What an incredibly varied band The B-52’s were for a supposed one hit novelty band. Sure, it’s impossible to roll past Rock Lobster, because who didn’t dance like a maniac to that one every time they ever heard it, regardless of venue, but so many of their songs are just perfectly constructed, inhabiting itself for the duration and then moving on to new pastures. Look at Private Idaho, which just nails that incredible 60’s pastiche sky/surf area (and wow, Fred’s moustache) and never lets go, driving forward all the way to the end. And then flip to Roam, a call to arms for travellers worldwide, and be amazed at how the same ingredients mix together to form something so different.
But for the sheer joy of it, it has to be Love Shack. I remember when it came out reading an interview with Fred, who was talking about how they nearly fell apart when their guitarist died but they had a bunch of shows to play so the drummer learned the chords and off they went: they nearly went broke when nothing more sold and they tapped into their pension plan to pay for this album, but with it being such a hit the band were now able to top it back up. Rock and roll.
I saw them play at the Hordern in Sydney, and it was one of the most joyous, entertaining shows I’ve ever seen. And every time I hear the “Tin Roof! Busted” line I remember how, when they were playing it in the studio Cindy got so into the song she didn’t realise they’d stopped: they just looked at each other and kept going, and a hit was born. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SOryJvTAGs#t=260.249687