The B-52's (album)

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The B-52's
Cover art by Tony Wright
Studio album by The B-52's
Released July 6, 1979
Recorded 1978-1979 at Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas
Genre New wave, post-punk
Length 39:14
Label Warner Bros. (US)
Island (UK)
Producer Chris Blackwell
The B-52's chronology
The B-52's
Wild Planet
Singles from The B-52's
  1. "Rock Lobster"
    Released: April 1978
  2. "Planet Claire"
    Released: July 6, 1979
  3. "Dance This Mess Around"
    Released: 1979

The B-52's is the eponymous debut album by the Athens, Georgia-based new wave band The B-52's. The kitschy lyrics and mood, and the hook-laden harmonies helped establish a fanbase for the band, who went on to release several chart-topping singles. The album cover was designed by Tony Wright (credited as Sue Ab Surd).

The B-52's peaked at number 59 on the Billboard 200,[1] and "Rock Lobster" reached number 56 on the Hot 100.[2] In 2003, the television network VH1 named The B-52's the 99th greatest album of all time. Shortly before his death, John Lennon said he enjoyed the album.[3] In his 1995 book, The Alternative Music Almanac, Alan Cross placed the album ninth on the list of 10 Classic Alternative Albums. In 2003, the album was ranked number 152[4] on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars [5]
Robert Christgau A [6]
Rolling Stone 5/5 stars[7]
Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars [8]
Smash Hits 5/10[9]

Critical reception for The B-52's was generally favorable; critics praised the album's kitschy lyrics and party atmosphere.[5][10]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by The B-52's, except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "Planet Claire"   Henry Mancini,[11] Fred Schneider, Keith Strickland Schneider, Pierson 4:35
2. "52 Girls"   Jeremy Ayers, Ricky Wilson Pierson, Wilson 3:34
3. "Dance This Mess Around"     Schneider, C. Wilson 4:36
4. "Rock Lobster"   Schneider, R. Wilson Pierson, Schneider, C. Wilson 6:49
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "Lava"     Pierson, Schneider, C. Wilson 4:54
2. "There's a Moon in the Sky (Called the Moon)"     Pierson, Schneider, C. Wilson 4:54
3. "Hero Worship"   Robert Waldrop, R. Wilson C. Wilson 4:07
4. "6060-842"   Pierson, Schneider, Strickland, R. Wilson Pierson, Schneider, C. Wilson 2:48
5. "Downtown" (Petula Clark cover, 1964) Tony Hatch Pierson, C. Wilson 2:57
Total length:


Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ a b The B-52's > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums at AllMusic. Retrieved 16 October 2004.
  2. ^ a b c The B-52's > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles at AllMusic. Retrieved 16 October 2004.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Levy, Joe; Steven Van Zandt (2006) [2005]. "152 | The B-52's - The B-52's". Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (3rd ed.). London: Turnaround. ISBN 1-932958-61-4. OCLC 70672814. Archived from the original on 3 April 2010. Retrieved 8 Aug 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen. The B-52's The B-52's > Review at AllMusic. Retrieved 22 March 2004.
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert (September 3, 1979). "Christgau's Consumer Guide: The B-52's Pick Hit". The Village Voice. Retrieved 13 January 2012.  Relevant portion posted with a new rating at "The B-52's: The B-52's > Consumer Guide Album". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 31 March 2006. 
  7. ^ Blashill, Pat (October 16, 2003). "The B-52's The B-52's > Review". Rolling Stone (933). Archived from the original on 20 Jun 2007. Retrieved 22 Mar 2004. 
  8. ^ Considine, J.D. (2004). "The B-52's". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. London: Fireside. pp. 67–68. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  9. ^ Starr, Red. "Albums". Smash Hits (August 9–22, 1979): 25. 
  10. ^ Carson, Tom (September 20, 1979). "The B-52's: The B-52's Music Reviews". Rolling Stone (300). Archived from the original on 21 June 2008. Retrieved 21 February 2009. 
  11. ^ Mancini is credited as a co-author of "Planet Claire" on reissues of the album due to the song's use of the bass line from Mancini's "Peter Gunn."
  12. ^ "Sale 40 - Lot 489: Australian Record Industry Association Award For The B-52's". Australian Recording Industry Association. Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles. 2011. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  13. ^ "American album certifications – The B-52's". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]