The B-52's originated as a New Wave rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, United States, in 1976. The band's name comes from a particular beehive hairdo resembling the nose cone of the airplane of the same name. During their early years, wigs of that style were often worn by the band's female singers Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson. Wilson, Pierson, drummer Keith Strickland, guitarist Ricky Wilson (Cindy's older brother) and vocalist Fred Schneider formed the group in an spontanous jam session. The band's quirky take on the New Wave sound of their era was a combination of dance and surf music set apart by the unusual guitar tunings used by Ricky Wilson. Their costume thrift-store chic set them apart as well.
Their first single, "Rock Lobster", recorded for DB Records in 1978, was an underground success that led to the B-52's performing at CBGB's and Max's Kansas City in New York City. "52 Girls" was the B-side. Their debut album, B-52's , contained re-recorded versions of "Rock Lobster" and "52 Girls", along with six more originals and a remake of Petula Clark's classic "Downtown". The debut album stood out as an original, unabashed kitsch mavens the band celebrated all the silliest aspects of pre-Beatles pop culture -- bad hairdos, sci-fi nightmares, dance crazes, pastels, and anything else that sprung into their minds -- to a skewed fusion of pop, surf, avant-garde, amateurish punk, and white funk.
The following year, they issued Wild Planet, which reached the Top 20 on the U.S. album charts; Party Mix!, an EP's worth of reworked material from the band's first two proper outings, appeared in 1981. Released in 1982, Mesopotamia arose out of a series of aborted sessions with producer David Byrne which saw the B-52's largely abandon their trademark sense of humor, a situation rectified by the next year's Whammy!, a move into electronic territory. After a Schneider solo LP, 1984's Fred Schneider & the Shake Society, the group returned to the studio to record 1986's Bouncing Off the Satellites. On October 12, 1985, however, Ricky Wilson died; though originally his death was attributed to natural causes, it was later revealed that he had succumbed to AIDS. In light of Wilson's death, the group found it impossible to promote the new album, and they spent the next several years in seclusion
In 1989, the B-52's finally returned with Cosmic Thing, their most commercially successful effort to date. Produced by Don Was and Nile Rodgers, the album launched several hit singles, including the party smash "Love Shack," "Roam," and "Deadbeat Club." In 1990, Cindy Wilson retired from active duty, leaving the remaining trio to soldier on for 1992's Good Stuff. A year later, dubbed the BC-52's, they performed the theme song for Steven Spielberg's live-action feature The Flintstones. Wilson returned to the group for a tour supporting the release of 1998's hits collection Time Capsule. Four years later the double-disc Nude on the Moon compilation would dive deeper into their catalog by featuring rare tracks, live recordings, and remixes along with the hits.
Funplex, the band's first original album in sixteen years (since 1992's Good Stuff), was released on March 25, 2008 by Astralwerks. The album is a slick, synthesizer-driven effort produced by Steve Osborne, who was asked to work on the album based on his work with New Order on the album Get Ready. The album debuted at #11 on the Billboard charts in the U.S., immediately making it the second-highest charting B-52's album ever. The band toured in support of the album as well as making television appearances on talk shows.
Wild Planet (80 148mb)
01 Party Out Of Bounds (3:21)
02 Dirty Back Road (3:21)
03 Runnin' Around (3:09)
04 Give Me Back My Man (4:00)
05 Private Idaho (3:35)
06 Devil In My Car (4:28)
07 Quiche Lorraine (3:58)
08 Strobe Light (3:59)
09 53 Miles West Of Venus (4:53)
10 Party Mix (28:22)
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New Musik were one of the first British groups to come out with a sound that successfully combined synths and "real" instruments.That said, their near-total lack of commercial acceptance is one of the great mysteries of early-'80s pop. Their music, rooted in classic pop songwriting but with a forward-looking interest in shiny electronics, is both instantly accessible and coolly forbidding. This dichotomy is most clearly expressed in the split between group leader Tony Mansfield's melodies, which are hummable, welcoming, and often quite bouncy, and his alienated lyrics.
New Musik formed in 1977, growing out of a casual band of south London school friends who jammed together under the name End of the World; singer and guitarist Mansfield, keyboardist Nick Straker, and bassist Tony Hibbert drafted drummer Phil Towner, who had played on the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star." Rather than hotly pursue a record deal, the newly christened New Musik wisely chose to hone their craft first. Working during down times at a south London studio where Mansfield was informally employed as a session musician and apprentice engineer, the foursome recorded most of what would become their first two albums before approaching the British label GTO Records with the finished master tapes. However, before GTO released the first New Musik single, "Straight Lines," in August 1979, Straker had left for a fusion-oriented solocareer. He was replaced by Clive Gates.
This new lineup completed New Musik's debut album, From A to B, released in April of 1980. Several Singles were taken from it with "Living By Numbers" scoring the best. Early 81 saw the release of from A to B part two Anywhere, though Mansfield 's production skills obviously had grown, the album unexpectedly didn't do that well. My take on that, looking at the gatefold sleeve..they look like a progband, which they certainly weren't. With hindsight it could be said they lacked a niche, and the broadsky countries, where their music should have done well, didn't pick them up.
After Anywhere's disappointing commercial performance in the U.K., New Musik went through a period of turmoil. Hibbert and Towner both left the band, leaving Mansfield and Gates to record the third and final New Musik album as a duo with a hired drummer. Unlike From A to B and Anywhere, which blended synthesizers with acoustic guitars, live percussion, and other classic pop elements, Warp is almost entirely electronic. One of the first albums to be recorded primarily with digital samplers and emulators, Warp sounds a bit more dated than the first two New Musik albums, but the songs, among the most lyrically pessimistic of the band's career, are quite strong. New Musik split after this album, as Mansfield's sideline career as a producer started taking more of his time. Through the first half of the '80s, Mansfield produced hit singles for Naked Eyes, Mari Wilson, the B-52s, After the Fire, and others.
Warp (79 93mb)
01 Here Come the People (3:27)
02 Going Round Again (2:55)
03 A Train on Twisted Tracks (3:26)
04 I Repeat (4:28)
05 All You Need Is Love (4:21)
06 All You Need Is Love (5:38)
07 Kingdoms for Horses (4:16)
08 Hunting (4:15)
09 The New Evolutionist (3:19)
10 Green and Red (3:05)
11 The Planet Doesn't Mind (3:38)
12 Warp (4:22)
13 The Planet Doesn't Mind (Single Version) (3:36)
14 24 Hours from Culture (Part 1) (3:40)
15 Twelfth House (4:37)
16 Here Come the People (Remix) (5:28)
17 The Planet Doesn't Mind (12 Inch Version) (4:15)
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