The B-52’s: 5 of the Best

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Submitted by Kara Jayne on Tue, 04/27/2021 - 17:33

The B-52’s: 5 of the Best

Posted 27 Apr 2021
The B-52's. Photo by Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images. 

Every decade or so, rock and roll reinvents itself, sometimes dramatically; and when The B-52’s arrived on the scene in 1979, dramatic would be an understatement. Like a John Waters film brought to life, the band appeared to be beamed in from some kind of kitsch and otherworldly wonderland, with a sound to match. Their classic surf guitar instrumentation was clearly inspired by the forbearers of 50s and 60s rock, but the maniacal lead vocals of frontman Fred Schneider, matched by the eerie yet enchanting vocals of Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson, was an electrifying experience – one that still to this day feels like a window into another plane of existence. 

The B-52’s aren’t just unapologetically unique, they’re gleefully off-kilter with global chart-topping hits. Let's enjoy five of their best below. 

The B-52's | “Rock Lobster”

The B-52’s singer and keyboardist Kate Pierson once told Pitchfork that when guitarist Ricky Wilson introduced the riff for their 1979 debut smash “Rock Lobster” by saying, “I’ve just written the stupidest guitar line you’ve ever heard.” As the old saying goes, it’s a fine line between stupidity and genius because this beach-party classic turned out to be a slice of genius.  

The B-52's | “Roam”

In recent times, this 1989 Cosmic Thing hit stands as a homage to the good old days.

The B-52's | “Planet Claire”

The second single from their 1979 self-titled debut drops you straight into an interplanetary spy thriller with it pulsing extended intro – all two minutes of it!  

The B 52's | “Private Idaho”

Step into the B-52’s very own Twilight Zone of frenzied guitar riffs and merciless melodies. Director Gus Van Sant used the song as the inspiration for his 1991 drama, My Own Private Idaho starring Keanu Reeves and the late River Phoenix.

The B-52's | “Love Shack”

And last but not least, is the quintessential party anthem inspired by a ‘party’ cabin of sorts in Athens, Georgia where Kate Pierson lived during the 1970s, which was rumoured to have previously belonged to Love Guru, ‘DundaWhalla’. True story – watch Pierson explain, here. 


Listen to the B-52’s on Spotify:

Listen to the B-52’s on Apple Music:

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