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Pop - Released October 11, 2011 | Eagle Rock - Eagle Records

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 - Released April 21, 2015 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Pop - Released January 1, 1900 | B52'S (B52)

Booklet
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 - Released June 19, 1992 | Reprise

"Good Stuff" was a transparent attempt to recapture the good vibes of "Love Shack." It didn't succeed, but it had its own charms, from the friendly beat to Fred Schneider's endearing vocal affectations. It wasn't great, but it did have the distinction of being the best single pulled from Good Stuff. Since it was released in 1992, when singles were released in seemingly endless permutations in both the U.S. and the U.K., "Good Stuff" was available in all sorts of incarnations. In the U.S., it was released as a seven-inch single, with an edit of the title track taking up the A-side and the B given over to "Bad Influence." This same lineup was released as a seven-inch and cassette single in the U.K. In the U.S., it was also released as a 12-inch and CD-5 single featuring "Bad Influence" and three versions of "Good Stuff" -- the "12-inch remix," the "remix edit" and the "Schottische Mix." Minus "Bad Influence," this lineup was replicated for the U.K. 12-inch single, but the same lineup -- plus the original version of "Good Stuff" -- was released as a single in Europe. But that wasn't the end of it by any means. Not counting the American promotional single (a worthless issue for anyone but DJs, containing just the edit and original version of "Good Stuff"), "Good Stuff" was also released in a box set (!) in the U.K., featuring the edited single version of the title track, "Bad Influence" and "Return to Dreamland," plus three badges, a sticker and a postcard. Certainly the kind of item just for collectors. When all is said and done, the American CD-5 single and 12-inch offers the best value for the money, but the mixes aren't particularly noteworthy, so only budget-minded serious fans will need to seek it out. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released April 20, 1983 | Warner Records

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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Pop - Released September 15, 1986 | Reprise

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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Alternative & Indie - Released May 14, 1983 | Cult Legends

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Pop - Released January 1, 1979 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Pop - Released October 13, 2009 | Rhino - Warner Records

"Roam" became the B-52's' second straight number three single, and for good reason -- while it may not be as unabashedly silly and infectious as "Love Shack," it is a well-crafted and irresistible pop song, highlighted by terrific vocals from Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson. As was the tradition of any major-label single from the late '80s, "Roam" was issued in a variety of formats. The basic format was the 7" and cassette single, which featured an edit of the title track and the Cosmic Thing album track "Bushfire" as the flipside. For the American CD-5 single, "Bushfire" was kept as the B-side, and the following versions of "Roam" were showcased: the "7" remix" (different and longer than the single edit), the "radio mix," the "12" remix," the "extended remix," and "the instrumental." All but the "extended remix" and "instrumental" were on the American 12" single. In the U.K., "Roam" was issued as a 7" single, cassette single, and CD single featuring the edit of "Roam" and live versions of "Whammy Kiss" and "Dance This Mess Around" from 1989; this version was also released as a CD single in France. It was also released as a 12" single (with a nifty 3-D sleeve) featuring the "radio mix," the "12" remix," and "extended remix." And, maybe just to confuse things a little bit more, the single was released one more time as a CD promo single in the U.S., featuring the original LP version and the single edit. All these permutations are naturally of considerable interest to hardcore collectors, but those less dedicated should know this: the U.S. CD single offers the most music for the money, but the U.K. CD single is actually a more entertaining listen. Then again, they could just choose to stick with "Roam" either on Cosmic Thing or one of the hits collections. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 30, 2007 | Rhino - Warner Records

Released in conjunction with the hits collection Time Capsule, Time Capsule - Mixes: Summer of Love 98 and its cousin Time Capsule - Mixes: Hallucinating Pluto contain megamixes of many of the group's biggest hits. Each disc kicks off with the title track (each happens to be one of the new additions on the compilation), and then winds through remixes of the said track and then mixes of familiar items. It's all tied together by relentless dance club beats. Both discs are relatively enjoyable as background music, but it gets a little monotonous since the mixes aren't imaginative, but simply for the dancefloor. Accordingly, they sound serviceable, but never quite inspired. Still, hardcore fans might want to round out their collection with these discs -- even if they're not particularly interesting, they're still entertaining. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2008 | B52'S (B52)

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Pop - Released January 30, 2007 | Rhino - Warner Records

Released in conjunction with the hits collection Time Capsule, Time Capsule - Mixes: Summer of Love 98 and its cousin Time Capsule - Mixes: Hallucinating Pluto contain megamixes of many of the group's biggest hits. Each disc kicks off with the title track (each happens to be one of the new additions on the compilation), and then winds through remixes of the said track and then mixes of familiar items. It's all tied together by relentless dance club beats. Both discs are relatively enjoyable as background music, but it gets a little monotonous since the mixes aren't imaginative, but simply for the dancefloor. Accordingly, they sound serviceable, but never quite inspired. Still, hardcore fans might want to round out their collection with these discs -- even if they're not particularly interesting, they're still entertaining. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2008 | Astralwerks

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Pop - Released January 1, 2008 | B52'S (B52)