THE B-52's - THE B-52's MOFI VINYL
Ranked at #152 on Rolling Stone‘s List of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
Boffo! Beehive hairdos, goofy sci-fi humor, lava-lamp kitsch, thrift-store fashions, party-starting tunes, unconventional perspectives, and the unique blending of the underground aesthetic with mainstream accessibility: The B-52’s mix all this and more into a dizzying cocktail on their self-titled debut, which remains one of the most ahead-of-its-time, endlessly enjoyable, and vividly colorful albums ever released.
Ranked at #152 on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, The B-52’s has its roots in the band’s improbable genesis, itself reflective of the record’s gleeful moods and quirky charms. The five members first played after sharing a tropical alcoholic beverage at a Chinese restaurant, the ironic silliness and spontaneous irreverence indicative of the music on its breakthrough record. Not to mention how it mirrors the unusual hodgepodge of instrumentation: organs, walkie talkies, bongos, glockenspiels, tambourines, toy pianos, smoke alarms, and more!
Musically, the band proves just as adventurous and whimsical. Using pleasant harmonies as a backdrop and Kate Pierson’s squealing organ as a starting point, the B-52’s draw upon surf-rock grooves, beach-bound soul-pop, herky-jerky funk riffs, minimalist rhythms, and Ricky Wilson’s unusual guitar lines to craft songs that tower above the sarcastic suggestiveness and campy declarations. Of course, the latter are plenty entertaining on their own, but there’s no denying the dance-bound persuasiveness and melodic shimmy associated with the classic cult single “Rock Lobster” and splendid cover of the ubiquitous Petula Clark standard “Downtown.” You’ve never heard anything like this.
Indeed, the B-52s were about a decade ahead of the alt-rock revolution when they recorded this delightfully campy, intentionally goofy, lyrically tawdry, and undeniably harmonic 1979 new-wave set that comes off as the best dance party you might ever hear. This is 40 minutes of nothing but a good time.