Friday, 6 December 2013

The Archivist: The B52s - Cosmic Thing

Music can come in varying degrees of emotion. Some music will lift you, Some will break your heart, Some will heal a broken heart. And some will have you punching the air.
And some will just be there to make you smile and lift your spirits as soon as the needle hits the groove. One of those albums for me is Cosmic Thing by the B52s. As soon as the first notes of the title track start, I'm beaming like The Cheshire Cat.
The B52s came to public notice with the hit single Rock Lobster in 1979.

4 more albums followed before the release of Cosmic Thing in 1989.
The album will be forever known as the home of the HUGE hit single and worldwide party favourite Love Shack. But there is SO much more on this album.
With more hooks than a fishing tackle shop, it sparkles and shines with exuberance and Joie De Vivre. Even track is hook laden and filled with enough harmonies to fill any Beach Boys album.

The band were formed in Athens, Georgia in 1976. The original line-up consisted of Fred Schneider (vocals, percussion, keyboards), Kate Pierson (organ, bass, vocals), Cindy Wilson (vocals, bongos, tambourine, guitar), Ricky Wilson (guitars), and Keith Strickland (drums, guitars, synthesizers, various instruments).
In 1985, Ricky Wilson, who was the brother of Cindy, died of an AIDS related illness. Following his death, Keith Strickland took over guitar duties. But galvanised by the death of Wilson, the band went on to record their biggest album of their career with Cosmic Thing.
Lead off single was Channel Z

The next song released turned out to be the biggest song of their career. The album was produced track by track by Nile Rogers of Chic and Don Was. This one was a Don Was production. It got to number 3 in the USA but hit number 1 in many parts of the globe.

Although this song proved to be the huge hit of the album, they also had two more excellent singles to follow it up. Both songs just full of melody, harmonies and the twinkling guitar sound.

But this is my favourite song on the album - and features fellow Georgia, Athens musician, one Michael Stipe from REM.
Kate Pierson returned the favour :)
But on Cosmic Thing, even the album tracks that weren't singles are fabulous.
And they're still going strong live and playing songs from the album :)
Twitter - @TheB52s

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