Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Rock Lobster" by The B-52's

Song#:  0136
Date:  04/19/1980
Debut:  87
Peak:  56
Weeks:  8
Genre:  New Wave, Rock, Dance

Pop Bits:  Imagine you are listening to a pop radio station in early 1980 and maybe they just finished playing Andy Gibb, Fleetwood Mac, and Kool & the Gang. Then this comes on. I don't think "WTF" existed back then, but I'm sure it was uttered many a time. The Athens, Georgia, quintet began their group from a jam session that took place after drinking at a Chinese restaurant. The members had very little musical experience, but they managed to get their first gig in 1977 and a year later they had recorded the original version of "Rock Lobster." It became an underground hit and lead to gigs at high-profile clubs like CBGB's. In 1979 they signed with Warner Bros. and issued their debut album. It included this updated version of "Rock Lobster" that hit the pop chart. Quirky, strange, retro, new wave, and just plain fun, the B-52's became an instant success and quite influential for the transitioning 80s sound.

ReduxReview:  I was unaware of The B-52's in 1980, but I'd jump on board in a couple of years. The B's call themselves a party band and that is exactly how this song comes across. It was considered a novelty song initially but it is not. It is a seriously well-executed fun party song that still holds up today. When this first came out, who would have thought that the group would continue on, have big hits, and still be recording and going on tour to this day? I'm certainly glad they are! It was the right time and right combination of everything and it launched with "Rock Lobster." A party rock classic.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  The B-52's take their name from the Southern term for a specific bouffant hairdo from the 1950's. The beehive-style do was high and pointy and seemed to resemble the nosecone of the B-52 aircraft. The two girls in the group, Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson, would wear wigs sometimes sporting the bouffant style. The group later paid tribute to hair pieces with their song "Wig" from 1986's "Bouncing Off the Satellites."


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