- Audio CD (Jan 15 2002)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: Best of, Import
- Label: Rhino-Atlantic
- ASIN: B00005UPFB
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
|1. 52 Girls|
|2. Dance This Mess Around|
|3. Rock Lobster|
|5. Hero Worship|
|6. Planet Claire|
|7. Give Me Back My Man|
|8. Private Idaho|
|9. Devil In My Car|
|10. Party Out Of Bounds|
See all 18 tracks on this disc
|1. Summer Of Love|
|2. Ain't It A Shame (new edit)|
|3. Theme For A Nude Beach (new edit)|
|4. Girl From Ipanema Goes To Greenland|
|6. She Brakes For Rainbows|
|7. Cosmic Thing|
|8. Deadbeat Club|
|9. Love Shack|
See all 17 tracks on this disc
First the band themselves. If you aren't familiar with the B-52s, they probably are one of the most original bands of the rock era. They were originally a quintet - until the death of founding member Ricky Wilson of AIDS complications in 1985. They remain a quartet consisting of 3 lead singers - Cindy Wilson (Ricky's sister), Kate Pierson, and Fred Schneider. Keith Strickland is the fourth member and contributes on vocals at times. Cindy and Kate have two voices that harmonize just as well as any two will harmonize. Then there is the unique vocals of Mr. Fred Schneider. Schneider brings one of the most quirky voices in the music industry that goes with the unorthodox style of the B-52s music. In the vocals of the B-52s, you'll hear plenty of shouts and shreks, producing a very 'alternative' rock sound with a touch of psychedelica and a touch of punk. The lyrics of the B-52s aren't the most complex. You'll hear them sing about lobsters, wigs, lava, dancing, a place in Brazil called Ipanema, and even a history lesson on Mesopotamia. The band will often reference themselves in songs - most noteably in "Song From a Future Generation" and "Wigs". In these songs you will hear personal references about each of the band members that will help you get a good feel for who they are all about. As for their attire, the B-52's will dress in a cross between 50s and 70s retro. All of these things contribute to this band's uniqueness.
Combine the unique with everything that this collection brings home and you have a real winner. This truly is a "Boxed Set" for the price and packaging of a 2 CD Disc Set. There is a wonderful 56 page booklet that will truly give you everything you ever wanted to know about the band. For starters, there are personal intros written by the four band members - Fred, Kate, Cindy, and Keith. What is nice about the intros is you will really get a feel for the band members at a personal level and can relate it back to the music. Then there are 20+ pages that cover the history of the band - and that's loaded with pictures. This history will give you everything you wanted to know about the B-52's and help you understand where much of the music is coming from. There is a terrific discography that lists all of the songs contained on the collection as well as mapping them back to the albums. You'll also see credits in the discography for production and songwriting - and oh yes, plenty of pictures included.
The collection features some live cuts of the hits - "Whammy" and "Quiche Lorraine". There are some new edits (mixes) of existing songs "Ain't it a Shame", "Is that You Mo-Dean", and "Theme From a Nude Beach". They also include a 1990 remix of an older song "Mesopotamia". There also is an unreleased song included called "Queen of Las Vegas". When your collection starts including live cuts, remixes, and unreleased material - it suddenly takes on a life of its own and makes the collection truly special.
I feel the body of work is well represented for the B-52's fan. I might have liked a third CD with some more live cuts. I also felt that I would have liked to see stuff such as the B-52's Flintstones song they did for the "Flintstones" movie. Plus if it's called "Nude on the Moon" why not include their most famous 'moon' song - "There's a Moon in the Sky"? From a personal standpoint, I was only familiar with the "Cosmic Thing" CD that had the most successful pop hits ("Love Shack", "Roam"). I managed to really expand my horizons and learn quite a bit about the band between the music and the booklet included. This is a fine piece of work and one to consider adding to your collection.
So like Rhino's "Pioneers Who Got Scalped" anthology for Devo, "Nude On The Moon" could never live up to a fan's expectations. And also like Devo, no-one looked or sounded like The B-52's when "Rock Lobster" got dormatories full of students to fall on the floor and flop around like fish in the 'down down" phase of the song. Thus I'll give it a high recommendation for a several reasons. One is that "Legal Tender," left off "Songs For A Future Generation," is here. Two wonderful live tracks ("Quiche Lorraine" and "Whammy Kiss") are here. I like the remix of "Is That You Mo-Dean?" almost as much as the original, and they had the good sense to bring the best of the two new greatest hits tracks on board for this set, as "Debbie" makes a second appearance.
Things to put you off this disc and go for the first anthology are that both "Cosmic Thing" and "Bouncing Off Satellites" are way over represented. You may as well buy each album individually. I can almost understand seven songs from "Cosmic," after all, it did finally give them the hits they deserved and "Love Shack" has to be one of the greatest top 40 records since Marconi and Tesla invented radio or Kate and Cindy discovered wigs. But I quibble.
If you don't already have all The B-52's albums, get this to fill the gaps. Or get the discs you're missing. Or get "Songs For A Future Generation." Whatever you do, you should have some B-tunes in your library. They are the musical equivalent of a sunshine sprite.