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I’VE DANCED TO THIS IN EACH OF THE 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s.

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This sounded really weird on first listen back in 1979. And 37 (!!!!!!!) years on I still think it has a fair degree of weirdness.

But when I say that, I am praising and not castigating the record for it’s one that has aged magnificently.

mp3 : The B-52’s – Planet Claire

Ok, I know that it chunders along in much the same way as The Theme From Peter Gunn, but back in 1979 I had no idea of the existence of that bit of music….

Planet Claire is one of those songs that I sort of dread coming up on random shuffle on the i-pod if I’m using public transport as its impossible to keep still while it plays. At the very minimum my head will move from side to side and my shoulders will start shaking, thus putting my fellow passengers in great fear that I’m about to suffer some sort of fit. And god forbid that it should ever come on when I’m half-drunk as I’m very likely to wail tunelessly in a dreadful impression of the organ sound…

Here’s the equally bizarre b-side:-

mp3 : The B-52’s – There’s A Moon In The Sky (Called The Moon)

Enjoy

PS

Last call for readers to e-mail me lists of their Top 10 LPs for 2015 so that I can submit a collective entry for the BAMS 2015.  Click on this post for more background.

BLUE JEANS AND CHINOS; COKE, PEPSI AND OREOS (Part 3)

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Formed in Athens, Georgia in 1976, and still going strong almost 40 years later, the B-52’s have rarely been taken all that seriously by music critics or indeed bloggers .  I’m prepared however, to put my head above the parapet and say that I’m quite fond of a lot of their earlier material. 

The B-52s were one of those bands that I first head about via the music papers but I never seemed to ever hear their songs getting played on the radio.  That all changed in 1979 with them inking a deal with Island Records for the UK distribution of their material and the re-release of the previous year’s 45 Rock Lobster.  At the time my  musical tastes were firmly ensconced in the sounds being made by UK new wave/post-punk bands but there was just something so infectiously catchy about Rock Lobster that you couldn’t help but enjoy it.

So before too long I spent some of the money earned from the paper-round on a copy of the eponymous debut LP and learned that I could like music that wasn’t angst-ridden, bitter or angry.  Music to dance to with a grin on your face as you sang along to totally nonsensical lyrics.  Just 12 months or so later, the band released follow-up LP Wild Planet which musically followed the formula of the debut.

After aborting plans for a full-length LP with David Byrne in the producer’s chair, it took until 1983 before Whammy! hit the shops. By this time, the musical snob in me had seen me move on from the band and I wasn’t the slightest bit interested…..until one night I found myself dancing in the student disco to what I later learned had been one of the singles lifted from LP………and all these years later I still love Song For A Future Generation.

The next LP, Bouncing Off The Satellites, was overshadowed by AIDS-related death of Ricky Wilson.  The band hardly promoted it and it more or less sunk without trace.  Three years later however, they made an unexpected comeback and even more unexpectedly, they found world-wide chart success thanks to the single Loveshack.

The B-52’s of that era and since are a pop act quite unrecognisable from the songs you’ll find on the first two LPs. I don’t own anything they’ve released since 1989 but as I said at the start of this post, I am fond of some of the earlier material:-

mp3 : The B52’s – Rock Lobster (single edit)

mp3 : The B52’s – Planet Claire

mp3 : The B52’s – Give Me Back My Man

mp3 : The B52’s –  Song For A Future Generation

Enjoy