As B-52's begins, otherwordly bleeps and bloops slowly emerge from the silence. A fan of B-movies might immediately anticipate a voiceover from some male authority figure setting up the premise of the movie. What follows, however, is a mish-mash of nostalgic touchstones of early 1960s youth with a heavy emphasis on science fiction. The B-52's put together a blend of surf rock, sci-fi movie soundtracks and lyrics, and punk with their cheesy 50s/60s nostalgia to create a party band unlike any before. Most of the songs have sci-fi or surrealist lyrics. But those songs seem perfectly in place next to the songs of romance and partying. This is a very inclusive party.
I have loved this album since hearing it in high school. Yes, I fully admit that Fred's speak-singing is a love-it-or-hate-it quality. For me and my childhood enjoyment of Paul Lynde, Charles Nelson Reilly, and other “flamboyant” TV personalities, Fred fits into that niche. But it is hard to disparage the harmonized vocals of Cindy and Kate, especially on “52 Girls” and “6060-842”. Ricky's guitar choices are spare, choppy, and necessary despite how infrequently he dominates a song. He is constantly there but never thrusting himself in front of the others.
Songs I Knew I Liked: “Planet Claire,” “Dance This Mess Around,” and “Rock Lobster”
Songs I Now Like: “52 Girls” and “Hero Worship” got a boost in my interest this time around for some reason.
Songs I Don't Want to Ever Hear Again: None