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198) B-52s - Cosmic Thing

Dave Grohl left the drumkit for the guitar after a tragedy in his band. He was not the first musician to do this.

 

Rock Lobster and Planet Claire I had heard and thought they were wonderfully weird and original, but I had assumed the B-52’s had split up by the time I started to take an interest in music.

 

I knew their guitarist, Ricky Wilson had tragically died of Aids and then I read somewhere that they were back recording and Keith Strickland, like Grohl, had left the drums behind to become the fulltime guitarist.

 

The band had come back together to help themselves deal with Wilson’s death and had slowly started making music.

 

Channel Z was released as a single and wasn’t really heard here in the UK, but it contains the classic B-52’s sound. Cindy and Kate are in perfect synch as they sing, they really work together so well as if they are one, and Fred is doing his usual shouty spoken word phrasing.

 

The reason Cosmic Thing became a smash was due to the next single, Love Shack. Has there ever been a more “come to a party song” than this? I remember seeing it on The Chart Show and loving the song and video but by the time it had hit number two I was sick of the sound of it. Thirty years later it makes me smile and I love the riff in the background from Strickland.

 

Roam was the follow up and this should have hit the top spot, No Fred on this one but I’ve raved about Cindy’s vocals before but both ladies excel here, and the chorus is to die for. A true classic song from start to finish and the highlight for me.

 

For all the other songs Fred showing all his tricks, it’s a declaration that although they have been through tough times the band were back to celebrate life and help themselves heal.

 

Dry Country all three vocalists come together and the is a reflective song “sit on the porch and swing,” not their usual mad energetic sound but a strong song.

 

Bushfire is an enjoyable romp, and Topaz again just listen to the harmonies of Cindy and Kate, these two ladies are on top form on this record.

Bands deal with adversity in diverse ways, the B-52’s showed great courage with this comeback and for that they should be admired, and it certainly has its moments.

 

7/10

 

GIVE IT A STREAM: Roam

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