Cosmic Thing

The B-52's

Reprise Records, 1989

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


After the tragic passing of Ricky Wilson, the surviving members of the B-52’s retreated and thought about their future. What they came out with 1989 was their biggest selling record and containing songs that still sound great 30 years later. The less said about the overplayed and almost obnoxious “Love Shack” the better off we all are, though.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Changing their sound from the early days of New Wave oddities, the band mainlined their sound and smoothed out the roughness in their songwriting. Songs like “Channel Z” and the still majestic “Roam” still make you wanna dance and shake your cosmic thing. The title track has the best feeling of their early sound and is probably one of their most underrated fun tracks. I’ve always thought “Deadbeat Club” was just a mediocre track, but the vocals of Kate and Cindy really bring it to life and make it exciting.

“Junebug” still sounds as modern as it did upon its release; it would fit in with whatever you call alternative radio in 2019. “Bushfire” doesn’t start off very well, but the trio of voices (Pierson, Schneider and Wilson) makes it extremely powerful and great. It’s a different sort of dance track but still danceable nonetheless.

The album’s initial closing track “Follow Your Bliss” should be great, but it’s just a meandering instrumental in need of some really great vocals. Unfortunately, since the B’s were never really that prolific in the studio so in the absence of any great unreleased outtakes or B-sides, we have just a few 12” remixes to pad out the reissue. With the lack of anything else to go with the anniversary, we’re presented with a bonus disc of live tracks. Some of them like “Cosmic Thing,” “Private Idaho,” and of course “Rock Lobster” are amped up a bit and still sound kickass. But the majority of them come across as uninteresting and bland. Still, it doesn’t take away from the joy and fun of this package.

Rating: B

User Rating: B-



© 2019 Pete Crigler and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Reprise Records, and is used for informational purposes only.