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The B-52  

1980'S ROCK/POP/MODERN ROCK

It has been said that the B-52’s are as quintessentially American as the Beach Boys. And twenty-five years and over twenty million albums into a career that began as a low-rent lark in Athens, Georgia, the B-52’s remain the most unlikely rock stars ever. The first band to glorify pop culture with an almost Warholian sense of purpose, the B-52’s purveyed their absurd B-movie style and off-kilter sound celebrating the weirdness lurking just beneath the surface of Americana — not exactly a recipe for chart success but way ahead of its time, nonetheless. Any mystery concerning the longevity and ongoing appeal of the B-52’s is immediately solved when exposed to the B-52’s unique concert experience, which may well include a verbal tongue-in-cheek lashing from Fred.

Tragedy struck the B-52’s (Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, Keith Strickland and Cindy Wilson) in 1985 with the death of original member Ricky Wilson. After regrouping for the breakthrough Cosmic Thing album in 1989, the B-52’s have been touring with a larger band, which consists of Pat Irwin on keyboards, Sara Lee on bass and Zachary Alford on drums. With this addition, the B-52’s have secured their reputation with a live show that’s as exciting and fun as the music itself.

With the release of the two-disc collection Nude on the Moon: the B-52’s Anthology (2002), the B-52’s are finally taking some much-deserved credit for a body of work that is unique, beloved and timeless in its own way. Once visionary miners of American pop culture, they are now very much a reference point in our cultural consciousness for future generations. The B-52’s influence cuts 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.

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