Thursday, January 22, 2009

Let's meet and have a baby - now!

Standing shivering in the wind and drizzle at the bus stop for what seemed like hours this morning, I was cheered by the arrival of the B-52's' (sic) summery masterpiece She Brakes For Rainbows, from the overlooked Bouncing Off The Satellites album.

I'm a big fan of the B-52's. How did that begin F-C?, I hear you ask. Well, it was a case of buying an album because you liked the sleeve, something I've done a few times and have rarely been disappointed. But this was the very first time I'd done that. When pocket money was tight you couldn't afford to be a spendthrift, but something about their self-titled debut album called to me and saw in record shops week after week after week. So because I was born way after I should have been, and felt almost a nostalgia for the period they evoked, in May 1983 I took the plunge.

Needless to say it pressed all the right buttons with me, and the rest of their oeuvre followed. I even joined the fanclub. Sadly I've never seen them, but on the two occasions they've set up dates over here I've bought tickets - and they've cancelled. Oh well, sometimes it's not great to see old bands. They're better in aspic. That said, they had a new album out last year and it's great. They've definitely got more sensible over time, what with intra-band deaths, etc., but they're no less engaging. So kitsch. Such fun.

If all you know is Love Shack or Rock Lobster, look a little closer. While both those songs are good and quite representitive, I'm bored to sobs of them and urge you to dig a little deeper.

So what's hot? Here are my top 10 B-52's numbers (and the album that spawned them):

1. Dirty Back Road (Wild Planet)
2. Mesopotamia (Mesapotamia)
3. Deadbeat Club (Cosmic Thing)
4. Dance This Mess Around (The B-52's)
5. She Brakes For Rainbows (Bouncing Off The Satellites)
6. Don't Worry (Whammy!) - no longer available due to Yoko Ono copyright issues.
7. 52 Girls (The B-52's)
8. Legal Tender (Whammy!)
9. Deep Sleep (Mesopotamia)
10. Hero Worship (The B-52's)

And one of the best ever cover versions in Downtown (The B-52's)

What are they like?, some of you may be asking. Well it's really hard to say. There's a touch of The Cramps, punk, new wave, girl groups, a lot of Sixties...

Well, decide for yourself. Here they are doing Song For A Future Generation from Whammy!


Helen said...

'Dance This Mess Around' is a brilliant track. I still remember the little picture of them you got out of your wallet in a Guildford car park. You were the only other person I'd met who liked them so obviously it was a great starting point for our friendship!
They certainly don't have the recognition they deserve, don't know what their following is in America...

Five-Centres said...

Oh Hels, those halcyon days. I remember you had their name written on your pencil case, along with the Peech Boys (who?) and Tears For Fears.

Planet Mondo said...

Roam is later period, but a cracker too

Planet Mondo said...

PS your opening blog line could almost be sung to the tune of Say Hello from Soft Cell

Ishouldbeworking said...

The B-52s were the band I would have killed to be in. I have never stopped loving them (although the cover of 'Downtown' was always lost on me.). I would quite like 'Butterbean' played at my funeral.

PS. I have a Peech Boys 12". They were nothing like the B52s.

Five-Centres said...

Don't be late, don't you linger, ISBW.