The B-52's is the 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).
Critical reception for The B-52's was generally favorable; critics praised the album's kitschy lyrics and party atmosphere.Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine retrospectively awarded the album a perfect 5 out of 5 stars, stating that "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."Rolling Stone also gave the album 5 out of 5 stars, concluding that "On The B-52's, the best little dance band from Athens proved that rock & roll still matters if it's about sex and hair and moving your body. Even if you have to shake-bake shake-bake it like a Shy Tuna." Music critic Robert Christgau initially awarded the album with an "A-", though he later upgraded the album's rating to an "A," commenting that he is "more delighted with their rhythms, which show off their Georgia roots by adapting the innovations of early funk (a decade late, just like the Stones and Chicago blues) to an endlessly danceable forcebeat format."Slant gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, stating that "(l)ike any over-the-top act, The B-52's wears thin, but the band successfully positioned themselves as pop-culture icons—not unlike the musical antiquities they emulated."