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Punk/New wave - Uscito il 01 luglio 1979 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

Hi-Res Riconoscimenti La discoteca ideale Qobuz
Even in the weird, quirky world of new wave and post-punk in the late '70s, the B-52's' eponymous debut stood out as an original. Unabashed kitsch mavens at a time when their peers were either vulgar or stylish, the Athens quintet celebrated all the silliest aspects of pre-Beatles pop culture -- bad hairdos, sci-fi nightmares, dance crazes, pastels, and anything else that sprung into their minds -- to a skewed fusion of pop, surf, avant-garde, amateurish punk, and white funk. On paper, it sounds like a cerebral exercise, but it played like a party. The jerky, angular funk was irresistibly danceable, winning over listeners dubious of Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson's high-pitched, shrill close harmonies and Fred Schneider's campy, flamboyant vocalizing, pitched halfway between singing and speaking. It's all great fun, but it wouldn't have resonated throughout the years if the group hadn't written such incredibly infectious, memorable tunes as "Planet Claire," "Dance This Mess Around," and, of course, their signature tune, "Rock Lobster." These songs illustrated that the B-52's' adoration of camp culture wasn't simply affectation -- it was a world view capable of turning out brilliant pop singles and, in turn, influencing mainstream pop culture. It's difficult to imagine the endless kitschy retro fads of the '80s and '90s without the B-52's pointing the way, but The B-52's isn't simply an historic artifact -- it's a hell of a good time. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Punk/New wave - Uscito il 01 luglio 1979 | Universal Music Division Maison Barclay

Hi-Res Riconoscimenti La discoteca ideale Qobuz
Even in the weird, quirky world of new wave and post-punk in the late '70s, the B-52's' eponymous debut stood out as an original. Unabashed kitsch mavens at a time when their peers were either vulgar or stylish, the Athens quintet celebrated all the silliest aspects of pre-Beatles pop culture -- bad hairdos, sci-fi nightmares, dance crazes, pastels, and anything else that sprung into their minds -- to a skewed fusion of pop, surf, avant-garde, amateurish punk, and white funk. On paper, it sounds like a cerebral exercise, but it played like a party. The jerky, angular funk was irresistibly danceable, winning over listeners dubious of Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson's high-pitched, shrill close harmonies and Fred Schneider's campy, flamboyant vocalizing, pitched halfway between singing and speaking. It's all great fun, but it wouldn't have resonated throughout the years if the group hadn't written such incredibly infectious, memorable tunes as "Planet Claire," "Dance This Mess Around," and, of course, their signature tune, "Rock Lobster." These songs illustrated that the B-52's' adoration of camp culture wasn't simply affectation -- it was a world view capable of turning out brilliant pop singles and, in turn, influencing mainstream pop culture. It's difficult to imagine the endless kitschy retro fads of the '80s and '90s without the B-52's pointing the way, but The B-52's isn't simply an historic artifact -- it's a hell of a good time. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Uscito il 27 giugno 1989 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Pop - Uscito il 03 luglio 2009 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Pop - Uscito il 01 dicembre 2004 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Pop - Uscito il 01 settembre 1980 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

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Conventional wisdom has it that all the B-52's' subsequent releases are highly inferior to their debut. While Wild Planet is not the rarefied wonder their first platter is, it's still darn good. The songs here are generally faster, tighter, and punchier than previously, though production values are not as wonderfully quirky and detailed; fewer songs here are as over-the-top crazy as the first album's "Rock Lobster" or "52 Girls." These formless selections continue to exhibit a cunning mix of girl group, garage band, surf, and television theme song influences, all propelled along by an itchy dance beat. "Give Me Back My Man" allows Cindy Wilson a unique opportunity to croon a broad, expressive melodic line. Fred Schneider parades his inimitably nervous vocals on chucklesome ditties like "Quiche Lorraine" and "Strobe Light." The best songs here are "Private Idaho," a wonderfully jittery number that employs a variant on the famous melodic snippet from the Twilight Zone theme music, and "Devil in My Car," a delightfully loopy hoot that lays the craziness on very thickly. Performances and sound quality are fine. This album is well worth hearing and recommended. © David Cleary /TiVo
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Pop - Uscito il 21 aprile 2015 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Pop - Uscito il 23 giugno 1989 | Warner Records

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Pop - Uscito il 01 gennaio 1982 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

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After setting dancefloors alight and funny bones aquiver in 1979-1980 with their first two albums, The B-52's and Wild Planet, the B-52's seemed to run out of gas soon after, issuing a stopgap remix mini-album, Party Mix!, in 1981, and then turning in another stopgap mini in this lackluster set, produced by David Byrne, who must have seemed like a good choice, although his sense of humor is less zany, if just as weird, as that of the B's. Mesopotamia is the sound of a band that once sounded like it was on a steady path, now losing its footing. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Pop - Uscito il 01 giugno 2010 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Pop - Uscito il 01 aprile 1983 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

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Following the botched collaboration with David Byrne on Mesopotamia, the B-52's decided to craft their fourth album as a return to the pop-culture funk explosion of their debut. Smartly, they decided to not simply replicate the skewed Southern funk of that album, choosing to update their signature sound with drum machines and new wave synths. As a result, it now sounds a little forced and dated, but the best moments -- "Legal Tender," "Whammy Kiss," "Butterbean," "Song for a Future Generation" -- rank as B-52's classics, and the entire record is certainly entertaining, even with its faults. [Whammy! was originally released with a cover of Yoko Ono's "Don't Worry." When the time came to reissue the CD in 1989, the group ran into copyright troubles with Ono and the song was pulled, replaced by "Moon 83."] © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Musica alternativa e indie - Uscito il 10 ottobre 2011 | earMUSIC Classics

