Monday, September 17, 2007

No. 152: The B-52s

Band: The B-52s
Album: The B-52s
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: If we're talking about "fun," I'm not sure there's a more fun record on this list. The B-52s are, in essence, a New Wave party band, and there are few things more exciting than New Wave party music. Junior Senior, Har Mar Superstar, The Faint, Atom & His Package, and the like take a lot from the B-52s. Also, "Rock Lobster" is one of the greatest silly songs ever.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: I'm not sure New Wave party music is particularly important in the grand scheme of things. Also, the beehive hairdo never really caught on.
Best song: "Rock Lobster" is fantastic.
Worst song: "Lava" isn't great.
Is it awesome?: "Fun." Remember that word. It really describes this one.

Now, I don't know how reputable IMDB is for all your John Lennon news, but according to IMDB, this was his favorite album before he died. Again, you can take that for what it's worth.


One of my closest friends does an incredibly silly impression of lead B-52 Fred Schneider. It's not particularly hard to do an impression of Schneider; He's basically the exact hyperbolic stereotype of a gay American man (in the same way Woody Allen is the hyperbolic stereotype of a Jewish American man). Anyway, whenever I hear a B-52s song, I think of that ridiculous impression.


Things that make "Rock Lobster" great:

  • Fred Schneider screaming "Rock Lobster" as the chorus. Not unlike the other huge B-52 hit, "Love Shack."

  • That little guitar riff.

  • The Kate Pierson/Cindy Wilson harmony of "Lobster, rock lobster. Lobster rock eeeeeee oooooo oooo."

  • The breakdown wherein Schneider gives the call of the fish at the beach. "Here comes a manta ray," he says and Pierson does some fantastic ridiculous sound. You really have to hear it to enjoy it.


All in all, a fun record. I enjoy it.

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