Monday, May 13, 2013

"Private Idaho" by The B-52's

Song#:  0370
Date:  10/18/1980
Debut:  85
Peak:  74
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Rock, New Wave

Pop Bits:  The quirky, retro, new wave of the B-52's self-titled debut with it's #56 party song "Rock Lobster" was certainly a bit of a sensation when it came out. I'm sure many questioned whether or not the group could maintain such a sound and unique identity. Then this song hit the airwaves and their follow-up album, "Wild Planet," came out. Although it was not as critically well-received as their debut, the album showed that the B's could move forward and not be a one-trick pony band. With a punchier and tighter sound, the album proved to be a success and hit #18 on the album chart and went gold. This song, in combination with two others from the album, ended up being a hit on the dance chart where the mix peaked at #5.

ReduxReview:  Whereas their first album had a new wave jam feel to it, this song came out of the gate like a full-fledged rock tune. Once the opening guitar licks and the girls' first "woo-woo's" hit, I was hooked. Although it can't quite make it into the classic category where "Rock Lobster" resides, it comes pretty darn close. I still don't think pop radio knew what to do with this song because it should have been a bigger hit.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  This song was the inspiration for the title of the 1991 Gus Van Sant movie "My Own Private Idaho" starring River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves. The song, however, is not used in the film.


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