One would have thought that after 34 years, America’s premier dance party band would have released a slew of live albums, but believe it or not, With the Wild Crowd!: Live in Athens, GA, represents the first official, non-bootleg live set from the B-52’s to date. Recorded in 2011, the 18-song set offers up a nice mix of old and new, blazing through beloved standbys like “Love Shack,” “Rock Lobster,” “Roam,” and “Planet Claire” with more gusto than one would expect from a band halfway into its third decade. Anyone who's ever been to a B-52’s show know that Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, and Cindy Wilson never phone it in, and now they’ve finally got the goods to prove it. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Pop - Uscito il 01 settembre 1986 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

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Two years after the release of Whammy!, guitarist Ricky Wilson died of AIDS, a shattering blow for the B-52's. The group recouped and finished Bouncing Off the Satellites, the album they were recording when Wilson died. Considering their loss, it's not surprising that the B-52's don't sound entirely focused throughout the record, and it's easy to forgive them for the momentary loss of direction. Musically, it's a continuation of Whammy!, with the group's signature sound being enhanced by drum machines, synths, and sessionmen. There are so many musicians on the record that it winds up sounding too carefully considered -- the polar opposite of the loose, inspired fun of their early work. That said, there are some flashes of inspiration scattered throughout the album ("Wig," "Juicy Jungle," "Theme for a Nude Beach," "She Brakes for Rainbows"). There isn't quite enough to make it of interest to anyone but the dedicated, yet those listeners will find that there's enough worth hearing on Bouncing off the Satellites, especially if they're in a forgiving mood. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Punk/New wave - Uscito il 01 gennaio 2003 | Universal Music Group International

Pop - Uscito il 01 gennaio 1990 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

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Pop - Uscito il 25 marzo 2008 | Astralwerks

Libretto
After hearing the ultra-sheen producer Steve Osborne smoothed across New Order's 2001 album Get Ready, the B-52s' guitarist and music director Keith Strickland found the sound that would bring his band into 21st century. The ultra-slick, synthesizer and drum machine driven Funplex is the result, and while it doesn't make up for the 16 years since their last full-length, it's a good argument that they should get off the revival concert circuit and get back to the studio more often. On the opening "Pump," singers Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson prove right away they can still create sweet harmonies, while Fred Schneider displays that he's lost none of his campy spark and still sounds credible when barking out stories of hot mamas cruising the mall while high on diet pills. The track's exciting Stereolab-meets-Duane Eddy construction vindicates Strickland's hunch about Osborne, whose half-new wave, half-MP3 age production is a great match throughout. The band's shimmy and shake performance is as energetic as ever and with songs like "Hot Corner," "Juliet of the Spirits," and the title track bringing warm reminders of "Roam," "Summer of Love," or "Good Stuff," the B-52s in 2008 are still adding fine material to their catalog. Bright moments that loyal fans will cherish dot the album, like when Fred delivers a "Robots-Bootybots-Erotobots" chant ("Love in the Year 3000"), or when a simple, quintessential B-52s riff mixes with intoxicating future disco ("Eyes Wide Open"). Problem is the songwriting seems a bit forced at times and the towering highlights found on their top-shelf efforts are missing. Nothing here is as gripping or as perfect as "Rock Lobster," "Private Idaho," or "Love Shack," and the songs that are borderline filler get pushed into one big forgettable lump towards the end of the album. Turns out, being the world's greatest party combo isn't just like riding a bike, but the B-52s are certainly pointed in the right direction. Think of Funplex as a likeable album from a lovable band and adjust your party planner accordingly. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Pop - Uscito il 01 giugno 2015 | Concert Live Ltd

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Pop - Uscito il 19 giugno 1992 | Reprise

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Pop - Uscito il 29 gennaio 1991 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

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Party Mix! is a six-track mini-album that selects three tracks each from the B-52's' first two albums, The B-52's and Wild Planet, and presents them in dance mixes. Since the group's bouncy songs are already dance-ready, this makes for alternatives rather than real improvements, even from a dancefloor perspective. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Pop - Uscito il 01 luglio 1979 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

Even in the weird, quirky world of new wave and post-punk in the late '70s, the B-52's' eponymous debut stood out as an original. Unabashed kitsch mavens at a time when their peers were either vulgar or stylish, the Athens quintet celebrated all the silliest aspects of pre-Beatles pop culture -- bad hairdos, sci-fi nightmares, dance crazes, pastels, and anything else that sprung into their minds -- to a skewed fusion of pop, surf, avant-garde, amateurish punk, and white funk. On paper, it sounds like a cerebral exercise, but it played like a party. The jerky, angular funk was irresistibly danceable, winning over listeners dubious of Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson's high-pitched, shrill close harmonies and Fred Schneider's campy, flamboyant vocalizing, pitched halfway between singing and speaking. It's all great fun, but it wouldn't have resonated throughout the years if the group hadn't written such incredibly infectious, memorable tunes as "Planet Claire," "Dance This Mess Around," and, of course, their signature tune, "Rock Lobster." These songs illustrated that the B-52's' adoration of camp culture wasn't simply affectation -- it was a world view capable of turning out brilliant pop singles and, in turn, influencing mainstream pop culture. It's difficult to imagine the endless kitschy retro fads of the '80s and '90s without the B-52's pointing the way, but The B-52's isn't simply an historic artifact -- it's a hell of a good time. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo