Kate Pierson: Vocals/Keyboard
Fred Schneider - vocals, toy piano
Keith Strickland - guitars/keyboard
Cindy Wilson - vocals/percussion
Ricky Wilson - guitars/vocals
One of the coolest bands that you don't wanna admit you love. Cheese-o-rama spectacular. Named for the old bouffant hairdos that were popular at the time. Used to be known for their hairdos, toy instruments, and other eclectic icons that made them part of the underground, but now mainly recognized for "Love Shack." Usually grouped next to Blondie and The Talking Heads in music stores, although the girl at the local Sam Goody has created her own personal shrine to their New Wave goodness.
Starting out in Athens, Georgia, the B-52's "purvey their absurd B movie style and off kilter sound, celebrating the weirdness lurking just behind the surface of Americana- not exactly a recipe for chart sucess, but way ahead of its time, nonetheless." (taken from theb52s.com) The band played their first gig at a friend's Valentine's Day bash. Their good songs include
Girl from Ipanema
Unfortunately, they never got to enjoy the peak of their popularity. Their guitarist, Ricky Wilson, died of AIDS in 1985. After a three year hiatus, they made a comeback with Cosmic Thing, the album that made them the front runners of the New Wave movement. After the success, Kate Pierson pulled a Behind The Music and jumped ship, exhausted from touring. She popped out a baby girl, and did some collaborative work with R.E.M. and Iggy Pop. Over the years, the entire band became very loud about AIDS, animal rights, and other environmental causes, deviating from their mindless-pop-New Wave-phase. They did release the Flintstone's Theme Song shortly after, so they weren't exactly kneeling down before Capitol Hill yet.
Fortunately, Cindy reunited circa 1997, and released "Debbie", their tribute to long time band supporter Debbie Harry. Their latest album is called Songs for a New Generation, probably a ploy to entice a new group of avid B-52's fans.
Personally, I think there is nothing funner than blasting their music on a long expanse of highway with good friends, shaking your booty like no one's watching, and emulating Kate Pierson's sultry yells and whelps. Loooooooove shack!