The B-52's - Love Shack (1989)

Love Shack was the first single to be released from the Cosmic Thing album and was the B-52s biggest-selling single, reaching #2 in the UK, #3 on the Billboard Top 40 in the U.S. and #1 in Australia for 8 weeks. 

The song was produced by Don Was from Was Not Was who had hits in 1987 and 1988 with Walk The Dinosaur and Spy in the House of Love. Apparently, the song's inspiration was a cabin around Athens, Georgia complete with tin roof. 
Featuring a more polished sound, Cosmic Thing was the band's fifth studio album and was released as a comeback album following the death of co-founder and guitarist Ricky Wilson (Cindy Wilson's older brother) in 1986 aged just 32. He dies from an Aids-related illness.

I actually bought the album on cassette and, unfortunately, have nothing to play it on right now. However, it's probably faded now anyway so I reckon it's time to download it. I now have in my mind those happy days when I used to play the album on my car stereo at the end of the 80s.

As well as producing "Love Shack", Don Was also produced many tracks on the Cosmic Thing album, alongside Nile Rodgers. They managed to tighten-up the band's sound and make them more commercially viable. Released in the summer of 1989, the album reached #8 in the UK album charts, #4 in the Billboard 200 and #1 in the Australian ARIA album charts. It was the band's most successful album gaining Platinum status in the UK and 4x Platinum in the U.S.

The only other UK chart hit from the album was Roam reaching #17 (#3 U.S), which was one of two tracks not to feature the vocals of Fred Schneider. The other was Follow Your Bliss which was an instrumental track. Channel Z and Deadbeat Club failed to hit the UK Top 40.

The B-52s second biggest hit single was Meet the Flintstones which was  the soundtrack to 1994 movie and reached #3 in the UK singles chart.
The B-52's on the cover of Creem music magazine in July 1982

A smashing photo of The B-52's on the cover of U.S. music magazine Creem in July 1982. 

B-52's Studio Album Discography

1979  The B-52's  #59  #22
1980  Wild Planet  #18  #18
1983  Whammy!  #29  #33
1986  Bouncing Off The Satellites  #95  #74
1989  Cosmic Thing  #4  #8
1992  Good Stuff  #16  #8
2008  Funplex  #11  #73

#Numbers are the highest chart positions for the US (left) and UK (right)


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The B52's formed in Athens, Georgia, USA in 1976.

Original Line-up:

Kate Pierson (b. 27 April 1948, Weehawken, New Jersey, USA; organ/vocals)
Cindy Wilson (b. 28 February 1957, Athens, Georgia, USA; guitar/vocals)
Ricky Wilson (b. 19 March 1953, Athens, Georgia, USA d. 1986; guitar)
Fred Schneider (b. 1 July 1951, Newark, Georgia, USA; keyboards/vocals)
Keith Strickland (b. 26 October 1953, Athens, Georgia, USA; drums)
Julie Cruise (backing vocals).

Party Mix was the first compilation album by The B-52's and the only one to be released in the 1980s. Released in July 1981, the album features remixes of songs from the first album Wild Planet and the Mesopotamia EP.

Released in January 2002, Nude On The Moon was the fifth compilation album by The B-52's and includes a whopping 35 tracks. However, it was not commercially successful, peaking at #136 in the U.S.

ROAM (1990)

Roam was the second single to be released from the B-52's 1989 album, Cosmic Thing, in the UK, and reached No.17 in the UK singles chart in 1990. It peaked at No.3 in the U.S.  This was a tune that was played a lot in the clubs - in my area, at least!
The B-52's Rolling Stone Magazine March 22 1990

Rock Lobster

Rock Lobster was the debut single from The B52's and was taken from the album "The B-52's". Originally, it only managed to reach No.37 in the UK (#56 U.S.) but on its re-release in 1986 it managed a more respectable No.12 in the UK.

The B-52's album (see the MP3 widget on the right) was once named as the 99th greatest album of all time by VH1 and listed as 152 out of 500 greatest albums in 2003 by Rolling Stone magazine.


Party Out Of Bounds was a No.5 U.S. dance chart hit in 1980, and was taken from the B-52's second studio album Wild Planet. This video features the band live in Rio de Janeiro.

Good Stuff (1992)

Although the Good Stuff album wasn't quite as commercially successful as Cosmic Thing, the band still retained their more commercial pop style, and it was every bit as energetic. In fact, this was a cassette that spent rather a lot of time in my car stereo during the 90s.
Released in 1992, Good Stuff was also the lead single and title track from the B-52's sixth studio album and reached #21 in the UK, #28 in the U.S. and #1 on the U.S. Modern Rock Charts. The video features an appearance by drag queen, model and singer Ru-Paul. The song was written by the band members Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider and Keith Strickland.

Four further singles were released from the same album; Is That You Mo-Dean?, Tell It Like It T-I-Is, Revolution Earth and Hot Pants Explosion. Although the songs received airplay here in Britain, they failed to reach the Top 40, and I find that quite remarkable as they were such decent, catchy tunes.

The album was released on Reprise Records (WMG) and was produced by Nile Rodgers, Russ Titelman and Don Was. Although most of the singles weren't successful, the album performed well in the charts, peaking at #16 on the Billboard 200 and #8 on the UK Albums Chart. Vocalist Cindy Williams didn't feature on the album as she left the B-52's in 1990, but returned in 1998
The B-52's 2008.07.09 014
The B-52's performing live in 2008 [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The B-52s Live in London