Top 20 No 5: B-52’s

I’ve seen 79 of my top 100 bands live – so here’s the first of the 21 I haven’t. They did play a single UK date in 2013 (when I was in Greece for a week) and are currently touring the hell out of USA and other countries that aren’t the UK. One day hopefully …


Live in Atlanta, 1978. LOVE the Farfisa. Photo not taken by me!

Well this band has to be a band who anyone can like, despite what other stuff they enjoy listening to. Or a band who just infuriates everyone, I’m not sure which. I’m clearly very big on the Sprechsegang as I’m only five bands in and I’ve chosen this lot AND Art Brut.

But I absolutely love the B-52’s, who just seem like they were the coolest people on the planet in the early 1980s.

Part of me wants to know what lyrics like “I’ll give you fish, I’ll give you candy, I’ll give you everything I have in my hand” mean and part of me never wants to know.

Most people probably think of Rock Lobster or Love Shack, but they were much more than that to me. The whole of 1989’s Cosmic Thing is a masterpiece for me – one of my top 10 albums ever, without a duff track on it.

Even their last album – Funplex – back in 2008 was a delight. “I’m your daytime waitress here’s your stupid 7-Up” is still a genius lyric and I think about it more than I should, usually when people near me are ordering 7-Up.

1. Give Me Back My Man
2. Rock Lobster
3. Planet Claire
4. Love Shack
5. Deadbeat Club
6. Channel Z
7. Private Idaho
8. Dry Country
9. Junebug
10. Funplex
11. Roam
12. Topaz
13. Bushfire
14. 52 Girls
15. Legal Tender
16. 53 Miles From Venus
17. Wig
18. Dance This Mess Around
19. Dirty Back Road
20. Song For A Future Generation

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