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Vinyl | LP (12" album, 33 rpm)
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Party Out of Bounds! Eclectic Group's Sophomore Album The Equal of Its Smash DebutBoffo Encore: Surf, Pop, Dance, Kitsch, Cabaret, and Psychedelia Unite With Giddy Vocals and Ricky Wilson's Still-Underrated Guitar PlayingMastered on Mobile Fidelity's World-Renowned Mastering System and Pressed at RTI: 1980 Smash Now Possesses Jump-Out-of-Your-Seat SonicsThe B-52's Also Available on LP from Silver LabelParty out of bounds! Not only is this sentiment one of the B-52's directives on their ceaselessly fun sophomore album, it's one of the record's hit songs, and perfectly summarizes the spirit and intent behind this new-wave classic. Completely up to task in following up their kitschy debut, the B-52's step everything up a notch: Songwriting, humor, exaggeration, melodies, hooks, and group interplay. Wild Planet also finds the band embracing stronger psychedelic accents that seamlessly mesh with its lava-lamp colors and textures. What an album.Rollicking, rousing, and riotous, Wild Planet soars on vocal efforts put forth by the delightfully campy chanteuses Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson, whose innocent girly tonalities wonderfully match up with Fred Schneider's effeminate deliveries and manic presentations. While the sheer exuberance and giddy nature of the music tends to make them an afterthought, the trio's harmonies are utterly amazing. Add in Ricky Wilson's propulsive beach-bound guitar riffs, random squealing synthesizers, and a surfeit of danceable rhythms, and you have nothing less than a 1980s masterpiece that, due to its optimistic vibes and buoyant grooves, only gets better with time.As for clever humor and quirky character? Everywhere. Mentions of an icebox, fruit punch, and surprise greetings kick off the defining ''Party Out of Bounds.'' ''Private Idaho'' is an instant mix-tape essential, sent up with declamatory refrains and insouciant beats. Not to be outdone, the B-52's tackle the subject of devilish possession on the witty ''Devil In My Car''
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Top Customer Reviews
And that's not to take anything away from the rest of the band. Drummer Keith Strickland consistently keeps up a great beat on this mostly uptempo album. The only really laidback tune here, "Dirty Back Road", is fantastic, with a breathtakingly tuneful melody and marvelous unison vocals from Kate Piersen and Ricky's brother Cindy. And the inimitable Fred Schneider, with his enthusiastic-yet-unsettled vocal stylings, gets plenty of room to shine, as on the manic, riff-packed classic hit "Private Idaho", and the wacked-out "Strobe Light". Even the album-closing "53 Miles West Of Venus", an instrumental-plus-title chant, has an irresistibly toe-tapping quality. Things get a hair too silly on "Quiche Lorraine", but that's just a minor quibble. "Wild Planet" is an insanely catchy, joyous album--a definite classic of the so-called New Wave era.
"Party Out of Bounds" opens with the sound of breaking glass and lets us know the B's are back in town and ready to party. Kate hoots her way through the track while Cindy asks "Where's the punch?" with just the right amount of blase in her tone, and Fred explains the chaos that happens when party crashers descend upon your house.
"Dirty Back Road" is a rather low-key change-of-pace offering and is surprisingly my favorite track on the whole album. Kate and Cindy's vocals blend perfectly together like milk and honey while the cleverly suggestive lyrics seem to refer to "back-door" sex.
"Running Around" features amazing guitar work from the late Ricky Wilson and is the kind of retro-pop '60s music that seems to have inspired the Austin Powers franchise, et al.
"Give Me Back My Man" has Cindy on lead with a slightly ominous bassline and ends with her anguished wails accompanied by hypnotic chimes.
"Private Idaho" kicks off what was Side 2 in the old days of vinyl and is probably the second best track. From Kate's hooty opening to the Twilight-Zone inspired riff right before the chorus, to Ricky's surf-rock guitar licks right after, Keith's machine-gun drumming and Cindy's "I-I-I-da-ho", this song's a winner and will stay in your head for days.
"Devil In My Car" is another rowdy number but not one of my favorites.
"Quiche Lorraine" is Fred's hilarious mid-tempo tale of a fickle poodle who deserts it's owner for a Great Dane. The lyrics are ridiculous but they help make the song as memorable and good as it is.
"Strobe Light" is another rousing track that will stay with you for days. It has a memorable start-and-stop structure, and call-and-response between Fred and the girls.
"53 Miles West of Venus" is perhaps the weakest track but still enjoyable in its own right and an effective closer. It has the same celestial vibe as "Planet Claire" but isn't quite as spooky or innovative.
This is the perfect party CD for anyone over 40, or one you should pop in your car to make any road trip enjoyable.
While I also recommend the "yellow" album that preceded this one, the "red" album will always be my favorite from this amazing Atlanta quintet.