Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The B-52's - Whammy! (1983)

Note: this release was originally purchased as a LP, later replaced by a CD.

This was the first B-52's album I ever purchased, bought because I had seen the video for Song For A Future Generation on the MTV. (I just paused the CD and watched the video again on YouTube. It's typical low budget interplanetary goofiness with bad lip synching.) For a 17-year-old that considered himself to be a member of the New Wave cognoscenti, the B-52's were a perfect fit. Every teenager tries to adopt a persona, and the quirkiness of this group, coupled with that fact that their music wasn't played on the radio in our area, made this group one that I often name-dropped: "No, I haven't heard the newest REO Speedwagon because I was jamming with The B-52's!" For me, this group was normally more of a singles group than an albums group, but this is probably their most consistent album. The songwriting is simple, but isn't that what you expect? Sure the drums and synths sound dated now, but this was a fun album back then and is still worth the occasional listen.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #29
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #38

Tracks: My favorites are Legal Tender and Song For A Future Generation. The second tier of songs would include Whammy Kiss, Trism, Butterbean, and Work That Skirt. The other three are skippable. This album was originally released with a cover of Yoko Ono's Don't Worry. When the time came to reissue the CD in 1989, the group ran into copyright troubles with Ono and the song was pulled, replaced by Moon 83, the b-side to the single Legal Tender. That's a shame because Don't Worry was one of the more interesting cuts on the album, but Moon 83 is one of the worst. Not an even trade.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: When the band toured in support of this album in the summer of 1983, they came to Houston on my birthday. Not only that, the opening act was my favorite local band, The Judy's. Wouldn't it be a great story if I got to attend that concert? Unfortunately, I was stuck in Austin at American Legion Boy's State that week. I would later see The B-52's a couple of times and The Judy's once, but I sure would have loved to have caught that '83 show.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Funplex (2008)
Love Shack (1989)

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