe this abum in 6 syllables; One-Hun-Dred -Per-Cent-Fun, with appologies to Matthew Sweet. Side 1 is as infectious as music gets and side 2, though not the perfection of side 1 still keeps the dance party going. 5 stars

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Mon Jan 02 2023
5

Classic trailblazer album.

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Thu Jan 12 2023
5

One of the greatest debut albums of all time

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Mon Jan 16 2023
5

This picked me up on this Friday. "The B-52's" is the debut album from the Athens, GA new wave band The B-52's. The best description I saw of their music is a fusion of pop, surf, avant-garde, amateurish funk and white funk. Yep. And a description of the band as bad hairdos, sci-fi nightmares, pastels and dance crazes. All perfectly fine for me. Almost every review I read referred to their lyrics as kitschy. I see the retro in the band's appearance but is bikini whale really kitschy? OK, it is. Anyway, lots of fun here. The album was produced by Chris Blackwell and recorded in the Bahamas. Morse-code keyboards and a Peter Gunn guitar begin "Planet Claire." Two minutes in and vocalist Fred Schneider joins. Right away we're into the weird sci-fi lyrics and story. She came from Planet Claire where no one has a head and the trees are red. Another keyboard start in their third single "Dance this Mess Around." Cindy Wilson on lead vocals, singing and screaming. Guitarist Ricky Wilson bringing the chorus. And we come to "Rock Lobster" where Ricky Wilson told the other band members "I just wrote the stupidest guitar line you've ever heard." Yeah, and one of the best. That surf guitar. That sci-fi keyboard. The cowbell. The best use of sea animal sounds ever. Little did we know what finding a rock lobster on a beach would lead to. I had to re-watch their Saturday Night Live performance. It's still just as great as when I saw it live. "Lava" starts the second side and is more straight-forward punk/rock. Minimal keys. Cindy Wilson stressing she just needs to have that hot lava. Yeah! Cindy Wilson also kills it on "Hero Worship. Melodic guitar lines at the start. This song has a Stonesy "Some Girls" groove to it. Sleater-Kinney was listening. The closest thing this album has to a guitar solo at the end. My favorite deeper cut on the album is "6060-842" and its vocal chorus from Kate Person, Schneider and Cindy Wilson. I still have it in my head. Rick Wilson's guitar sounding very Gang of Four-esque. "Your number's been disconnected." I think the first two B-52 albums are fabulous. This debut album still rocks. I first got it on cassette; I know I don't have that but I do have the 45 of "Rock Lobster" which I'll put on later.

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Thu Jan 19 2023
5

Rockabilly millor del que esperava

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Thu Jan 26 2023
5

really good loved it listening for the 2nd time really good work for their time nice tunes

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Mon May 10 2021
4

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

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Sun Dec 13 2020
4

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

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

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

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Sun Jul 04 2021
4

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

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Wed May 12 2021
4

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

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Sat Apr 03 2021
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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Fri Mar 19 2021
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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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

Fine

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Thu Mar 18 2021
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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Wed Apr 28 2021
4

Está bien. Pero sin más.

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Sat May 29 2021
4

Music that's fun, I enjoyed.

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Fri May 07 2021
4

Good fun

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Mon May 10 2021
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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Sat Apr 17 2021
4

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

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Fri Jul 16 2021
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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Fri May 07 2021
4

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

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Sat May 08 2021
4

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

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