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Thursday, September 13, 2007

B-52's - Party Mix (all cuts)


It has been said that the B-52's are as quintessentially American as the Beach Boys. And thirty years and over twenty million albums into their career, they remain the among the most beloved rock stars ever. Known as “the world’s greatest party band,” the B-52’s have attracted legions of faithful, fun-seeking fans with their unique sound and electrifying stage show.

Formed on an October night in 1976 following drinks at an Athens, GA, Chinese restaurant, the band played their first gig at a friend's house on Valentine's Day 1977. Naming themselves after Southern slang for exaggerated 'bouffant" hairdos, the newly-christened B-52's (Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, Keith Strickland, Cindy Wilson and Ricky Wilson) began weekend road trips to New York City for gigs at CBGB's and a handful of other venues. Before long, their thrift store aesthetic and genre-defying songs were the talk of the post-punk underground. A record deal soon followed and their self-titled debut disc, produced by Chris Blackwell, sold more than 500,000 copies on the strength of their first singles, the garage rock party classic "Rock Lobster," and "52 Girls." The B-52's had tapped into a growing audience for new music that was much larger than anyone could have anticipated. “We’ve always appealed to people outside the mainstream,” says Kate Pierson, “and I think more people feel they’re outside the mainstream these days.”

With the release of their second studio effort, Wild Planet (1980), the B-52's and co-producer Rhett Davies proved their success was no fluke with hits with "Private Idaho," "Give Me Back My Man" and "Strobe Light." In just two albums, the B-52's created a lexicon of songs, styles, phrases and images which would set the standard for the development of the 'alternative music scene.' The success of Mesopotamia, produced by David Byrne (1982), and Whammy! (1983) positioned the B-52's as MTV regulars as well as alternative radio staples.

At the time of their greatest achievements, however, they suffered their greatest tragedy — the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson from AIDS. "He really had a vision…," said sister Cindy Wilson. "He was one of the strongest elements of the B-52's from the beginning." Ricky Wilson's passing in 1985 came just after the sessions for Bouncing Off The Satellites (1986). The album, dedicated to Wilson, had taken nearly three years to complete but was worth the wait, serving up the fan favorites "Summer of Love" and "Wig." After a period of mourning, Keith, switching from drums to guitar, gradually resumed writing music for a new album. Working together on vocal melodies, lyrics and arrangements for the new tracks, Keith, Kate, Fred and Cindy re-emerged with the Don Was/Nile Rodgers co-produced Cosmic Thing (1989). The album yielded their first-ever Hot 10 hits — "Love Shack" and "Roam" and a Top 40 hit with "Deadbeat Club." Its success propelled the band to international superstardom.

After an exhaustive 18-month tour in support of Cosmic Thing, Cindy amicably left the band. "I'd been a B-52 for a long time, and it just felt like time for a change," said Cindy. Before long, Wilson had successfully completed her first solo project — a baby girl. Meanwhile, Kate collaborated with other artists, including Athens compatriots R.E.M., for whom she guest-starred on their 1991 album Out of Time. She also scored a hit with fellow CBGB's alum Iggy Pop on his lovelorn duet "Candy." Fred, meanwhile started work on a solo project, Just Fred (1996), with producer Steve Albini, his second solo project following the release of 1984’s Fred Schneider and the Shake Society.

As a trio, Fred, Keith and Kate re-enlisted the tag team of Was and Rodgers to produce the energetic Good Stuff (1992). With its popular title cut and concert favorite "Is That You Mo-Dean?," the album stands as the group's most overtly political album. "We're out there to entertain people," said Fred, "but it's great to get people thinking and dancing at the same time."

In 1998, reuniting permanently with Cindy, the B-52's wrote and recorded two new tracks that fit perfectly into Time Capsule, a stellar collection of greatest hits. The first single from the collection, "Debbie" was a metaphorical tribute to band friend and supporter Debbie Harry and the whole CBGB's scene of the late '70s. With the release of the two-disc collection Nude on the Moon: the B-52's Anthology (2002), the B-52's took much-deserved credit for a body of work that is unique, beloved and timeless in its own way. The B-52's have always cut a wide path through much of so-called 'modern rock' — from the low-fi efforts of nouveau garage bands to the retro-hip of ultra-lounge, to the very core of dance music itself. "We've always just done our own thing, which is a combination of rock 'n 'roll, funk, and Fellini, and game show host, and corn, and mysticism," says Fred. “Maybe people are beginning to pick up on what we’ve been doing all along,” muses Keith. “The underlying message of the B-52’s is that it’s ok to be different.”

The B-52’s have just completed recording a brand new album, their first in 15 years, with producer Steve Osborne (KT Tunstall, New Order, Manic Street Preachers) and programmers Damian Taylor (Bjork) and Pete Davis (New Order). Set for an early 2008 release, it maintains the band’s classic party vibe, but with a more modern direction. "There's more electronica on it," he said. "It's up-tempo and a bit sexed-up. It's sexier than ever,” says Fred.

There’s no doubt that fans are looking forward to this new release. Thirty years into their career, the B-52’s continue to keep the party going, serving up their own unique blend of music and showmanship to millions of people worldwide, and with no signs of slowing down.

This mini-album is one of the first REMIX albums to chart on Billboards Top 200 Album chart. This album, reaching #55 on the Top 200 chart, contains 6 remixes of previous songs. Side 1 contains 3 songs from "Wild Planet", while side 2 contains 3 songs from their debut album "The B-52's" Enjoy

Songs taken from the original LP PARTY MIX on Warner 3595
Download PARTY MIX in one zip file
A1. Party Out Of Bounds - 5:12
A2. Private Idaho - 4:04
A3. Give Me Back My Man - 7:02
B1. Lava - 6:08
B2. Dance This Mess Around - 2:59
B3. 52 Girls - 2:58
Entire LP charted on August 29, 1981. Spent 4 weeks on the chart and reached #55

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