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Cosmic Thing

October 1, 2011 | Format: MP3

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Popularity Prime  
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Format: Audio CD
The B-52's began life as a self-described "tacky little dance band" out of 1970s Athens, Georgia--and they sounded like musical refugees from a Twilight Zone episode that Rod Serling thought better of. But the band touched a techno-nerve, and before too long they had a record deal and a cult single ("Rock Lobster") that actually made the charts. But for all their fame, The B-52's very glitchy sound never had much in the way of airplay, much less big-time sales... until the release of COSMIC THING.

COSMIC THING spawned two major singles. The first one to hit--and the one that remains most durable--is "Love Shack," a truly bizarre but extremely infectious mix of funky rhythm and catchy melody dominated by Fred Schneider's ultra-silly, ultra-clever pseudo-rap--the song was and is a tremendous amount of fun, and while it lacks the truly weird edge of earlier B-52's cuts it remains one of the best dance party cuts I've ever come across, something that will get you on your feet faster than you can say "Bang Bang." The second hit, "Roam," was more specifically pop--but pop with a B-52's twist: a covertly sexy lyric and Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson blasting out unexpected harmonies from beneath their dueling beehive hairdos.

But COSMIC THING has more to offer than just these two cuts: everything here is extremely well done. The downbeat "Dry Country" has a seductive swing to it; "Deadbeat Club" is super smooth; "Topaz" is a remarkable little thing, sweet and sour all at once; and the largely non-vocal "Follow Your Bliss" wraps up the set on an unexpected but effective note.
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Format: Audio CD
In 1989, the B's suddenly returned with a completely new image, revitalized and full of a bunch of Nile Rodgers/Don Was-produced dancepop. And hey, despite the obvious cries of "sellout!" that are perfectly deserved, this is still a very good album. It's most heavily remembered for the hit "Love Shack," which is an infectious song that suffers a bit from constant overplay and an overlong running time (it doesn't need that "bang bang" part at the end at all), as well as the gorgeous, solid pop song "Roam"("Boooy Mercury, cruisin' throoough every degreeeee"). For the most part, the songs on here are very well-written in spite of their slickness ("Bushfire," "Channel Z," "Deadbeat Club"), the only real gripes being the kind-of-dull studio creation "Dry County" and the fact that on the catchy title track the band tries to mix a political message ("Don't let it rest on the president's desk!") next to lyrics like "SHAKE YOUR HONEY BUNS!" Still, overall, an album well worth buying and one of the better releases to come out in the overproduced year of 1989.
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Format: Audio CD
Following the tragic loss of guitarist/composer/lyricist Ricky Wilson in October, 1985 shortly before the release of the B-52's fifth album "Bouncing Off the Satellites", it was not clear whether the surviving four members of the B-52's (sister Cindy Wilson, Kate Pierson, Keith Strickland and Fred Schneider) would ever perform or record another album together again. Thankfully, in 1988, they decided to record a sixth album entitled "Cosmic Thing", and it became their most successful album to date and established the B-52's as the world's best party band of all time. It was also the first album in which Keith played the guitar, having given up the drums in order to learn how to reproduce Ricky's signature sound. The very danceable and fun songs in "Cosmic Thing" include:
1. "Cosmic Thing" (5+ stars, sung by Cindy, Kate & Fred). A fast and lively song that encourages listeners to dance by shaking their cosmic thing. The song was used in the soundtrack of the 1988 sci-fi/comedy "Earth Girls Are Easy".
2. "Dry County" (5+ stars, sung by Cindy, Kate & Fred). A very danceable slower song about kicking back in summer, but not being able to get alcohol in some southern state counties where it's not legal.
3. "Deadbeat Club" (5+ stars, sung by Cindy, Kate & Fred). Another slower song, but very danceable that features beautiful harmonies between Cindy and Kate that praise the joys of slacking, dancing in torn sheets in the rain and going out to Allan's Bar in Athens, Georgia.
4. "Love Shack" (5++ stars, sung by Cindy, Kate & Fred). The B-52's most known song that is fast and lively.
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Format: Audio CD
Probably the best B-52's album ever, Cosmic Thing is excellent from beginning to end and reflects the band's incredible chemistry. Notably, this album brought the B-52s out of obscurity to main stream without "selling out" to their hard core fans. The music sounds full and clear. There are "sure thing" party songs -- namely "Love Shack" Deadbeat Club" and "Roam" -- and songs with political flavor -- such as "Topaz" and "Channel Z." And for people who get tired of changing CDs at their parties -- you can play the entire album at any high energy party without skipping a song! Enjoy!
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